Baseball Comes From Behind to Defeat Southern Me. in Game One; Sharkey Hits Grand Slam in Game Two

Baseball Comes From Behind to Defeat Southern Me. in Game One; Sharkey Hits Grand Slam in Game Two

NORTON, Mass. - The Wheaton College baseball team overcame a six run deficit to defeat the visiting Southern Maine Huskies 8-6 Sunday afternoon in game one of the non-conference double-header at Sidell Stadium. The Lyons did the same thing in game two, coming from behind to defeat the Huskies 5-3, behind a grand slam from Jared Sharkey

The Huskies struck first with three runs in the top of the first, before tacking on another three in the fourth. Jake Dexter, who finished the game 3-for-4 from the plate for Southern Maine, knocked in one of the runs, while also coming around to score once.

Despite trailing 6-0 through six complete, the Lyons had several chances to score, generating six of their 13 hits, stranding six runners.

Wheaton finally broke through in the bottom of the seventh, starting with a two-out double to right field by Josh LaJoie. Second baseman Chris Ruocco came around to score on the play. LaJoie came around to score next on an RBI single to center by first-year Nick Raposo. Now trailing 6-2, Wheaton kept the rally alive with a triple down the right field line from Sharkey that plated Raposo. Wheaton added one more run in the inning courtesy of a single down the right field line from pinch hitter Jimmy Gianquitti.

Jimmy Gowen, who came in to pitch in the fourth, made quick work of the Huskies in the eighth, setting up another four run inning from the Lyons. 

Like he did in the seventh, LaJoie got the rally started with his second double of the day. This time the senior shortstop doubled down the left field line, knocking in Joey Santigate, while moving Ruocco to third. Santigate led off the inning with a walk, while Ruocco singled to center. Raposo moved the runners with the next at bat, reaching on an error by the second baseman, which gave Ruocco time to come home. Matt Cook knocked in the winning and insurance run with a two RBI single through the left side.

First-year Paul McGeehan earned his second save of the season after replacing Gowan in the ninth. Brady Furdon started the contest, pitching 3.2 innings, giving up six runs on eight hits, while striking out one. Gowan earned his first win of the year after surrendering just three hits in 4.1 innings of action. 

Sharkey handed the Lyons, who played as the visitors in game two, a 4-3 lead in the top of the seventh with his first career grand slam. Goodwin-Boyd added the insurance run moments later with a double to left center that brought in Tyler Walsh.  

The Huskies took an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first, before scoring two more in the sixth. 

Cook and Ruocco led off the top of the seventh with back-to-back walks for Wheaton, which was followed by a single from LaJoie. The Huskies retired one batter before Sharkey stepped up to the plate and cleared the bases. Walsh followed Sharkey's at bat, reaching on a single to left which then forced Southern Maine to make a pitching change. Matt Correale came in for the Huskies, giving up the RBI double to Goodwin-Boyd, before retiring the next two batters. 

Dan Southerland picked up his first win of the season after pitching six complete, which saw the junior give up three runs on five hits. Joe Bongiovanni earned his first save of the season after replacing Southerland in the seventh. 

Wheaton returns to New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) action on Tuesday, April 4 at 3:30 p.m. against Clark University at Sidell Stadium.  

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