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Western New England College falls to No. 16 Wheaton in final game of the regular season

Western New England College falls to No. 16 Wheaton in final game of the regular season
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SPRINGFIELD, Mass. - In a preview of a possible NCAA Division III Tournament game, junior second baseman Tad Skelley (Wolfeboro, NH) and freshman shortstop Eric Jensen (Gorham, NH) each had three hits to lead the 16th-ranked Wheaton baseball team to an 11-4 victory over Western New England College Tuesday (May 4) during Senior Day at windy Trelease Park.

The Lyons, who captured the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) title for the 10th time in last 12 years, improved their record to 30-8 with three games remaining in their regular season.

This was the final game of the regular season for Western New England College who has a 33-10 mark. The Golden Bears captured The Commonwealth Coast Conference (TCCC) title for the third straight year this past Sunday (May 2).

Both teams received automatic invitations to the national tournament after capturing their respective conference crowns and might meet one another in the New England Regional that begins in two weeks in Willimantic, Connecticut.

Wheaton took a 3-0 lead in the first before WNEC scored single runs in the first three innings to tie the score.

The Lyons broke the game open with five runs in the fourth with a two-run double by junior first baseman Sean Munley (Trenton, NJ) (2-4, 3 RBI).

Skelley finished with a pair of triples and scored three runs for the visitors while Jenson knocked in a pair of runs. Sophomore center fielder Hal Landers (Salem, NH) chipped-in with two singles, two runs, two RBI, and three stolen bases.

The Lyons used five pitchers with freshman Corey Laliberte (Fall River, MA) going the first five innings allowing only five hits and three earned runs with two strikeouts and three walks. He is now 5-1 in his rookie campaign.

Western New England College honored its three graduating seniors before the game, first baseman Joe Griglun (Southington, CT), right fielder Steve Kearney (Glastonbury, CT), and shortstop Justin Walz (Groton, CT).

Kearney singled and doubled while junior catcher Jason Leclerc (Chicopee, MA) had a pair of hits and a run. Freshman second baseman Mike Rubino (Northford, CT) drove in two runs with a single and fielders' choice.

Junior Zach Cloft (Glastonbury, CT) suffered his first loss in five decisions.

Western New England College had runners on base in every inning except the ninth, but stranded 12 on base.

Wheaton entered the game ranked second in the New England Intercollegiate Baseball Coaches Association (NEIBA) Division III Coaches Poll while WNEC was third.