juniors Sean Ryan (Norton, Mass./Norton) and Eric Jensen (Gorham, N.H./Gorham) each recorded four hits as the No. 6 Wheaton College baseball team posted a 15-5 win over Springfield College in New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) action Tuesday afternoon at Sidell Stadium.
The Lyons (21-4, 10-2 NEWMAC) pounded out a season-high 23 hits and saw every member of the starting lineup notch at least one hit en route to a regular season series sweep of the Pride (12-11, 7-5 NEWMAC). Earlier this season, the Lyons swept three-game series from Coast Guard and MIT.
Jensen was one of three Lyons to drive in three runs, joining senior Dan Haugh (Andover, Mass./St. John’s Prep) and junior Dan Gusovsky (Andover, Mass./Andover). Jensen and Haugh also scored three runs each while Ryan has now hit safely in 21 of the Lyons 25 games this season.
Freshman Apolinar De la Cruz (Providence, R.I./Classical) went 3-for-5 with two RBI and has at least one hit in 22 games. Senior John Keating (Duxbury, Mass./Duxbury) was 2-for-3 with a pair of runs scored for Wheaton, which moved up four spots in this week’s D3baseball.com poll and received one first-place vote.
Sophomore Mike McGinnis (Mashpee, Mass./Mashpee) struggled to find his command but worked his way through five innings to improve to 3-0. He surrendered eight hits and four runs (three earned) with four walks and one strikeout. Head coach Eric Podbelski used a trio of relief pitchers over the final four innings to finish out the contest.
Haugh and Gusovsky picked up run-scoring doubles in the first to turn a 1-0 deficit into a 3-1 lead. After the Pride tied the score in the second behind a two-run double by freshman Steve Starr (Lebanon, Conn./Lyman Memorial), Wheaton scored twice in its half of the second and six times in the fourth to open up an 11-3 lead. Jensen and senior Hal Landers (Salem, N.H./Salem) drove in runs in the second, and a two-run double by Ryan and a two-run triple by Gusovsky in the fourth sparked the six-run outburst.
Wheaton added four more in the sixth – two coming on a double by De la Cruz – to stretch its lead to 15-4. Freshman Shane O’Leary (Kings Park, N.Y./Kings Park) plated a run for Springfield with an RBI single in the seventh to cap the scoring.
“We swung the bats really well,” said Lyons head coach Eric Podbelski. “We took advantage of any mistakes the pitchers made. Mike didn’t have his best stuff today, but he gutted his way through five and kept us from having to go to our bullpen early. The offense picked him up today. I feel like our guys are starting to feel more comfortable swinging the bats.”
Sophomore Eric Chase (Vernon, Conn./Mount Saint Mary) took the loss for Springfield, allowing 11 hits and nine runs (eight earned) in 3.1 innings of work. He walked one and struck out one. Starr finished 2-for-5 with two RBI while sophomore Mike McGowan (Franklin, Mass./Franklin) recorded three hits.
Wheaton returns to action on Friday when it welcomes WPI to Norton for a 3:30 p.m. contest.