March 23, 2006
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - The top five batters in MIT's order combined for 11 hits and 13 RBI as the Engineers (1-0) opened the 2006 spring slate with a 16-5 victory over Wentworth Institute of Technology (1-10). Senior Kyle Zeller and rookie Thomas Phillips each supplied the offensive attack with four RBI, while junior speedster, Jason Witzberger, delivered two doubles and crossed the plate four times.
Highlights for the MIT nine were numerous on the offensive end as the Cardinal and Gray scored 10 runs in the first two frames. Witzberger opened the season for the Tech bats with an infield single before swiping his first stolen base of the year. Phillips provided the key hit during the first with a two-run single up the middle, while the Leopards also yielded two unearned runs as the Engineers grabbed a 4-0 lead.
Conrad Leger put two on the board for WIT with a two-run single in the top of the second, but the Engineers responded with a six-run second to put the game out of reach. After a lead-off walk by freshman David Nole and a double by Witzberger, senior Warren Bates delivered a two-run single. One out later, Zeller authored MIT's first homerun of the campaign with a two-run blast to left-center.
The Engineers served up another big inning in the fifth with two rookies at the bottom of the order sparking the attack. Steven Nunez walked to lead off the frame and Nole singled in his only official at-bat before Witzberger brought them both home with his second double of the tilt. Three more RBI singles capped the inning as MIT won its season-opener for the first time since 1994.
Witzberger finished the day with three hits and four runs, while Phillips also picked up three knocks. Making his debut in left field, Nole drew three walks in addition to the fifth-inning single to reach base in every plate appearance.
Junior Mike Vasquez got the nod to start in Thursday's opener, pitching three innings in the planned performance. Rookie Matt Loper (1-0) earned the decision after providing three innings of relief, while sophomore Joe Yurko worked the final two innings.
Matthew Ritzzo (0-1) picked up the loss for Wentworth after surrendering nine earned runs and 10 hits in four innings pitched. Jhoel Oviedo served as a bright spot in the Leopards' lineup, going 2-for-3 while driving in three runs.