Worcester, MA --- WPI rallied in the 12th inning to defeat Wheaton, 3-2, in the first game of a NEWMAC Tournament semifinal doubleheader Sunday at Rocheleau Field. The Engineers ended up with a split, as the Lyons pulled away to beat the hosts, 12-3, in the nightcap.
That sets up a decisive third game of the series, which will take place at 1pm Sunday at Assumption College. The winner will face MIT in the NEWMAC Tournament championship.
Taylor Landry (Kennebunk, ME) and Dan Bettigole (South Windsor, CT) combined for a stellar performance on the mound in the opener. Landry started the game and allowed just two earned runs over eight innings, throwing 70 of his 109 pitches for strikes. Bettigole pocketed the victory, throwing four innings of scoreless ball to give the offense a chance to win it.
Sean Greene (Hingham, MA) began the 12th inning with a single down the third base line, moving to second on a sacrifice bunt and to third following an intentional walk and an error. Greene then came home on a walk-off wild pitch.
Greene and John Mulready (Rockland, MA) each had three hits in the first game as WPI (21-14, 9-8 NEWMAC) rallied back from a 2-0 deficit with runs in the seventh and eighth innings.
First, Sean Kelly (Shrewsbury, MA) doubled in DJ Ouellette (Watertown, CT) to pull it back to 2-1, and then in the eighth inning, Vinny D'Ambrosio (Mahopac, NY) walked and then scored on a fielder's choice by Mulready, tying it up, and sending the game to extra innings.
Wheaton starter Michael Bruemmel (Bridgewater, MA) kept the Lyons in it, going 7-1/3 innings and allowing one earned run. The Lyons had grabbed the 2-0 advantage on RBI triples by Tyler Contillo (Uncasville, CT) and Apolinar De La Cruz (Providence, RI) in the fourth and sixh innings respectively.
The visitors got another solid performance on the mound in the second game of the twin bill as freshman Brady Furdon (Natick, MA) went seven strong innings after a shaky start, scattering four hits and two runs for his fifth win of the season.
Blanchard also singled and scored in the eighth inning, playing a part in all three WPI runs, but he was the only Engineers' batter to muster multiple hits in the afternoon nightcap.
Meanwhile, the Wheaton bats hot as the visitors scored 12 consecutive runs. Shortstop Joshua LaJoie (Somers, CT) went 2 for 5 with a run scored in the first game, and upped the ante in the second, going a perfect 4 for 4 with a double, an RBI and three runs scored. Lajoie reached base seven times in all, also drawing a walk in the sixth inning of the second game.
Zach Bombard (Belchertown, MA) came through with a three-run triple in the top of the second inning to put the Lyons (23-11, 13-4) ahead for good, 3-2, at the time.
De La Cruz also had a big second game, going 3 for 5, driving in four runs and scoring three times. De La Cruz hit a solo home run to right center in the third inning and then went the other way to left center for a two-run shot in the sixth inning.
Wheaton's Justin Silvestro (Waltham, MA) had a pair of hits in each game for four on the day.
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