junior Frank Holbrook (Middletown, R.I./Portsmouth Abbey) tossed eight innings of six-hit ball and senior Hal Landers (Salem, N.H./Salem) drove in three runs as the Lyons baseball team used a five-run ninth to snap Cortland State's 23-game winning streak with a 6-1 win Sunday afternoon at the College World Series at Fox Cities Stadium.
Junior Dan Gusovsky (Andover, Mass./Andover) drove in what proved to be the game-winning run with an RBI groundout in the ninth for the Lyons, who improved to 40-9 on the season and advance in the winner's bracket to face the winner of this afternoon's contest between Marietta and St. Thomas Monday at 4:30 p.m.
Ranked No. 9 in the latest D3baseball.com poll, the Lyons - who have won seven of their last eight games - reach the 40-win plateau for the second time in program history while the Red Dragons fall to 40-8-1 on the season. They entered the game No. 2 in the D3baseball.com poll and had not lost since April 4 when they fell at St. John Fisher 4-3.
With the game tied at one entering the ninth, junior Sean Ryan (Norton, Mass./Norton) picked up Wheaton's first extra base hit of the afternoon with a double to left-center field. He advanced to third on a sac bunt by senior Dan Haugh (Andover, Mass./St. John's Prep). Following an intentional walk to freshman Apolinar De la Cruz (Providence, R.I./Classical), Gusovsky reached on a fielders choice to shortstop, which allowed Ryan to score from third and put the Lyons in front 2-1.
Freshman Kevin Foley (Southbury, Conn./Pomperaug) then made it 3-1 with an RBI single up the middle that brought in De la Cruz, and junior Justin Connor's (Arlington, Mass./Arlington) squeeze bunt allowed Gusovsky to score the team's fourth run of the game. Landers two-run single up the middle brought in Foley and senior John Keating (Duxbury, Mass./Duxbury) and capped the scoring.
Sophomore Ryan Grant (Easton, Mass./Oliver Ames) came on in relief of Holbrook to start the ninth and allowed a leadoff single before retiring the next three hitters to earn his 14th save of the season and fifth of the NCAA Tournament. Holbrook, meanwhile, did not walk a batter and fanned a season-high eight batters to earn his program-record 10th win of the season. He retired 11 in a row at one point.
Cortland St. grabbed an early 1-0 lead on a two-out double by junior John Adornetto (Commack, N.Y.) and an RBI single by classmate Michael LaTempa (LaGrangeville, N.Y.). Wheaton tied the game in the third when Foley was hit by a pitch leading off the inning and scored on an RBI groundout to first base by Landers.
Senior Aaron Schuldt (Liverpool, N.Y.) started on the bump for the Red Dragons and surrendered seven hits and six runs (five earned) with two walks and three strikeouts to fall to 8-2 on the season. He was also the losing pitcher in their loss to St. John Fisher.
Ryan, Haugh, and Foley each finished with a pair of hits for Wheaton while Adornetto went 3-for-4 for the Red Dragons, who will play the loser of the Marietta-St. Thomas contest in an elimination game Monday at 10 a.m.