Crazy Eights: Baseball Scores Eight in the Eighth to Win Second Game of NEWMAC DH vs Wheaton

Connor Kurtz

Northboro, MA --- Sophomore Steven Gallagher (Coventry, RI) batted 4-for-5 and freshman Tyrone Patterson (Upper Marlboro, MD) highlighted an eight run eighth inning in game two as WPI and Wheaton each won a game Saturday at the New England Baseball Complex. The Engineers rebounded from a 10-5 loss to secure an 11-8 victory. Junior Brady Furdon (Natick, MA) struck out a career-high 10 batters in game one while classmate Chris Ruocco (Lexington, MA) batted 6-for-8 with a walk, a pair of RBI and five runs scored on the day for Wheaton. 

Engineers are now 11-5 and the Lyons move to 6-6. Both are 1-1 in NEWMAC cross-divisional action.

Trailing 8-3 heading into the bottom of the eight of game two, WPI senior Joe Fainer (Thomaston, CT) began the game-winning sequence with an RBI single to right center. Sophomore Ryan Tropeano (Pembroke, MA) drew a bases loaded walk and represented the first out as junior Evan Lacroix (Methuen, MA) reached on an RBI fielder's choice. Senior Nick Comei (Haverhill, MA) followed with an RBI infield ground out. With two outs, graduate student Anthony Capuano (Stoneham, MA) singled in a run as Patterson delivered two with a single to right center. Gallagher capped the onslaught with an RBI double to center. Two Lyons reached in the top of the ninth before a fly out and a pair of strikeouts solidified the split.

Gallagher delivered the first run of the contest back in the second inning. Senior Josh LaJoie (Somers, CT) and freshman Nick Raposo (Johnston, RI) doubled and singled to make it 2-1 in favor of the Lyons in the top of the third. Tropeano evened it up with a two-out run-producing double in the fourth. Wheaton answered with a manufactured a run in the fifth. Ruocco led off with a double, moved to third on a sacrifice bunt and was plated with a sacrifice fly off Raposo's bat. Gallagher tied the game at 3-3 with a leadoff blast to right center in the sixth.

Wheaton went up 5-3 with a 2-RBI knock through the left side by sophomore Jared Sharkey (West Bridgewater, MA) in the seventh. The Lyons tacked on three more in the eighth thanks to an RBI single by senior Joey Santigate (Staten Island, NY) and a two-run swing to the outfield by Raposo.

Gallagher also had a home run, a double, three RBI and a pair of runs scored. Tropeano ended up 2-for-4 with a walk, an RBI and a stolen base. Capuano batted 2-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored. Patterson drove in two and crossed home plate twice in addition to a pair of walks. Senior Connor Kurtz (Lunenburg, MA) doubled and scored twice while Comei stole a base. Junior Steven D'Agostino (Worcester, MA) struck out four in the start and was followed by senior Dan Bettigole (South Windsor, CT). Senior Mike Duclos (Greenfield, MA) picked up the win and sophomore Doug Rives (Bethany, CT) tallied the save.

Ruocco was a perfect 4-for-4 with two doubles and four runs scored. LaJoie (BB, 2 2B, RBI, run) and Raposo (BB. 4 RBI) each went 2-for-3 as Sharkey touched home twice. The Lyons sent six to the mound with freshman Paul McGeehan (Winchester, MA) absorbing the loss. Junior Dan Southerland (Dartmouth, MA) fanned four as junior Joe Bongiovanni (Johnston, RI), freshman Trevor Marques (Lincoln, RI), junior Jimmy Gowen (Brielle, NJ) and freshman Andrew Iannucci (Wethersfield, CT) represented the remainder of the rotation.

WPI staked a 3-0 lead in the opener. After back-to-back hits in the home half of the second by Capuano and Lacroix, Patterson made it three in-a-row with an RBI knock to right. After a pair of swinging strikeouts, Tropeano enabled Patterson and Lacroix to touch home with a single to right. Wheaton cut the deficit to one with a two-put 2-RBI double by Sharkey in the top of the third.

The Lyons used RBI singles from Santigate and Raposo, and an RBI fielder's choice by LaJoie to push go ahead 5-3 after four. LaJoie later singled to center to add another in the fifth. Wheaton tacked on two more in the eighth on an RBI single by sophomore Casey Twomey (Biddeford, ME) and ground out by classmate Tyler Walsh (Cumberland, RI).

The Engineers got one back thanks to an RBI single to right by Lacroix in the bottom of the eighth. Two more Lyons scored in the ninth, this time on a 2-RBI hit to center by junior Matt Cook (Harwich, MA). Tropeano had the final say with a hit down the right field line in the 10-5 decision.

Tropeano (SB) batted 2-for-5 with three RBI as Capuano (2 runs, SB), Lacroix and Patterson (2B) all went 2-for-4 for WPI. Senior Mike Vaitkunas (Auburn, MA) pitched the first five followed by freshman Keith Scales (Upper Marlboro, MD), senior CJ Doskocil (Sterling, MA) and freshman Nick Colucci (Lynnfield, MA).

LaJoie (BB, RBI, 2 runs) and Sharkey (BB, 2B, 2 RBI) each went 2-for-5 as Santigate (BB, RBI, 2 runs) and Ruocco (BB, run) each batted 2-for-4. Raposo walked and scored twice to go with a hit and an RBI. Cook came off the bench to chip in with a pair of RBI. Furdon allowed three runs – two earned - on six hits and zero walks in seven innings. Freshman Zach Pipa (Rumford, RI), sophomore Justin Gallagher (North Attleboro, MA) and Gowen also saw time on the bump for Wheaton.

WPI hosts Emerson for another NEWMAC crossover game Tuesday beginning at 3:30pm. Wheaton is slated to host Amherst tomorrow for a 1pm single game.


Click HERE if the video does not appear below