NORTON, Mass. - Led by strong pitching performances from Michael Bruemmel and Brady Furdon, the Wheaton College baseball team won its 14th New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Tournament Championship in 18 seasons. The Lyons defeated runners-up Babson College 1-0 in the opening contest, before winning the second game of the day 5-1.
Babson concludes the season with a 24-16-1 overall record, while Wheaton improves to 30-11. With the win the Lyons earned the conference's automatic qualifier to the NCAA Tournament Regionals, which will begin on May 18 at Eastern Connecticut.
For his work in the two contests, junior shortstop Joshua LaJoie was named the tournaments Most Valuable Player. LaJoie finished the day 4-of-8 from the plate with two runs scored, while making a handful of stellar defensive plays.
Senior Matt Lavanchy also had a standout performance for the Lyons, finishing 2-for-6 with a walk, while coming up with several clutch plays in right field.
Connor Gill and Mark Webber paced the Beaver offense with both players ending the day 4-for-8.
GAME ONE: Babson 0 - Wheaton 1
Hurling his second longest game of the season, Bruemmel allowed just six hits in eight complete innings, while striking out two en route to his third win of the year. Senior Eric Dumas came in to close things out in the ninth, earning his NCAA leading 13th save of the year.
Babson's Teddy Carey was equally impressive, surrendering just five hits in seven innings of work, while striking out three. Carey's blemish one blemish came in the fifth when a wild pitch allowed Ryan McKeon to score from third.
GAME TWO: Babson 1 - Wheaton 5
The second game saw Furdon go seven complete, giving up one run on six hits, while striking out two. Senior Michael Baryski came in in the eighth to seal the victory for the Lyons.
Furdon's counterpart, Daniel Cooney went five complete, allowing three runs score on just six hits, while walking two and striking out three. Nick Ahearn surrendered the Lyons other two runs, taking the mound for 1.1 innings, while Graham Stack closed things out for the Beavers.
Wheaton plated, what would be the winning runs, in the bottom of the second, starting with a sacrifice fly by McKeon that allowed Justin Sellar to make his way home from third. Senior Jimmy Smith followed that with an RBI single up the middle that knocked in Joey Santigate.
A pitching duel broke out over the next two and half innings, before LaJoie scored on a Justin Silvestro sacrifice fly to right field in the fifth.
The Beavers earned the run back in the top half of the next inning when Jack Haplin knocked in Gill.
Lavanchy ended the scoring in the seventh with a one out, two-RBI single to center that sent in both Smith and LaJoie.