March 18, 2008
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - Senior Eric Thibault allowed just one run in six strong innings while sophomore Tim Schabowski supplied all of the offense for the Anchormen with a base clearing double in the first, as Rhode Island College topped MIT, 3-1, in the Engineers' 2008 season opener. Junior Eric Fama struck out the side in the ninth to earn the save.
Rhode Island College (7-3) took advantage of three consecutive walks in the opening frame behind Schabowski's drive to deep right center, which just missed off the out-stretched hands of MIT's Steven Nunez, who was charging from the left to make a play.
Despite some first inning jitters, the Engineers (0-1) earned a solid start from senior captain Jay Turner, who improved over the next two innings before leaving the tilt after a 1-2-3 third.
In the bottom of the fourth, MIT discovered some life in its offense as senior captain Kevin Wheeler powered a solo homerun over the left-field fence. The Cardinal and Gray should have benefited even more from the season's first bomb, but the bags were empty after the Engineers were doubled up during the previous at bat.
Thibault threw six innings and surrendered six hits, three walks and one run in his best start of the young season. MIT touched up the sophomore righty and left runners on base in four of Thibault's six frames, but played itself out of scoring chances with a caught stealing, a pick off, and three double plays.
Neither team was able to produce much offense the rest of the way, with the temperature steadily falling as the game progressed. Senior Evan Grogan pitched two scoreless innings in relief for RIC while MIT countered with one inning a piece from senior captain Mike Vasquez, and freshmen Brian Doyle and Ryne Barry. Fellow rookie Ryan Munoz provided a big boost for MIT with three scoreless frames in relief of Turner.
Senior Evan Grogan pitched the next two innings for RIC, which was never seriously threatened after Wheeler's homerun. Only one runner in the game advanced past second base after the opening stanza.
In addition to providing an inning of relief, Barry enjoyed a great college debut as he reached base four times behind three singles and a walk. David Nole and Wheeler both finished 2-for-4 while Nunez added a single to cap Tech's eight-hit attack.
The Anchormen collected just four hits, although Schabowski's double provided all the offense RIC would need as a combination of solid pitching and defense preserved the win for the visitors.