Norton, MA --- WPI was in a great position to secure a split of their New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) baseball doubleheader on Saturday, but nationally-ranked Wheaton got a two-run single in the bottom of the ninth to complete a sweep of the Engineers at Sidell Stadium.
The No. 19 Lyons overwhelmed WPI in the opening game, winning 14-0 before their late inning heroics led to a 4-3 victory in the night-cap.
WPI (6-6, 4-6 NEWMAC) and Wheaton (10-2, 5-1 NEWMAC) will play their regular season finale tomorrow. The doubleheader begins at 12:00 PM on the same diamond.
Game 1: Wheaton 14, WPI 0
The Lyons exploded for 11 runs over the first three innings and outhit WPI 12-4, while also taking advantage of four Engineer miscues.
Brody Ashley (Strafford, NH) was 4-4 for the Lyons, scoring three times and driving in a run. Zach DeMattio (N. Attleboro, MA), who started the scoring with an RBI single in the first, had two hits, scored three runs and picked up two RBIs.
Kyle Johns (Milltown, NJ) was 1-3 at the plate with a double, the only extra base hit of the day for WPI.
After taking a 2-0 lead, Wheaton put up six runs in the bottom of the second inning. Ashley and Jacob Studley (Barrington, RI) each had RBI doubles, and Mark D'Augelli (Redding, CT) also drove in a run with a single through the left side.
Studley was 2-3 with three runs scored, while D'Aguelli was on base twice with a run scored and two RBI.
Nick Croteau (Cumberland, RI) capped off the scoring barrage for Wheaton with a two-run homer to right in the bottom of the eighth.
WPI could not solve Wheaton starter Gavin Reilly (Bridgewater, MA), who went seven strong innings of shutout ball. He allowed just three hits and one walk, while striking out seven.
Zach Nichols (Chicopee, MA) and Zach Begin (Georgetown, MA) each threw scoreless innings of relief for the Lyons.
Dylan Connors (Westboro, MA) suffered the loss for WPI. He was charged with five earned runs over two innings. Ryan Malkowski (Hubbardston, MA) had a strong outing in relief, giving up just one unearned run over three innings with four strikeouts.
Game 2: Wheaton 4, WPI 3
Stephen Quigley (Halifax, MA) singled down the right field line with the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth as Wheaton walked off with the victory.
WPI took the lead three times only to have Wheaton answer with the tying run on each occasion.
They led 1-0 after the first half-inning when Joe Salvon (Longmeadow, MA) tripled home Connors to open the scoring.
Wheaton tied the game in the second with an unearned run, but TJ DellaCroce (Waxhaw, NC) brought home Salvon in the fourth with a single. DellaCroce was 3-4 and drove in two runs.
Studley tied the game for Wheaton again in the seventh on a wild pitch, and again DellaCroce delivered an RBI single, plating Michael Fraser (Mashpee, MA) in the top of the ninth.
Wheaton, who had an 11-8 edge in hits, loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the ninth, setting the stage for Quigley, who scored D'Augelli and Cody Cavanagh (Holyoke, MA).
WPI starter Everett Wonson (Wenham, MA) struck out three batters over six and a third innings. He went toe to toe with Wheaton's Griffin Young (Dover, NH), who struck out seven and allowed just two earned runs over the first eight frames.
Josh Roberge (Chelmsford, MA) ended up earning the win for the Lyons, while Carter Bach (Albany, NY) suffered the loss.