Arena’s Walk-Off Homer Caps Comeback, Lifts Babson Over Wheaton in Series Finale, 8-7

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Beavers Erase Seven-Run Deficit, Extend Home Winning Streak to 15 with Five-Run Ninth 

BABSON PARK, Mass.—Senior Ryan Arena (Yorktown Heights, N.Y.) hit a three-run homer to cap a five-run ninth inning as Babson College erased a 7-0 deficit to defeat visiting Wheaton College, 8-7, in New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) baseball action on Sunday afternoon at Govoni Field.

Babson, which has won nine straight games, completed a three-game sweep of the Lyons to improve to 16-7 overall and 7-2 in league play. Wheaton slips to 10-12 overall and 5-4 in the NEWMAC with the loss.

Arena had two hits and scored twice, junior Nicholas Browne (Mount Laurel, N.J.) hit a two-run homer, and sophomore Jake Oliger (Newtown, Conn.) went 1-for-3 with two runs batted in for the Beavers. Senior Mark Webber (Norwell, Mass.) also added a pair of hits and sophomore William Gallagher (Kingston, Mass.) tossed three scoreless innings of relief to earn the win and improve to 2-0 on the year.

Sophomore Nick Raposo (Johnston, R.I.) was 3-for-3 with an RBI and two runs scored, while junior Conor Gammond (Spring Lake, N.J.) and senior Ryan McKeon (Johnston, R.I.) each had two hits and combined to drive in three runs for the Lyons. Sophomore Trevor Marques (Lincoln, R.I.) started and struck out four while allowing just two hits over the first four innings, but five relievers were tagged for eight runs on seven hits and three walks over the final five frames.

Wheaton scored twice in each of the first two frames, tacked on two more runs in the sixth thanks to a McKeon RBI double and a wild pitch, and used a two-out RBI single by junior Jared Sharkey (West Bridgewater, Mass.) to extend the margin to 7-0 in the top of the sixth. After being limited to just two hits over the first five innings, the Green and White got back in the game with three runs in the last of the sixth. Webber drove in senior David Lennon (Windermere, Fla.) with an infield single and Oliger followed with a two-out, two-run single through the left side to cut the deficit to 7-3.

Lyons' sophomore Zach Pipa (Rumford, R.I.) got a double play to end the eighth, but Babson got to first-year closer John Mikosz (Southington, Conn.) for the second day in a row to start the ninth. Oliger worked a four-pitch walk and Browne crushed a two-run homer to right to make it 7-5. Junior Connor Gill (Sterling, Mass.) and Lennon both walked on five pitches to put the tying run on base and after a pitching change, Arena drilled junior Joe Bongiovanni's (Johnston, R.I.) first pitch over the wall in right center to complete the comeback.

Mikosz, who retired just one batter, gave up four runs on one hit and three walks. Bongiovanni took the loss and dropped to 0-2 on the year.

Babson returns to action on Monday when it travels to UMass Dartmouth at 3:30 p.m., while Wheaton visits WPI on Tuesday at 3:30 p.m.

• The Beavers are 25-42 all-time against Wheaton and have won six in a row in the series for the first time in program history.
• Babson has won four games in its final at-bat this season and is 4-2 in contests decided by a single run.
• Webber and Oliger extended their hitting streaks to 11 and nine games, respectively, on Sunday.
• The Green and White has won 15 consecutive games at Govoni Field going back to April 22 of last season.