Bears Swept at Wheaton

NORTON, MASS.--(3/24/12)--Alec Palioca tossed a complete-game shutout in the opener and junior Dan Gusovsky drove in four runs in the nightcap as the No. 10 Wheaton College baseball team ran their win streak to 12 games with a doubleheader sweep of Coast Guard in New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) action Saturday afternoon at Sidell Stadium.

Freshman Apolinar De la Cruz extended his hitting streak to 12 games while juniors Eric Jensen and Sean Ryan each stretched their hit streaks to seven as the Lyons (12-1, 6-0 NEWMAC) won game one 3-0 and game two 7-5. Following a season-opening loss to nationally-ranked Cortland State, Wheaton has won 12 consecutive games for the first time since April 15-May 1, 2010, sweeping the season series from conference foes MIT and Coast Guard in the process.

Paloica and Coast Guard junior Curt Barrett each worked three scoreless innings to start game one before Wheaton took a 1-0 lead in the fourth. Senior Dan Haugh and De la Cruz each drew two-out walks before both Gusovsky and senior John Keating were hit by pitches to bring in the first run of the game.

The Lyons doubled their lead in the fifth when Jensen drew a two-out walk and came around to score on a single by Haugh. They tacked on an insurance run in the sixth on an RBI single by senior Dan Demeo.

Palioca scattered six hits, walked one and struck out eight to improve to 2-0 on the season. Barrett, meanwhile, allowed five hits and three runs (two earned) with four walks and one strikeout. Senior Chris Izurieta recorded two hits for the Bears.

Coast Guard took advantage of three Wheaton errors to take a 4-0 lead midway through the third. Junior Ed Sella plated the first run of the game with a triple down the right field line in the second inning. Izurieta followed with a sac fly to center to bring in Cella and give the Bears a 2-0 lead. In the third, juniors Tyler Babkiewich and Joe Petry each scored on throwing errors to stretch the Bears lead to 3-0.

Wheaton answered with three runs in its half of the third to cut the Bears lead to one. Haugh drew a bases-loaded walk to bring in the Lyons first run, followed by a two-out, two-run double down the right field line by Gusovsky.

The Bears added another unearned run in the fifth when Babkiewich reached on a fielding error and scored on a throwing error to make it a 5-3 game. In the bottom half of the inning, Ryan led off with a single and advanced to third on a double by De la Cruz. Gusovsky followed with a double to left center that brought in both runners and tied the game at five. Keating capped the scoring with a two-run blast to left center to put Wheaton in front for good at 7-5.

Junior Corey Laliberte worked the first 4.2 innings for Wheaton and allowed four hits and five runs (two earned) with two walks and three strikeouts. Sophomore Nick Filloramo came on in relief of Laliberte in the fifth and worked 1.1 innings of scoreless relief to earn his first win of the season – less than 48 hours after earning a save in a 14-inning win at Endicott. Freshman Ben Johnson and senior David Longley each pitched one scoreless inning of relief before sophomore Ryan Grant worked a scoreless ninth to earn his fourth save of the season.

Keating finished game two 2-for-3 with two RBI while Ryan, De la Cruz, Gusovsky, and senior Hal Landers each tallied two hits.

Junior Riley Beecher allowed seven runs and ten hits in 4.1 innings in suffering his first loss of the season. He walked three and struck out two. Sella, junior Nolan Gallagher, and sophomore David Wolinski each recorded two hits for the Bears (7-10, 2-4 NEWMAC).