MANSFIELD, Conn. – Senior Hal Landers (Salem, N.H.) batted 4-for-5 including a pair of extra base hits and four RBI as top-seed Wheaton posted a 6-2 triumph in the opening round of the 2012 NCAA Division-III Baseball Mansfield Regional on Wednesday afternoon at Eastern Stadium.
Wheaton found success in the bottom of the second, despite both squads leaving a total of 11 runners on base in the first three innings, as Landers began his day with an RBI single to left field.
The Lyons added a pair of runs to their lead in the bottom of the sixth. Junior Dan Gusovsky (Andover, Mass.) laid down a bunt which was misplayed to help one base runner to score. Later in the frame, Landers legged out a single to collect his second RBI of the day.
Bridgewater responded in the top of the seventh as junior Tory Buck (Shelburne Falls, Mass.) delivered a run on a two-out single to left. A Lyon miscue later in the stanza helped another Bear base runner to score.
Junior Justin Connor (Arlington, Mass.) helped plate a run on a bunt with one out in the Wheaton eighth. Landers, the next batter, then connected on a triple down the right field line.
For the game, Bridgewater State stranded 16 base runners while the Lyons surrendered nine.
Freshman Apolinar De la Cruz (Providence, R.I.) with a pair joined Landers with a pair of hits while Gusovsky crossed home plate twice for the Lyons.
Buck went 3-for-5 with an RBI as senior Ian Williams (Taunton, Mass.) and junior Keane Costa (Fairhaven, Mass.) each had two hits for Bridgewater State.
Junior Frank Holbrook (Middletown, R.I.) remains undefeated (8-0) as he earned the win tossing a scoreless five frames allowing five hits and striking out three. Sophomore Ryan Grant (Easton, Mass.) collected his 10th save in 1.2 innings of work. Junior Jordan Wylie (Plymouth, Mass.) and senior David Longley (Brunswick, Maine) also saw time on the mound for the Lyons.
Senior Corey Batista (Fall River, Mass.) went 7.1 innings as he absorbs the loss (7-4) as he surrendered five runs – four earned – on eight hits and fanned four batters. Junior Bryant Warner (Harwich, Mass.) finished the contest for the Bears.
Both teams continue regional play tomorrow as No. 9 Wheaton (35-8) squares off with No. 21 Western New England at 4:30 p.m. Bridgewater State (30-14) faces Keene State in a 10:00 a.m. elimination bracket tilt.