Wheaton (Mass.) off to final round
Foley’s hot bat leads offensive charge, 5-for-5 on the day
GRAND CHUTE, Wis. -- Dan Haugh drove in three runs and Kevin Foley went 5-for-5 to send Wheaton (Mass.) to a 13-9 win against St. Thomas (Minn.) on Monday evening.
Dan Gusovsky and Apolinar De la Cruz each hit two-run home runs for the Lyons (41-9), who advanced to the national championship game for the second time in program history.
Trailing 5-3 entering the bottom of the third, the Lyons scored five times to take an 8-5 lead. Sean Ryan reached on a fielders choice, stole second and scored on an RBI single by Haugh to cut the Lyons deficit to one at 5-4.
De la Cruz followed with a two-run blast over the center-field fence to give Wheaton its first lead of the afternoon at 6-5 and chase Tommies’ starter Bryce Gapinski. Later in the frame, John Keating laced a two-run single through the right side that scored Gusovsky and Foley to make it 8-5.
Corey Laliberte, meanwhile, came on in relief of starter Nolan Corr and tossed a pair of shutout innings before running into trouble in the sixth, when St. Thomas struck for a pair to cut the Lyons lead to one at 8-7. Jack Hogan plated the first run with an RBI triple, followed by a sac fly off the bat of Tim Kuzinar.
In Wheaton's half of the sixth, Haugh drove in his second of the game with a sac fly to center that brought in Hal Landers and pushed Wheaton's lead back to two at 9-7. After the Tommies climbed to within one at 9-8 on an RBI single by Bruchu in their half of the eighth, the Lyons responded with four in their half of the inning to build a 13-8 lead. Landers scored on a wild pitch, Haugh hit a sac fly to center, and De la Cruz doubled home Ryan and then scored on a wild pitch to account for the Wheaton runs.
Ryan Grant -- who allowed one in the eighth after coming on in relief of David Longley -- loaded the bases in the ninth and surrendered one before slamming the door on St. Thomas.
Laliberte picked up his fourth win of the season after allowing four hits and three runs in 3.1 innings of work. Corr, meanwhile, surrendered seven hits and four runs with no walks or strikeouts and received a no-decision. Gapinski suffered his first loss of the season for the Tommies, allowing eight hits and eight runs (five earned) with no walks and two strikeouts in 2.1 IP.
Wheaton fell behind 3-0 in the top of the first behind five hits and a trio of errors. Dylan Thomas drove in the game's first run with a double to left-center, followed by an RBI single by Charles Bruchu to make it 2-0. Senior Nick Reichert followed with a single to left that led to the Tommies third run of the inning on an error by the Lyons.
In the bottom of the frame, Ryan tripled to right-center and scored on a wild pitch to bring the Lyons to within two at 3-1. The Tommies tacked on a run in the second on an RBI double by Bruchu, which chased Corr.
Wheaton answered with two in its half of the frame on Gusovsky's two-run home run over the left field wall to get to within one at 4-3. The round tripper was the first of the season for Gusovsky and his second in the NCAA Tournament. An RBI single by Dan Reichert extended St. Thomas' lead to 5-3 before the Lyons five-run rally in the third.
Foley's five hits tied the single-game record while Landers, De la Cruz, Gusovsky, and Eric Jensen each tallied two hits. D. Reichert went 4-for-5 for the Tommies.