April 11, 2007

MIT Rallies Three Times To Top Wesleyan In Home Opener

April 11, 2007

Box Score

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - MIT plated four runners in the bottom of the eighth inning on Wednesday, breaking a 10-10 tie en route to a 14-11 victory over NESCAC rival Wesleyan University in the Engineers' home opener. Sophomores David Nole and Stephen Toth each had three hits and three runs batted in, while junior Jay Turner pitched the final two frames to pick up his third straight win to start the season.

Things didn't start well for MIT as the Cardinals grabbed a 2-0 lead in the first with two unearned runs. Wesleyan added three more runs in the second, although only junior Chris Simpson picked up an RBI during the frame with a run-producing single. John DelGiudice scored on a throwing error following a steal attempt at third base, while Drew Dominguez also crossed the plate after singling earlier in the stanza.

The Engineers answered in the third with five runs on four hits while taking advantage of a crucial two-out error. Freshman Ben Bersanti and sophomore Steven Nunez, who each walked early in the inning, scored Tech's first two runs after senior captain Jason Witzberger doubled down the left-field line. One out later, Nole singled home Witz to slice the lead to 5-3. After Kevin Wheeler followed Nole with another single, Wesleyan looked like it would escape the inning without further damage until a costly infield error loaded the bases. Not wasting the golden opportunity, Toth doubled deep to right center to help MIT level the score.

In the top of the fourth, Wesleyan pulled ahead again. Without the aid of any defensive miscues, the Cardinals orchestrated three run-scoring singles. Dominguez worked his way around the bases with a stolen base and a wild pitch before scoring on Alex Mautone's ground out to third, while the rest of the tallies came after the second out. Consecutive singles by Chris Graceffa, Chris Waelsch and Garrett Lamborn each plated a runner as Wesleyan moved in front, 9-5.

Strong baserunning secured two runs for the Engineers in the bottom of the fourth. With one out, freshman Stewart Park drew a walk before stealing second and third. Nunez brought Park home with a single and then stole second himself in the ensuing at bat. An error in the outfield enabled Nunez to race across two bags for Tech's second run of the inning.

MIT powered ahead in the sixth after Nole doubled home Witzberger to spark the attack. Another error and wild pitch yielded two more runs to put MIT on top, 10-9, although Wesleyan struck back in the seventh. The theme was similar for both teams as Lamborn took advantage of a walk, a wild pitch and an error to knot the score heading to the eighth.

Three hits and two more defensive mistakes enabled MIT to pull back in front with four runs. Nole, Wheeler and Toth had run-scoring singles in the frame as the Engineers finally grabbed command with a 14-10 lead. Lamborn doubled to lead off the ninth and scored one out later on DelGiudice's single, but any thoughts of a last-inning rally were thwarted following a fielder's choice and line drive back to the mound.

Nunez, Witzberger and Nole each scored three times for MIT, while Park had three stolen bases to improve his total to 14 for the campaign. Five Wesleyan batters recorded a pair of hits and Mautone, Grafecca and Waelsch each added two RBI. Brian Mahr (0-1) worked four innings and was charged with the loss, which snapped a six-game winning streak for Wesleyan against MIT that extended to the spring of 1989.