Baseball Doomed by Late Wheaton Surge in Game One; Comeback Cut Short in Game Two

Vinny D'Ambrosio

Norton, MA --- Wheaton rallied in game one with 10 runs in the ninth inning to spearhead a sweep of WPI in a NEWMAC conference baseball doubleheader on Sunday afternoon.  The Lyons, the road team in the twin bill played at Sidell Stadium, took the opener 10-5 before posting a 6-5 victory in game two.   

Wheaton trailed 2-0 and were being one-hit headed to the top of the ninth before erupting for tens runs on seven hits.  Things started innocently enough when Joshua LaJoie (Somers, CT) began the frame by getting hit by a pitch.  The Lyons loaded the bases after Tyler Contillo (Uncasville, CT) flared a single to center and Apolinar De La Cruz (Providence, RI) walked before denting the scoring column on a Mike Beneduce (North Kingstown, RI) sacrifice fly to center.  WC took the lead 3-2 one batter later after Zachary Goodwin-Boyd (Florence, MA) drove in LaJoie with a bloop single to center and Contillo scampered home after an error.  Wheaton tacked on two more runs on a Justin Peluso (North Reading, MA) single to center and added run-producing singles from Zach Horton (North Attleboro, MA) and Jimmy Smith (Worcester, MA), and a RBI triple by De La Cruz along with a pair of runs on passed balls and one more on a wild pitch.     

WPI had taken an early 2-0 advantage with back-to-back single runs in the third and fourth innings.  Evan Lacroix (Methuen, MA) reached on an error, stole second and came home on a Vinny D'Ambrosio (Mahopac, NY) single to left center.  Sean Greene (Hingham, MA) began the bottom of the fourth with a sharp single up the middle and was chased home two pitches later when D.J. Ouellette (Watertown, CT) ripped a double to the center field wall.  The Engineers tried to mount a rally of its own after Wheaton's 10-run uprising in the ninth and netted three two-out runs on an error and an Alex Venditti (Newton, MA) two-run single before Michael Baryski (Walpole, MA) quelled the threat with a pop out.

Dan Southerland (Dartmouth, MA) was outstanding for the Lyons, picking up the win after not allowing an earned run in 3 1/3 innings of relief of starter Michael Bruemmel (Bridgewater, MA).  The decision was the first career victory for the freshman.  Taylor Landry (Kennebunk, ME), who only allowed a two-out single to Goodwin-Boyd in the seventh inning before the fateful ninth, was the hard luck loser for the Crimson and Gray.  It was the senior's first loss after winning his first three starts of the season.  

Wheaton never trailed in the night cap.  De La Cruz plated an unearned run in the first inning with a deep double to right center and LaJoie knocked home Smith with an RBI single down the right field line in the fifth inning.  The Lyons pushed their lead to 5-0 in the top of the sixth on an error and RBI infield singles off the bats of Smith and Matt Lavanchy (Walpole, MA).

WPI answered back in the bottom sixth when Venditti knocked in D'Ambrosio with a single to center.  Wheaton quickly countered in its next frame when a Thomas Landry (Hingham, MA) sacrifice fly plated Justin Silvestro (Waltham, MA).  Trailing 6-1 at the seventh inning stretch, the Engineers got back in the contest with a four-spot in the bottom of the seventh featuring two-run singles by D'Ambrosio and Venditti.  The comeback fell short, however, as the Engineers could only muster a hit over the final two innings.

Kyle Kasprzyk (East Falmouth, MA) worked the first five innings for the Lyons and was credited with the victory to move to 3-0.  Jimmy Gowen (Brielle, NJ) and Mike Bisceglia (New Boston, NH) combined to retire seven of the eight batters at the end of the game as Bisceglia earned his conference-leading fifth save. 

Starter CJ Doskocil (Sterling, MA) (1-2) shouldered the loss for the Engineers while reliever Dan Bettigole (South Windsor, Conn.) did not allow an earned run in four innings of work.  Nick Comei (Haverhill, MA) joined D'Ambrosio and Venditti with two hits each for WPI.

WPI (10-7, 1-3 NEWMAC) is back at it Monday, closing out at two-game conference set with Babson at 3:30pm at the New England Baseball Complex in Northboro.  Wheaton (8-3, 2-0 NEWMAC) begins a two-game home and home series with Clark on Tuesday at 3:30pm in Norton.