April 25, 2009
Courtesy WPI Sports Information
WORCESTER, Mass. - After spotting Clark an 8-0 advantage through four innings, MIT roared back to take a 21-9 victory in day three of the NEWMAC Baseball Tournament at WPI. The Engineers, now 21-10 on the season, advance to the tournament's final day needing to win two games on Sunday to claim the NEWMAC Championship. Clark bows out of the tournament with a 14-21 record.
The Cougars used a big first inning to claim the early lead. Scott Hollingsworth led off with a double to start things off for Clark. After an out was made, the next five Clark batters reached base as they batted around in the inning. Designated hitter Nicholas Kellogg had the key hit for the Cougars, a bases-loaded double that drove in two with the third runner scoring on a throwing error, as Clark took a 5-0 lead after one.
The Cougars added a single run in the second on a Matthew Tillo RBI single and two more in the third on RBI base hits from Jeremy Gerber and Philip DiMarco, as the home team took an 8-0 lead.
Clark starter Gregory Long cruised through the first four innings, not allowing a hit until the MIT fifth. The Engineers exploded for seven runs in the top of the fifth to get right back into the game. First baseman Thomas Phillips led off the inning with a double, his first of two hits in the frame, to get the rally started. After a Steven Nunez single, David Nole came through with an RBI double to get MIT on the board. Following the first out of the inning, MIT loaded the bases and produced four straight RBI hits including a Creed Mangrum two-run single, as MIT pulled to within 8-7.
The score remained 8-7 until the seventh, when MIT pushed 12 runs across the plate on eight hits. With runners on second and third and one out, Nole produced a double that plated two runs as MIT jumped out in front, 9-8. Nole, Mangrum and Phillips all had extra-base hits in the rally during which 17 Engineers came to the plate. Clark added a run in its half of the seventh before MIT tacked on two more in the eighth on a Nole RBI double and a Phillips home run to deep center, bringing the final tally to 21-9. Phillips' blast was his team-leading and conference-best 12th home run of the year.
For MIT, Chris Hendrix picked up the win in five innings of solid relief, allowing two runs on seven hits to move to 2-0 on the year. Stephen Toth earned his first save of the season, closing out the final three innings of the contest. The Engineers had eight players with multi-hit games, led by Phillips' 4-for-5 day with four runs scored and three RBI. Nole was 3-for-5 with three runs and four RBI, while Brian Doyle also drove in four for the victors.
For the Cougars, Philip Bertocci allowed two runs in 2/3 of an inning to suffer the loss, falling to 0-1 on the year. DiMarco and Kellogg led Clark at the plate, each with two hits and two RBI. Hollingsworth and Tillo also had two hits, while Gerber came through with a 3-for-4 day for Clark.