March 30, 2011

WPI Hands MIT Baseball First Conference Series Defeat

WORCESTER, MA --- Junior Sean Minor twirled a complete game shutout to lift host WPI to a 2-0 win over MIT Wednesday afternoon in a New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) baseball contest played at Holy Cross' Fitton Field.

The win gives WPI the 2-1 series victory over the nationally-ranked visiting Engineers.  WPI improves to 9-10 overall and 5-4 in conference action while MIT, ranked 22nd in the most recent ABCA Top 30, slips to 12-5 on the season and 6-3 in NEWMAC play, a game behind league-leader Babson.

MIT's Max Ockner pitched well despite being saddled with the loss.  The freshman allowed just five hits over five innings of work.  Ockner walked two and fanned three while dipping to 1-2 this season.  Relievers Aric Dama and Kiel Jindra combined to strike out four and yield just one hit over the last three innings for the visiting Engineers.

Minor didn't have a promising start as he hit MIT leadoff hitter Jonathan Rea with the second pitch of the game and threw away an attempted picked off throw that allowed Rea to move to third.  After a strikeout and a walk, WPI third baseman Bryan Watkins snared a line drive and doubled left fielder James McKinney off of first to thwart the rally.

WPI gave Minor all the runs he would need in the bottom of the fifth inning.  Watkins led off with an infield single to second and moved up on a wild pitch.  After a walk to John Flynn, MIT appeared to have Watkins picked off of second after a missed sacrifice bunt, but the junior alertly sprinted to third base ahead of the throw and scored later in the at-bat on another wild pitch.  Two batters later Flynn crossed the plate on an RBI single through the right side by Mike Gauvin.

Minor took over from there, not allowing a runner to reach second base over the final three innings.  He scattered six hits, walked just one and struck out five to move his record to 3-1 on the spring.

Gauvin and Flynn were the only repeat hitters for WPI while McKinney and A.J. Hansborough each tallied multiple base hits for the guests.  The game was played in a tidy 1:55 with MIT defense turning three of the contest's four double plays.

MIT ventures to Coast Guard on Friday for the first game of a three-game NEWMAC series at 3:30pm. WPI is scheduled to head to Brandeis on Saturday for a non-conference doubleheader at noon.

Release Courtesy WPI Sports Information