NORTON, Mass. – The Wheaton College baseball team opened New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) action on Saturday afternoon with a double-header against the Engineers of WPI. The visitors earned a 5-4 win in the opening game before the Lyons picked up a 3-2 victory in the second.
The Lyons are now 9-5 on the season and 1-1 in NEWMAC play, while the Engineers move to 12-6 (1-1 NEWMAC).
Junior Michael Bruemmel dropped his third game of the season, pitching 5.2 innings for the Lyons, striking out four and walking two. Steven D'Agostino picked up his fourth win of the year for the Engineers.
Wheaton struck first with a single run coming around to score in the bottom of the first. After leading off on a double to center, Jimmy Smith promptly moved to third on an error by the pitcher. The senior outfielder then came home moments later due to a passed ball.
WPI took its first lead of the game in the fourth, starting with an RBI single by DJ Ouellette. Evan Lacroix made it a 3-1 game with a one out triple to center field that brought in John Caliri and Ouellette.
The Engineers increased their lead in the top of the sixth with Alex Venditti coming in to score on an RBI single by Anthony Capuano. Lacroix picked up another RBI in the seventh, this time with a double to right center.
Wheaton earned three runs back in the bottom half of the inning, making it a 5-4 game. The scoring started with a single to center by Matt Lavanchy that broght in Smith, who led off the inning with a walk. Junior Justin Sellar kept the scoring alive with a double down the right field line, knocking in Lavanchy. The final run came around with the next Lyon at bat, as Zachary Goodwin-Boyd knocked in Justin Silvestro with an RBI single down the right field line.
Wheaton would sit WPI down in order in the final two innings, but would be unable to get another run across the plate.
Dan Southerland remains undefeated for Wheaton, earning his third win of the year after pitching 7.1 innings. Jared Clement took over for Southerland in the eighth, before senior Eric Dumas came in in the ninth to earn his sixth save of the year.
Mike Vaitkunas collected the complete game loss for the Engineers after eight innings of work that saw him strike out and walk one.
The Lyons opened the scoring with Smith once again coming in to score, this time courtesy of an RBI single to left by Joshua LaJoie.
Similarly to the first game, WPI came back in the next inning, taking a 2-1 lead. Ouellette eanred the two RBI's on the play, knocking in John Mulready and Venditti.
Wheaton responded in the bottom of the fourth, earning both runs back, making it a 3-2 contest. First-year Tyler Walsh knocked in the first run with an RBI double down the left field line that brought in Matthew Cook. Classmate Willy Boyd followed with a single to center that allowed Walsh to score with two outs.
The Engineers would threaten in the top of the eighth but would not manage to bring anyone home.
The Lyons return to the diamond on March 29 at home for a NEWMAC game against Clark University. The game is set to begin at 3:30 p.m.