April 27, 2006

MIT Baseball Advances Past Coast Guard, 8-6

April 27, 2006

Box Score

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - Senior Wayne Duggan continued an eye-popping offensive week in leading MIT (16-10) to a first round victory over the U.S. Coast Guard Academy (15-17) in the quarterfinals of the 2006 New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Baseball Tournament. Duggan went 3-for-3 in Thursday's win, with two walks, two homeruns and three runs batted in.

Duggan opened the scoring with one out in the bottom of the first by lifting a two-run homerun to right field. The Bears answered right back with two runs in the top of the second, before pulling ahead with three runs in the third. Sophomore Brian Lisko singled home Coast Guard's tally in the second, while the Bears grabbed the lead behind RBI singles by Bret Nichols and Aaron Renschler in the third. Junior Chuck Arena, who extended his school-record hitting streak to 32 games, homered to right to lead off the inning.

Duggan snagged a run back for MIT with his second homerun of the game in the fifth, while the Engineers added four runs in the sixth to pull ahead for good. Freshman Chris D'Annunzio doubled home fellow rookie Thomas Phillips for the first run while Warren Bates also collected an RBI with a single through the middle. An error on a one-out sacrifice attempt hurt the Coast Guard defense as the Engineers managed two more unearned scores to close the frame with a 7-5 lead.

Witzberger crossed the plate for the second time in the game on a throwing error in the bottom of the eighth, while Arena picked up another RBI for the Bears with a groundout in the ninth. Jay Turner (4-2), who pitched seven innings of relief, scattered six hits and gave up two earned runs en route to the postseason win.

Mike Jarbeau (6-3) started on the hill for Coast Guard, pitching six innings, while surrendering five earned runs and nine hits. During the tilt, Jarbeau tied the single-season school record with 84 strikeouts; a mark originally set by Ben Keffer in 2002.

Duggan added three more hits and drew two walks after an explosive performance against Bates on Monday. In the past two games, Duggan is 7-for-8 with three walks, three homeruns and eight runs batted in. He has enjoyed a multi-hit performance in five of MIT's last six games.

Phillips also had a good day at the plate, going 3-for-4 with a run, while Witzberger finished 2-for-5. Arena finished 3-for-5 with two RBI in leading the Bears' attack, while Nichols went 2-for-4 with two runs and an RBI.

MIT will play against top seed Wheaton in the first semifinal on Saturday at 11:00 a.m. The Lyons, which are ranked No. 7 in the ABCA Division III national poll, drew a bye in the first round after ending the pre-Tournament slate with 21 straight wins. The Engineers will make just their third semifinal appearance in the history of the league, including their first in three years, while Coast Guard caps its campaign after advancing to the NEWMAC semifinals six consecutive seasons.