April 24, 2009
Courtesy WPI Sports Information
WORCESTER, Mass. - Top-seeded WPI dropped its first game of the NEWMAC Tournament on Friday afternoon, falling at home to third-seeded MIT, 7-1, on day two of the tournament. MIT (20-10) avoided elimination and will now take on sixth-seeded Clark tomorrow at WPI at 12:45pm. WPI, now 22-10, will face second-seeded Wheaton in an elimination game for both teams at home at 9:30am.
Freshman Chris Vaughan went the distance in a strong outing for MIT, scattering 10 hits but only allowing one run. Vaughan, now 3-4 on the year, also registered a career-high 10 strikeouts against no walks to lead the Cambridge Engineers.
MIT plated a run in the top of the second to take an early advantage against WPI freshman starter Sean Minor. Senior outfielder Steven Nunez led off the frame with a four-pitch walk and moved to second on a fielder's choice. Later in the inning, MIT put on the hit-and-run with runners on first and second, opening up a hole in the left side for Will Blackman to drive a single to left, plating Nunez with the game's first run.
The visiting Engineers tacked on another run in the fourth, extending its lead without the benefit of a hit. Thomas Phillips led off with a walk, moved to second on a groundout and ended up at third as a result of a passed ball. Blackman then came through with his second RBI of the afternoon, driving Phillips home with a deep sacrifice fly to center for a 2-0 MIT lead.
WPI scratched together a run in the fourth to get on the board and cut the MIT lead in half. Cody McGregor came up with two out and the bases empty and blasted a line drive off the fence in center, pulling into second with a double. Bryan Watkins then came through with a single to center, sending McGregor home with the hosts' only run of the game.
MIT got the run right back and more however, using a three-run rally to build upon its advantage. Rookie Bryan Macomber singled to left to lead things off, with Stewart Park following with a double in the gap in left-center that set MIT up with second and third and nobody out. The next batter, freshman Creed Mangrum, plated Macomber with a sacrifice fly to left to make the score 3-1. Dan Hyatt followed Mangrum and delivered the big blow, a one-out, two-run homerun to center, setting up the visitors with a 5-1 advantage.
Following back-to-back one-out singles from Brian Doyle and Macomber in the sixth, MIT plated another run on a Park sacrifice fly to give the third-seed a 6-1 lead. Park added another sacrifice fly in the eighth that made the score. MIT scored on sac flies on four different occasions in the game.
Hyatt, Blackman and Park each drove in two for the victors, while Mangrum paced the MIT attack with three hits. Seven different players scored for MIT.
McGregor and shortstop Paul Galligan each had two hits in defeat for the hosts. Minor (4-2) allowed six runs, four earned, over 5.2 innings for WPI, dropping only his second game of the season. Alex Hanson and Justin Skelly provided the hosts with solid relief help. Hanson allowed a run in 2 1/3 innings of work while Skelly tossed a scoreless ninth.