April 28, 2007

No. 7 Wheaton Stops Streaking Engineers, 6-1

April 28, 2007

Box Score

Courtesy Wheaton Sports Information

NORTON, Mass. - Junior righthander Louie Bernardini pitched into the ninth with zero earned runs and five hits allowed while sophomore Robert Foote went 3-for-4 with two RBI, leading top seed Wheaton College to a 6-1 baseball victory against third-seeded MIT in Saturday afternoon's New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Tournament semifinal round at Sidell Stadium.

Entering today ranked seventh nationally and first in New England according to the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA), the 26-10 Lyons advance to tomorrow's championship round for the third consecutive year and eighth time in the league's nine-year history. Wheaton will await the winner of Sunday morning's 11:00 a.m. elimination game between MIT and fourth seed Babson College. Babson edged seventh-seeded United States Coast Guard Academy, 5-4, in 10 innings in Babson Park earlier this afternoon.

Bernardini, who improved his season mark to 6-0, retired the first eight batters in order and nine of his first 10, setting up the offense's two-run frame in the bottom half of the third. A pair of sacrifice flies from senior Brandon Leonard and sophomore Nick Pecora gave the Lyons a 2-0 edge.

MIT (13-12) responded with consecutive singles from sophomore Steven Nunez and senior Jason Witzberger to open the fourth, but Bernardini forced a groundout to short followed by a strikeout and liner to center to end the inning.

The hosts doubled their advantage in the fourth, with Foote launching his third home run of the season off the scoreboard in right field to begin the frame. Four batters later, sophomore Karl Olson singled to left field and drove in junior Scott Guillerault.

Wheaton took a 6-0 advantage with a pair of runs in the sixth, as senior Travis Anthoine scored on an error and Foote brought Leonard around with a single to right.

MIT got on the board in the top half of the eighth when freshman Stewart Park plated sophomore Chris D'Annunzio on a sac fly to center. The Engineers put their leadoff runner on in the ninth, but sophomore reliever Jared Barnes closed the door with two fly outs and a strikeout.

Bernardini fanned six and walked one in eight-plus innings, while MIT sophomore Matt Loper took the loss after giving up four earned runs on three hits with two walks in three-plus innings. Offensively for the Lyons, Anthoine, Foote and Pecora turned in multiple-hit performances, including Anthoine and Pecora each going 2-for-4.