WORCESTER – Sophomore pitcher Dan Southerland (Dartmouth, MA) struck out five in an eight-inning appearance while junior Joey Santigate (Staten Island, NY) batted 3-for-4 with a pair of RBI and a pair of runs scored as third-seeded Wheaton claimed the NEWMAC Baseball Championship best-of-three semifinal series with a 7-2 game three victory over second-seeded WPI Sunday afternoon at Clark's Granger Field.
The Engineers won yesterday's opener 4-2 and the Lyons emerged with the 7-4 triumph in 11 to force today's decisive matchup.
Wheaton (27-11) will host next week's championship series as fourth-seeded Babson upset top-seeded MIT in the other semifinal set. WPI (26-13) now awaits a potential ECAC Division III New England Championship bid. Selections will be announced Monday, May 9th.
Senior Justin Silvestro (Waltham, MA) doubled in a run in the first as Santigate chased home a runner with an RBI single in the second. Freshman Tyler Walsh (Cumberland, RI) represented what proved to be the game-winning run as he scampered home on a passed ball in the fourth.
Two more Lyons scored in the fifth courtesy of a pair of miscues.
Each side scored in the sixth as Santigate homered for the guests before senior John Mulready (Rockland, MA) laced a run-producing single through the left side. Mulready's sacrifice fly in the eighth made it a 6-2 ballgame.
Senior Matt Lavanchy (Walpole, MA) had the final say with an RBI single to right in the top of the ninth.
Lavanchy went 2-for-3 with a walk, an RBI and a run scored as Walsh and junior Joshua LaJoie (Somers, CT) each scored twice. LaJoie, Lavacnhy, Silverstro, Walsh and Santigate all had at least one extra-base hit. Senior Jordan Jenkins (Scituate, MA) pitched the final frame.
Senior Vinny D'Ambrosio (Mahopac, NY) batted 3-for-5 with a run scored in the leadoff spot to go along with a 2-for-4 day by classmate Alex Venditti (Newton, MA). Mulready added a pair of RBI. Juniors Aidan Freeburg (Billerica, MA) and Dan Bettigole (South Windsor, CT) combined to fan five Lyons.