BOSTON, Mass. – Wheaton College (29-11) defeated Saint Joseph's College (33-12), 7-3, in an elimination game of the 2019 UMass.-Boston NCAA Regional Tournament at Monan Park on Saturday evening. The loss brings an end to the Monks' 2019 campaign.
Wheaton advances to the final day of the four-team tourney and will face UMass.-Boston tomorrow at 11:00 AM. As the pod's lone undefeated team, the Beacons need to win one of two games – if the second contest is necessary – to advance to the Super Regional. The UMass.-Boston Regional victor will face the winner of the University of Southern Maine pod in Super Regional play late next week.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
Trailing 2-0 in the bottom of the third, the Monks plated three runs off two hits and a Wheaton error to grab a 3-2 edge. Sophomore left fielder Kevin Aylward (East Bridgewater, Mass.) led off with a walk and later scored on a single off the bat of senior shortstop Joey Murphy (Derry, N.H.), who sprinted home when junior second baseman Drew Healey (Rochester, N.H.) lined a two-run single to left. Senior right fielder Jared Gagne (Dover, N.H.), who reached on a fielder's choice, also scored on the play.
The one-run advantage remained until the top of the fifth, when the Lyons grabbed the lead for good with two runs off four hits, as Conor Gammond (Spring Lake, N.J.) and senior Jared Sharkey (West Bridgewater, Mass.) produced run-scoring knocks.
The Monks were still within striking distance heading into the final frame, but Wheaton put the game away with three runs off four hits and a pair of SJC miscues in the top of the ninth.
ON THE MOUND:
SJC sophomore starter Zach Begin (Georgetown, Mass.) pitched well but falls to 6-1 on the year after yielding four runs (three earned) off nine hits with four strikeouts over six innings. Freshman George Welch (Derry, N.H.) and sophomore Jonathan Marchia (Chicopee, Mass.) combined to allow three runs (one earned) off six hits in the final three frames.
Wheaton sophomore starter Paul Prue (Dennis, Mass.) improves to 5-2 after giving up three runs (two earned) off three hits and two walks with a pair of K's over eight strong innings. Freshman reliever Zach Clesas (Johnston, R.I.) allowed one hit in an otherwise clean ninth inning to close out the contest.
OFF THE BAT:
- Healey was 1-for-3 with two RBI
- Murphy went 1-for-4 with a run and an RBI
- For Wheaton, sophomore Brody Ashley (Strafford, N.H.) was 3-for-4 with three runs, Bryant Salkind (Rochester, Mass.) went 3-for-5 with two doubles and an RBI, and Sharkey added two hits and a pair of RBI in five at-bats
TIP THE CAP:
Tonight's setback brings an end to collegiate baseball for the Monks' eight seniors: Murphy, Gagne, Anthony DiPrizio (Rochester, N.H.), Greg Emanuelson (Hudson, N.H.), Grayson Jennings (Mililani, Hawaii), Noah McDaniel (Eliot, Maine), Ray Mosca (Augusta, Maine), and Tim Verrill (Dover, N.H.). This senior class has been at the forefront for a program that posted a 119-48 (.713) overall record, including a 48-10 (.828) mark in Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) play, over the past four seasons.