Courtesy of Wentworth Sports Information
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Freshman James McKinney scored on a wild pitch in the bottom of the seventh inning, snapping a 5-all tie as MIT broke Wentworth’s four-game win streak with an 8-5 win in a non-conference game played at Briggs Field. Friday's win was the Engineers' first of the season and first over the Leopards since 2006.
After leaving the bases loaded in the second inning, Wentworth got on the board in the top of the third inning when senior Pete Oggeri reached on a fielder’s choice and would steal second. After a walk, Oggeri stole third and came home to score on an errant throw. The lead would not last long, as MIT countered with four unearned runs in the bottom half of the inning. McKinney would deliver an RBI single to tie the game and would come around to score on a three-run double off the bat of junior William Blackman which gave the Engineers a 4-1 lead.
The Leopards answered back in the fifth inning by scoring three runs to tie the game at 4-all. Junior Doug Papuga led off by reaching on an error, which was followed by junior Matt Jordan being hit by a pitch. Oggeri hit a single that scored Papuga and sophomore Conner Flisnik delivered a two-run double, which would score both Jordan and Oggeri. An inning later, Wentworth took a 5-4 lead on an RBI single from Oggeri, which scored Jordan who had drawn a walk and stole second.
MIT tied the game in the bottom of the sixth as Blackman drew a leadoff walk and stole second on a failed pickoff attempt. He would come around to score on a single by junior Ryne Barry. The Engineers loaded the bases with two outs, but Wentworth senior Chris Sandini came in to force a lineout and end the threat.
McKinney drew a leadoff walk to open the seventh and went to second on a sacrifice bunt from junior Dan Hyatt. Blackman grounded back to Sandini, but McKinney moved up 90 feet and came home on a wild pitch, giving the Engineers the lead for good. The eighth inning saw MIT score two more runs, both coming on wild pitches.
Sophomore Columbus Leonard earned the win (1-0) in relief, pitching two perfect innings with three strikeouts. Freshman Henry Zhu picked up the save by pitching a scoreless ninth. Sandini took the loss (0-2), allowing three runs (two earned) on two hits, while striking out three in 2.1 innings.
Offensively for MIT McKinney had a pair of hits and scored two runs, while senior Stewart Park (Brooklyn, N.Y.) chipped in with two hits and Blackman drove in three runs. At the plate for Wentworth, Oggeri was 3-for-5 with two runs scored, four stolen bases, and two RBI, while Flisnik drove in two runs.
MIT improves to 1-1 and heads to Chandler, Ariz., next week for Spring Break. The Engineers face nationally ranked Eastern Connecticut on Sunday. Wentworth falls to 4-3 and hosts Maine-Farmington on Saturday at Noon.