April 22, 2005

Engineers Rally In Ninth to Beat Babson, 3-2

April 21, 2005

Box Score

BABSON PARK, Mass. - MIT (18-8, 7-3) took control of second place in the NEWMAC standings with a 3-2 come-from-behind victory over Babson College (13-14, 6-4). The win, generated by a sparkling pitching performance, guaranteed Tech's first winning season in the history of the conference.

Thursday's game was highlighted by tremendous comeback performances following the Engineers' 4-3, extra-inning loss to Wheaton. Jason Witzberger, who had his 22-game streak of reaching base safely snapped against the Lyons, was brilliant at the plate versus Babson. He went 4-for-5 to pace all hitters and scored the game-tying run. Senior Cliff Roscow was equally prophetic, stepping in for the ninth and closing the door en route to an all-time Institute best fifth save.

The true story in the league battle was a tremendous pitchers' duel between MIT freshman Mike Vasquez and Babson freshman Jon Igoe. Both starters covered eight innings, although Vasquez benefitted from a better defensive performance as the Beavers committed five errors.

Ricky Tydus singled in MIT's first run in the top of the third, before Babson rallied back with runs on a ground out and a sacrafice fly.

After stranding runners in scoring position in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings, MIT finally capitalized on the opportunity in the ninth. Witzberger's fourth hit of the day sparked the attack and he advanced to third on Ricky Tydus' ensuing double. With one out, Wayne Duggan lifted a sacrafice fly to center that tied the game. On the following play, the Beavers committed two errors, as junior Kyle Zeller's grounder to kicked off the third baseman, and got past the shortstop into shallow left field, enabling Tydus to wheel around third and score the game-winning run.

In the bottom of the ninth, Roscow delivered a one-out walk that gave some hope to the Babson faithful. But a 4-6-3 double play squashed any thoughts of a comeback and leveled the season series for the Engineers.

With the win, Mike Vasquez improved his season record to 3-0, scattering four hits and four walks in eight innings. Igoe (2-2) endured the tough loss after surrendering just one earned run eight-plus.