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No. 12 Wheaton Sweeps Baseball In NEWMAC-Opener Doubleheader

Drew Michael Game 1 Box Score

Game 2 Box Score

Norton, Mass. - March 22, 2009 - The Springfield College baseball team dropped a pair of games on Sunday afternoon in its New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) opener at Wheaton College. Springfield fell in the opener 12-3 before dropping an 8-3 decision in the second game.

In a rematch of the 2008 NEWMAC Tournament final, the nationally-ranked the Lyons picked up a pair of wins over the Pride on Sunday in Sidell Stadium. The Lyons, who are ranked 12th in the D3baseball.com poll, opened their home slate by improving to 12-1 on the season. The Pride is now 3-7.

In the opener, Wheaton snapped a 1-1 tie with 11 straight runs, going ahead for good in the second inning before tacking on four runs in the third and six more in the fifth. Sophomore Eric Laliberte's groundout in the second made it 2-1 before classmate Sean Munley launched his first home run of the season during the third to start a four-run outburst. Junior Jason Clucas drove a two-run double into the right field gap later in the inning.

The hosts added six runs on one hit in the fifth, as freshman Dan Demeo smacked a two-run single and Clucas, junior Jeff Lieneck, sophomore Alex Rossi and freshman Hal Landers each plated a run.

Senior Adam Gingras improved to 3-0, yielding one earned run on six hits over five-plus innings. He fanned five before junior Jon Shepard tossed the final two innings. Clucas drove in a team-high three RBI, Munley was 2-for-3 with two RBI, while junior Paul Malaguti was 2-for-2 with three runs. Nine different Lyons combined for 11 hits, and the team drew 10 bases on balls while striking out only once.

Senior John Procopio was 2-for-3 with a triple and two RBI for the Pride, while classmates Drew Michael and Ryan Tatreau and junior Joe Kropa also added two hits each. Classmate Brayton Chase suffered the loss, allowing six earned runs in four-plus innings.

During the second contest, the Lyons scored five runs in the eighth inning to snap a 3-3 tie. Demeo's bunt single plated freshman Dan Haugh to break the deadlock before Lieneck, senior Nick Pecora and sophomore Hadi Raad smacked RBI doubles. Landers drove in another Lyon during the frame.

Haugh's two-out RBI single gave the Lyons a 1-0 lead in the first before Pecora's sacrifice fly made it 2-0 the following inning. Springfield put runners on the corners with no one out in the sixth before the Lyons escaped major damage, yielding just one run on junior Rob Malaspina's groundout. After Malaguti poked a home run off the right field scoreboard in the sixth, the visitors knotted the contest with two runs the following inning, with Michael plating a run before Kropa's RBI single through the left side made it 3-3.

Senior Louie Bernardini struck out a career-high nine batters in 6.1 innings but received a no-decision. Classmate Jared Barnes tossed 1.2 frames of one-hit relief for the win, and senior Josh Simmons fanned three during a four-batter ninth inning. Haugh finished 3-for-4, Pecora had two hits and two RBI, while Demeo, Lieneck and Raad added a pair of knocks apiece.

Kropa and senior Jamie Mackie each had three hits, and sophomore Mario Piscitelli had two. Junior Chris Collard took the loss.

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