Wheaton College senior shortstop Cavan Brady and sophomore teammate Ryan McCarroll proved on Friday why they were named some of their conference’s top baseball players of the year.
Brady, who was chosen the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference Baseball Athlete of the Year, went 4-for-4 with a double and a walk and drove in three runs. McCarroll, who was the conference’s Pitcher of the Year, tossed 7 ⅓ innings of five-hit, one-run ball.
Their performances helped Wheaton thump Bangor’s Husson University 11-3 in their first round game in the double-elimination NCAA Division III Baseball regional at Mitchell College in New London, Connecticut.
Husson, now 24-18, will take on the loser of the Mitchell-Tufts game in Saturday’s 8:30 a.m. elimination contest. Wheaton, ranked ninth in the latest College Baseball American Baseball Coaches Association poll, is 38-6 and will face the winner of the Tufts-Mitchell game at noon.
Wheaton, which has won 14 of its last 15 games, pounded out 14 hits.
The Lyons scored two runs in the second inning to take a lead they would never relinquish and added two more in the fourth before expanding the lead to 8-0 with a run in the fifth and two more in the sixth.
Brady triggered the first three rallies and capped the fourth one with a two-run single.
He led off the second with a single to center and he raced to third on Kevin Matos’ double to right. Two outs later, Tommy Ambrosone singled to left to drive them both in.
In the fourth, Brady began the rally with a double down the left field line and, one out later, Robert Wirtanen knocked him in with a double to left. Two Matt Wallingford wild pitches plated Wirtanen.
Brady reached on a two-out infield hit in the fifth and scored on Matos’ double to left.
In the sixth, Brady’s two-run single finished off a three-run rally after Timmy Wagner led off the inning with a solo homer, his third of the season.
Husson reached McCarroll for a run in the top of the seventh on Akira Warren’s base hit and Hunter Curtis’ RBI double.
Wheaton responded with three in the bottom of the seventh and Husson scored a pair of runs in the top of the ninth on an Ethan Stoddard double and RBI singles by Hunter Curtis and David York.
In addition to Brady, Matos, Wagner and Ambrosone were also repeat hitters with two apiece.
McCarroll struck out eight and walked two over his 7 ⅓ innings of work. He threw 109 pitches, 69 of which were strikes. He is now 9-1.
North Atlantic Conference Rookie of the Year Hunter Curtis doubled and singled for Husson while Warren and York had a pair of base hits apiece.
Sophomore Wallingford took the loss and is now 3-1. He allowed 10 hits and six earned runs in 5 ⅓ innings. He walked three and struck out one.