NORTON, Mass. – Senior Hal Landers (Salem, N.H./Salem) and junior Dan Gusovsky (Andover, Mass./Andover) each drove in two runs and senior Nolan Corr (Somersworth, N.H./Saint Thomas Aquinas) tossed a complete game for the No. 7 Wheaton College baseball team in a 10-3 win over Clark University in New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) action Friday afternoon at Sidell Stadium.
The win extends the Lyons (27-4, 14-2 NEWMAC) winning streak to eight games and clinches the No. 1 seed and home-field advantage throughout the conference tournament. Wheaton's 14 conference wins breaks the program's previous high of 13, which was set last season.
Clark (7-24, 3-13 NEWMAC) took an early 1-0 lead on an RBI single from senior Matthew Bohl (Amherst, Mass./Amherst Regional) in the first. The Lyons answered with a pair in their half of the frame. Landers singled to lead off the inning and scored two batters later on a triple off the bat of junior Sean Ryan (Norton, Mass./Norton). Senior Dan Haugh (Andover, Mass./St. John's Prep) followed with a sac fly to center to plate Ryan and give Wheaton a 2-1 lead.
In the second, freshman Kevin Foley (Southbury, Conn./Pomperaug) reached on an error and scored on a triple by senior John Keating (Duxbury, Mass./Duxbury) to push the lead to 3-1. Clark got one back in the third on an RBI single by senior Shawn Lamothe (Bellingham, Mass./Bellingham) before the Lyons struck for three in the fourth to build a 6-2 lead. Senior Dan Demeo (Glastonbury, Conn./Glastonbury) brought in the Lyons fourth run with an RBI groundout, and Landers followed with a two-run triple.
Wheaton added one in the fifth on an RBI single by Gusovsky for an 7-2 lead. Freshman Apolinar De la Cruz (Providence, R.I./Classical) drove in his team-leading 33rd run of the season in the seventh, and a sac fly by Gusovsky later in the inning brought in Haugh to make it 9-2. After the Cougars scored an unearned run in the eighth, Jensen's RBI single in the bottom of the frame gave Wheaton a 10-3 lead and capped the scoring.
Corr scattered seven hits and surrendered three runs (two earned) to earn his fifth win of the season. He did not walk a better and struck out four. Freshman Michael Mainuli (Glastonbury, Conn./Glastonbury), meanwhile, worked the first seven innings for the Cougars and allowed nine hits and nine runs (five earned). He walked two and struck out one to fall to 1-4.
"This is the first goal that we set for ourselves," said Lyons head coach Eric Podbelski about securing home-field advantage. "Now, it's time to refocus. It's nice, but there is still more to go. Today, Nolan struggled a bit early on, but around the fourth inning, he found his best arm slot and really settled in. He had good movement on his pitches and pounded the strike zone. Offensively, we were steady throughout the game. We got some base runners and some big hits, and we hustled today. Kevin Foley forces an error by hustling. Dan Gusovsky hits a ball that is a single almost every day, but he went hard out of the box and made it to second base."
De la Cruz finished the afternoon with two hits and now has at least one hit in 28 of the Lyons 31 games. Ryan also recorded two hits to extend his hitting streak to 13. He has hits in 27 of 31. Lamothe and freshman Dennis Glynn (Jamaica Plain, Mass./The Dexter School) each had two hits for Clark.
The Lyons and Cougars play a pair tomorrow in Worcester, beginning at noon.