Worcester, MA --- Eric Jensen (Gorham, NH) batted 4-for-5, including a grand slam, to lift Wheaton past WPI 10-7 to open a three-game NEWMAC series on Friday night at Fitton Field on the campus of Holy Cross. With the win, Wheaton improves to 20-7 overall and 11-5 in the league, while WPI falls to 11-19 on the season and 7-9 in the NEWMAC.
Wheaton crossed home plate twice in the first. Hal Landers (Salem, NH) led off with a double down the left field line and Eric Laliberte (Nashua, NH) walked. Dan Haugh (Andover, MA) reached on a fielder's choice to score Landers and an error brought in Laliberte.
WPI took a 3-2 lead in the second on a Matt Blakeman (Bedford, NH) 2-RBI single up the middle and a wild pitch.
The Lyons grabbed a run back in the third when Haugh scored on a sacrifice fly from Dan Gusovsky (Andover, MA) to tie the game at three.
WPI regained the lead in the fourth with a RBI-single by Nick Bean (Middleboro, MA).
Tad Skelley (Bronx, NY) doubled to left center to lead off the sixth. Landers and Laliberte each were hit by a pitch to load the bases for Jensen's grand slam to left field. A Gusovsky double to left allowed another run to score to take an 8-4 lead.
In the bottom of the frame, the bases were loaded for Bean who smacked a 3-RBI triple to bring the Engineers back to within a run at 8-7. Bean was thrown out at the plate trying to stretch it to a homer and tie the game.
Hadi Raad (Hastings-on-Hudson, NY) walked and scored on a Landers triple in the seventh. A run producing single by Raad enabled Skelley to score an insurance run in the ninth.
Eric Johnson (Rutland, MA) began the day on the mound for the Crimson and Gray allowing three runs on eight hits and striking out three over five innings. Kyle Boucher (Manchester, NH) absorbed the loss giving up six runs on seven hits in three innings of work. Rounding out the days rotation was Forrest Dwyer (Winthrop, ME) who surrendered the final run on two hits in one inning for the Engineers.
For the Lyons, Nolan Corr (Somersworth, NH) allowed four earned runs on six hits and four strikeouts in the first five innings. Kevin Calabro (Andover, MA) gave up a run in 1 2/3 as David Longley (Brunswick, ME) and Ryan Grant (Easton, MA) combined to strike out three and did not allow a hit in the final 2 1/3 innings.
At the plate for the Engineers, Bryan Watkins (Belmont, MA), Bean and Blakeman each notched a pair of hits, while Bean also recorded four RBI. Joining Jensen in the multiple hit club were Sean Munley (Ewing, NJ) and Skelly with three and Landers, Laliberte and Skelley with a pair. The trio also plated two runs apiece.
Both teams meet again on Saturday in Norton, MA for a noon doubleheader to close out conference regular season action.
Story by Mark Therrien - WPI Athletics