April 28, 2007
BABSON PARK, Mass. - Junior Kevin Wheeler was 3-for-4 with a pair of home runs, five RBI's and four runs scored as third-seeded MIT held off seventh-seeded Coast Guard, 15-12, in the semifinals of the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) tournament. MIT was cruising as the teams headed to the eighth inning before Coast Guard dropped five hits and took advantage of five errors in the top half of the frame to set the stage for a wild finish.
Coast Guard took a 2-0 lead in the top of the fourth without the benefit of a hit or an error as Chuck Arena and Brian Lisko walked, Arena took two bases and scored on wild pitch and Mike Mitchell later added a sacrifice fly. MIT quickly answered as Stephen Toth highlighted a four-run fourth with a two-run home run to break a 2-2 tie, while Wheeler served up a two-run single which tied the game at 2-2.
The Engineers scored three times in both the sixth and seventh innings to stretch their lead to eight runs. Wheeler led off the sixth with a solo homer while rookie Stewart Park added a two-run double. In the seventh, Toth had a two-run single to highlight the inning as the Engineers built the 10-2 lead.
In the eighth, Christian George had an RBI double, Lisko had a two-run triple, Adam Reckley had an RBI single and then George pulled the Bears to within one at 10-9 with an RBI single. MIT responded with five runs in the home half as David Nole had an RBI single, freshman Ben Besanti added an RBI triple and Park chipped in another RBI single. Wheeler delivered the big blow in the inning with his second homerun of the afternoon.
Coast Guard didn't go quietly depite entering the final frame down 15-9. Lisko led off with a homer before Ken Franklin and Kevin Higgins drew walks off closer Steven Nunez. Bret Nichols had a one-out RBI single and Reckley added a two-out RBI single, but the Bears left two runners on to end the game.