CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Six runs scored by MIT in the second inning set the tone of the game as the Engineers beat out non-conference opponent Rhode Island College, 8-6, Wednesday evening on Briggs Field. With the win, the Engineers extend their winning streak to four and level out to 15-15 on the season, while the Anchormen move to 20-15 for the year.
After a scoreless first inning, RIC struck in the second when senior Tim Schabowski led off with a double to center field and worked his way home to give the Anchormen a 1-0 lead.
MIT’s flurry of second-inning runs began with a single by junior Dan Hyatt and walk from sophomore A.J. Hansborough. Sophomore Bryan Macomber brought home Hyatt with a single to left field and junior Brian Doyle advanced the runners with a sac-bunt. An erroneous throw on a failed pick-off scored Hansborough, while a hit batter and walk reloaded the bases.
With a 2-1 advantage, Engineer James McKinney batted in Macomber with an RBI-single. Freshman Grant Iwamoto added three more runs with a base-clearing double to left field, capping Tech’s six-run, second-inning effort.
Trailing 6-1 in the third, Rhode Island freshman Kevin Carey singled to lead off the inning and was eventually brought in by sophomore Kyle Allaire, narrowing the gap to 6-2.
In the fifth, reliever Marwing Pena replaced RIC starter Gary Levesque on the mound. On the hook for the loss, Levesque (3-2) retired with 6 strikeouts and 3 walks, having yielded 6 runs and 7 hits. Pena too was dismissed in the fifth after putting two runners on base, and freshman Lucas Gagne was left to throw the third out of the scoreless inning.
RIC attacked again in the top of the sixth as a triple by junior Ronnie Bracchi to right field brought home pinch runner Joseph Correia to cut the lead to three, 6-3.
MIT starter Henry Zhu (3-2) sat after 6 innings on the hill. Zhu posted 2 strikeouts and 1 walk, allowing 1 walk and 3 runs.
The Engineers responded in the bottom of the sixth, as freshman Sean Fannin led with a single and a walk, and a throwing error advanced him to third before McKinney hit a sac-fly to right to open the score to 7-3. Gagne left the game with one out, giving up 1 run and 1 walk in 2/3 inning total.
The Anchormen mounted a rally in the seventh, taking advantage of MIT reliever Ryne Barry on the mound. Freshman Greg Palmer and Allaire each singled before sophomore John Stone hit an RBI-single up the middle. Senior Jared Rossi lofted a sacrifice fly to bring in a second run, and Stone came home on a wild pitch, as RIC added three and moved within striking distance at 7-6.
Sophomore Columbus Leonard closed the inning for MIT, bailing out Barry, who left with 1 walk, 3 runs and 3 hits. Leonard went on to pitch a scoreless eighth and tallied 2 strikeouts with 0 hits on the day.
Junior Matthew Thadeio, who finished the seventh and tossed the eighth for RIC, had 1 strikeout and 1 hit in his 1 and 2/3 innings of service on the mound.
With RIC closer Bobby Venditto on the mound, the Engineers put up an insurance run in the eighth, as senior Stewart Park walked to first, stole second and was brought home on a throwing error after stealing third, opening the lead to 8-6. Venditto tossed 1 strikeout and 2 walks in his 1 inning of duty.
Though the Anchormen put two on in the ninth, MIT closer Cameron Brown notched his first save of the season by dismissing RIC, allowing 1 hit, 2 walks and 0 runs.
After a six-game home stand in which the MIT went 4-2, the Engineers head to Maine to face St. Joseph’s College in a weekday doubleheader on Thursday, May 6, beginning at 3:30 p.m. The Anchormen end their regular season when they visit Little East rival UMass-Boston in a doubleheader on Saturday, May 8, starting at 12 p.m.