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Baseball Tops MIT, Falls To Wheaton

NORTON, Mass., April 27, 2003 -- After splitting two games on Sunday in the double-elimination New England Men's and Women's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Baseball Tournament, third-seed Springfield College returns home to face fourth-seed Coast Guard in an elimination game at 3:30 p.m. Monday afternoon at Berry-Allen Field. The winner will take on Wheaton in the championship game on Tuesday at 3:30 p.m. for the right to advance to the NCAA Division III Championship.

Game 1: SC 17, MIT 4
Third-seeded Springfield College scored 17 runs on 19 hits on its way to a 17-4 victory over the seventh-seeded Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the semifinal round NEWMAC Tournament on Sunday afternoon.

Springfield scored two quick runs in the bottom of the first inning, as junior Toby Cole (Blue Hill, Maine) and senior Dave Folli (Endicott, N.Y.) hit back-to-back singles with one out. Senior Brian Pulchalski (South Deerfield, Mass.) then walked to load the bases, and sophomore John Beattie (Longmeadow, Mass.) followed with a two-run single to left.

After adding another run in the fourth, the Pride erupted for four in the fifth to take a commanding 7-0 lead. Sophomore Michael Judge (Chatham, N.J.) and junior Dan Samia (North Adams, Mass.) each recorded RBI-doubles in the inning, while first-year Adam Tarquini (Fishkill, N.Y.) drove in another run with a single. Three of the four runs were unearned, thanks to a pair of costly MIT errors.

Springfield starter Aaron Linder (Oneida, N.Y.) was brilliant on the mound for the Pride, retiring the first 12 batters he faced before surrendering a leadoff single to first-year Kyle Zeller in the fifth. The senior right-hander still carried the shutout into the top of the sixth, when MIT finally got on the board with three runs. After the Engineers loaded the bases with one away, sophomore Aaron Kent drove in his team's first run with an RBI-groundout back to Linder. First-year Warren Bates then knocked in two more with a double, as MIT cut its deficit to four at 7-3.

That would prove to be as close as the Engineers would get the rest of the way, as Springfield scored ten runs in the final three innings to put the game out of reach. Puchalski hit a solo home run in the sixth and senior Dan Abrahamson (South Deerfield, Mass.) added a three-run shot as part of a seven-run seventh to give the Pride a 17-3 lead. MIT would plate a run in the top of the ninth, but Linder recorded his fifth strikeout to end the ball game as Springfield advanced with the 17-4 victory.

Linder gave up four runs on seven hits in nine innings, as he improved to 5-2 on the season. MIT sophomore Cliff Roscow went seven innings in the loss for the Engineers, giving up 15 runs, of which only five were earned.

Game 2: Wheaton 8, SC 7
Box score/Play-by-play

Top-seeded Wheaton College used a four-run sixth inning to turn a 4-3 deficit into a 7-4 lead, as the Lyons withstood a late Springfield College comeback and escaped with an 8-7 victory in Sunday's third semifinal round contest at Sidell Stadium.

After trading runs following the first inning, the Lyons took a 2-1 edge in the bottom of the second. Senior Brett Edmunds hit a one-out single, advanced to second with a stolen base and eventually scored on a Mark Brown single to center field. SC bounced back to reel off three runs on three hits on one Wheaton error in the top of the fourth. Highlighting the frame was a two-run double down the left field line by junior Toby Cole (Blue Hill, Maine).

Wheaton cut the deficit to 4-2 in the bottom of the frame, when freshman Rafael Castillo singled home Edmunds, who reached base on a double to right center. In the sixth, the hosts took the lead for good, using six hits to plate four runs for a 7-4 lead that would not be relinquished. Senior Scott Beattie scored the first run on a passed ball while Brown and juniors Tim Ziakas and John Ablondi all drove in runs for the Lyons.

The Pride tallied two runs in the top of the seventh to narrow the gap to 7-6, but Wheaton added a critical insurance run in the eighth, thanks to a Castillo sacrifice fly. Springfield threatened in the eighth, drawing consecutive walks to place two runners on with nobody out. Following a fly out to center, freshman lefty Mark DeMasse put a halt to the rally attempt by retiring the next two batters on strikes. In the ninth, SC used a single coupled with consecutive Wheaton throwing errors and a wild pitch to pull within one run. DeMasse then closed the door on the Pride, striking out three straight batters to record his third save of the season.

Wheaton's Bryan Duplissie improved to a 4-0 on the mound, allowing nine hits with four strikeouts and a walk in six innings of work. Junior Todd Royce (Chester, N.H.) took the loss for Springfield, allowing seven runs on eight hits with five strikeouts and two walks in six innings.
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