Baseball Splits with Monks of St. Joe's

Courtesy of St. Joseph's College Sports Information

STANDISH, Maine – MIT baseball (16-16) split a non-conference twinbill with non-conference opponent Saint Joseph’s College (32-11) at Larry Mahaney Diamond on Thursday afternoon. In the opener, the Monks fell 7-6 in eight innings before rebounding to edge the Engineers, 3-2, in the nightcap.

In the first game, St. Joe’s rallied from a 6-2 deficit with four runs in the bottom of the fifth to force extra innings, but MIT shortstop Dan Hyatt ’11 led off the top of eighth with home run over the left field wall to provide Tech with the eventual game-winning run. Aric Dama ’13 tossed two innings of one-hit relief with a pair of strikeouts to earn the victory for the Engineers, while Mason Roberge ’11 allowed one hit, the Hyatt homer, with three K’s in two frames and falls to 4-1 on the year with the loss for the Monks. St. Joe’s starter Pat Moran ’10 fanned a season-high 10 batters in five innings with four earned runs and seven hits allowed, while reliever Chris Nanof ’10 allowed a run off two hits with two K’s in an inning of work.

St. Joe’s did not trail in the nightcap, as the Royal Blue scored single runs in the first, third and fourth innings en route to a 3-2 triumph. SJC starter Sam Murray ’12 improved to 7-1 after allowing an earned run off five hits and three walks with four strikeouts in 6.1 innings. Kevin Chamberlain ’11 notched the first save of his career after sitting down the only two batters he faced in the top of the seventh. Engineers starter Max Ockner ’13 went the distance for the Cardinal and Gray, surrendering three earned runs off six hits and three walks with a pair of punch-outs in the losing effort.

GAME ONE

The Monks got on the board first in the opener with two runs off a pair of hits in the bottom of the second inning. The Engineers cut their deficit in half with a run off a first and third double steal play in the top of the third.

In the top of the fifth, MIT took advantage of an infield error on an apparent double-play ball by scoring four runs to gain a 5-2 lead. Zach Carr ’12 plated a pair with a bases-loaded single, while James McKinney ’13 doubled home a run and Stewart Park ’10 registered an RBI double during the frame.

The Engineers padded their lead with an RBI single by Andrew Jeanquenat ’13, but the Monks rallied with four runs off four hits to tie the game at six apiece in the bottom of the sixth. Craig Woodbrey ’10 and Mike Burdin ’10 notched RBI singles, Ben Grant-Roy ’10 doubled home a run and Woodbrey scored on an infield error during the four-run sixth.

Roberge entered the game for the Monks in the seventh and produced an efficient 12-pitch inning with a pair of K’s and a pop-up, but the Royal Blue squandered an opportunity to win the game in the bottom of the inning. Moran led off with a line-drive single to right and was lifted in favor of speedy pinch-runner Nate Martin ’13, who advanced to second on a wild pitch. Mike Pratt ’13 moved Martin over to third with a deep fly-out to center, but the inning ended with the winning run 90 feet away, as Woodbrey took a called third strike on the outside corner.

Hyatt greeted Roberge with a solo jack in the eighth, the junior right-hander settled in to retire the side on a couple of ground-outs and a strikeout. Now trailing by one, pinch-hitter Kyle Neagle ’12 was plunked to lead off the bottom of the eighth and was moved over to second with a sac bunt by Burdin. Neagle advanced to third when Todd Keneborus ’11 grounded out to the right side, but was left on third as Grant-Roy grounded out to second base to end the game.

For the Monks, Woodbrey went 3-4 with three RBI, Moran was 2-2 with two runs, Burdin went 2-3 with a run and an RBI and Keneborus was 2-5. Saint Joseph’s stranded 10 base runners in the loss.

For the Engineers, Brian Doyle ’11 went 2-3 with two runs scored and a pair of stolen bases and A.J. Hansborough ’12 scored twice and also swiped two bags in the victory.

GAME TWO

St. Joe’s struck quickly in the nightcap, as Burdin led off the game with a double to right and scored when the next batter, Keneborus, hit a line drive up the middle. The Monks tacked on another run in the third, as Keneborus doubled and later scored on an infield ground-out to make it a 2-0 game.

SJC shortstop Dan Achorn ’12 plated catcher Travis Adams ’10 with a single in the bottom of the fourth to put the Monks on top 3-0, but the pesky Engineers chipped away at the deficit with an unearned run in the top of the fifth, as Carr led off with a single, stole second and scored on an error by Murray.

Chamberlain entered the game with one out in the top of the seventh after MIT scored a run on a bases-loaded hit batsman. The junior righty forced Tech to strand all three runners, as MIT slugger Ricardo Perez ’13 stuck out and Hyatt, the game-one hero, popped up to second to end the game.

For the Monks, Keneborus went 2-3 with a run and an RBI and Pratt was 2-3 in the triumph.

The twinbill caps the regular season for the Monks, who captured the 2010 GNAC Championship over the weekend to earn an automatic qualifier into the NCAA DIII Tournament, which begins on May 19th. MIT will host Suffolk University on Saturday at 1:00 PM.