May 4, 2007
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - MIT exploded for 14 runs through the first four innings as the Engineers cruised past Newbury College, 16-1, Friday, at Briggs Field. The Nighthawks (0-12) wrapped up their first season as a Division III program against MIT, which leveled its season ledger at 15-15 following the big win.
After a quick inning for MIT starter Steven Nunez, the Engineers' bats went to work as the first four batters reached base. Senior Jason Witzberger doubled to left center to score Ben Bersanti, who led off the bottom of the first with a single to center. Three batters later, junior Kevin Wheeler capped the five-run first with a two-run double to right center.
Ahead 5-0 entering the second, the Engineers added three more with one swing. Bersanti reached base for the second consecutive inning in the lead-off spot, while Witzberger singled to put runners at the corners. In the ensuing at bat, Thomas Phillips crushed his fourth homerun of the season over the left-field fence.
In the third, senior James Siedlecki put Newbury on the board with an RBI double to left field that scored Brian Fish, although that would be all the offense the Nighthawks would muster against a strong start by Nunez (2-0).
MIT broke the game open with six more runs in the fourth. Wheeler and sophomore Chris D'Annunzio had run-scoring singles during the frame, while Paul Groudas keyed the big inning with a two-run homer that was smoked over the fence in left center.
Wheeler finished the game 3-for-3 with three RBI and one run. Witzberger also collected three hits, going 3-for-4 with three runs scored and one RBI. Phillips and Groudas used their bombs to drive home five, while D'Annunzio and David Nole each plated two runners in the win.Witzberger also achieved a significant milestone against the Nighthawks. Already the Institute's all-time leader in stolen bases, Witzberger set the program mark for career hits as his third on the afternoon marked No. 178. The previous record stood for one season as Wayne Duggan established the record last year as a senior.
Nunez earned the complete-game victory, surrendering one earned run and six hits in seven innings on the hill. The sophomore righty also struck out a season-high eight batters.
Newbury's David Carroll (0-2) suffered the loss as the Nighthawks fell behind quickly. Siedlecki and Homas Mathew had two hits to pace the offense, while Mathew struck out three batters and allowed no earned runs after pitching the final two frames in relief.