April 24, 2008

Wheaton Sets Back MIT in NEWMAC Tournament

April 24, 2008

Box Score

Courtesy Wheaton Sports Information

NORTON, Mass. - The Wheaton College baseball team is one win away from the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Tournament championship round, as the second-seeded Lyons scored Thursday's final 12 runs en route to a 13-2 second-round triumph over third seed MIT in the double-elimination tourney at Sidell Stadium.

Wheaton, which is ranked 12th nationally by the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA), advances to Saturday's semifinal round to face the winner of a game between MIT and sixth-seeded Clark University at host Babson College at 4:00 p.m. With today's victory, the Lyons won their fifth straight to improve to 29-7. The Engineers, now 16-14, play Clark in Saturday's first elimination game at 9:30 a.m.

After falling behind by a 2-1 score in the top of the third, the Wheaton bats came alive in the home half, collecting five runs on the strength of a pair of two-RBI singles from juniors Robert Foote and Nick Pecora. The Lyons added a run in the fourth to balloon their lead to 7-2 before tacking on three-run frames in the sixth and eighth.

Wheaton's offense exploded for 16 hits after yesterday's 22-hit onslaught against WPI. Junior righthander Adam Gingras improved to 6-0 on the hill after scattering six hits over eight innings with six strikeouts and one walk. Freshman southpaw Chad Kasik fired a scoreless ninth while fanning a pair of MIT batters.

Junior Chris D'Annunzio was saddled with the loss, surrendering six earned runs on three hits with one strikeout and three walks in 2.1 innings for the Engineers.

The hosts picked up the game's first run with a two-out rally in the opening frame, as senior Scott Guillerault drew a walk, advanced to second on a wild pitch and scored on freshman Sean Munley's flair to center.

MIT strung together four hits and plated two runs in the third, as senior Kevin Wheeler and freshman Brian Doyle poked run-scoring singles.

The Lyons only needed three hits to conjure up five runs in the bottom of the third, as a walk, single and hit batter jammed the bags with one out. Munley brought home a run with a walk, Foote's single up the middle scored two more, and Pecora's shot to center two batters later made it 6-2. Gingras settled in from there, going 1-2-3 in the fourth and limiting the visitors to one hit over his final five innings. Gingras retired 15 of 18 batters from the third through eighth frames.

Eight of Wheaton's nine starters recorded at least one hit, with Guillerault leading the charge at a 2-for-3 clip with three RBI, a trio of runs, a double, a walk and a hit by pitch. Foote, Pecora and sophomore Jeff Lieneck each smacked two hits and drove in two runs, Munley plated two runs, senior Ken Depasse went 2-for-3 with two runs, and sophomore Paul Malaguti scored twice. Lieneck notched a pair of doubles, and Pecora had a triple.

Wheeler finished 2-for-3 with the RBI and a walk for MIT, while junior Thomas Phillips was 2-for-4. The Engineers spread out four relievers over the final 5.2 innings.