BABSON PARK, Mass.—Senior Dan Gusovosky (Andover, Mass.) broke a 3-3 deadlock with a sacrifice fly in the top of the seventh inning and sophomore Apolinar De la Cruz (Providence, R.I.) singled home sophomore John Peluso (North Andover, Mass.) in the top of the eighth inning, and No. 10 Wheaton College held on for a 5-4 victory over Babson College in New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) baseball action on Friday afternoon at Govoni Field.
With its fifth victory in the last six games Wheaton moved to 10-5 overall and stayed perfect at 4-0 in NEWMAC play while Babson falls to 7-5 overall and 2-2 in the conference.
Gusovsky drove in three runs and was one of six players to register two hits on the day for the Lyons, while De la Cruz, sophomore Tyler Contillo (Montville, Conn.), and seniors Sean Ryan (Norton, Mass.) and Eric Jensen (Gorham, N.H.) each scored a run and had two hits.
Sophomore Sean MacPhee (Framingham, Mass.) went 1-for-3 with a home run and two RBI to lead the Beavers, who got two hits apiece from seniors Trevor Boyce (Canton, Mass.) and Conor Kortmann (Manalapan, N.J.), as well as sophomore Dillon Gonzalez (Beverly, Mass.)
Wheaton got on the board first, grabbing an early 1-0 lead in the top of the second inning as Jensen hit a one-out double to left center field and Contillo followed with an RBI double to right center. Babson rallied in the bottom of the third inning, stringing together four hits and an error to plate three runs. MacPhee led off with his first home run of the season over the right field fence to tie the game and Gonzalez and sophomore Rob Caggiano (Medford, Mass.) followed with back-to-back singles. Boyce then reached on a bunt single down the third base line, bringing home Gonzalez as the throw to first got away, giving the Beavers a 2-1 lead, and Caggiano scored one batter later on senior John Botelho's (Tempe, Ariz.) sacrifice fly, pushing the advantage to 3-1.
Wheaton wasted little time in rallying, as Ryan and De la Cruz opened the top of the fourth inning with back-to-back singles, and after a Jensen sacrifice bunt and a Contillo pop-out, Gusovsky smacked a two-out double down the left field line to pull the Lyons even at 3-3.
The Beavers staged one final rally in the ninth inning as Kortmann hit a one-out single through the right side and first-year George Crowley (Watertown, Mass.) walked, chasing Wheaton starter Frank Holbrook (Middletown, R.I.). Lyons' closer Ryan Grant (Easton, Mass.) hit junior Brendan Collins (Abington, Mass.) with his second pitch to load the bases and one batter later, MacPhee flied out to centerfield, scoring pinch runner Shea Rosadino (Devon, Pa.). Grant then walked Gonzalez to load the bases, but induced a ground out to first base to halt the rally and seal the win.
Holbrook went 8 1/3 innings for Wheaton, scattering nine hits and giving up three earned runs, to move to 4-0 on the season while Grant earned his fifth save of the season. Junior Matt Grenier (Rochester, N.H.) took the loss for Babson, going 7 1/3 innings and giving up four earned runs on 11 hits while striking out two.
Babson and Wheaton will complete their three-game series with a doubleheader tomorrow in Norton starting at 12:00pm.
GAME NOTES: Friday's game marked the sixth time in the last year that Babson and Wheaton have played…Wheaton now holds a 24-14 lead all-time in a series that dates back to 1998, including three straight wins dating back to last season…Wheaton is now 3-1 in one-run games this season while Babson falls to 0-2 in one-run games.