MIT Drops Doubleheader to Wheaton

NORTON, Mass. – In the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference baseball opener for both teams, No. 17 Wheaton College came out on top with a doubleheader sweep of MIT. The Lyons took a tight, 2-1, decision in game one before coming back in the nightcap to win 9-2. Sophomore Sean Karson (Winter Park, Fla.) had three hits and drove in a run over the two games to lead MIT's offense. The losses broke a four-game win streak for the Engineers (4-4, 0-2 NEWMAC), while Wheaton improved to 6-1 and 2-0 in the conference.

Sophomore Keil Jindra (Oceanside, Calif.) started on the mound in game one for MIT and continued his strong spring, holding Wheaton of the scoreboard over the first four innings and allowing just three hits over his total of 5.2 innings of work. A pair of MIT fielding miscues proved to be the difference in the game, however. In the bottom of the fifth Wheaton put two on with one away on a walk and a hit batter. Hal Landers then grounded into a force play that retired the runner at second, but a throwing error by senior shortstop Bryan Macomber (Los Altos, Calif.) allowed pinch runner Kevin Foley to come around from second with the games first run.

MIT tied it up in the top of the sixth when senior Torre Swanson (Redding, Calif.) and sophomore Creed Mangrum (Sandy, Utah) opened the inning with singles off Wheaton starter Frank Holbrook. A sacrifice moved the runners up for senior A.J. Hansborough (Deltona, Fla.), who delivered Swanson with a sac fly. The Lyons answered in the bottom of the inning when Sean Ryan reached to start the inning on another Macomber miscue. He then stole second, moved up on a sacrifice and came in on a single off the bat of Apolinar De la Cruz.

Jindra struck out a pair in taking the loss that dropped him to 1-2 on the season. Holbrook gave up six hits in six innings, striking out four in picking up his first win of the season, with Ryan Grant throwing a scoreless inning in the seventh to record his third save of the season.

In game two it was MIT that broke on top in the second inning when Karson laced a two-out single that scored Hansborough, who had led off the inning with a base hit. Wheaton came right back in the bottom of the frame, tying the game without the benefit of a hit. Dan Haugh led off with a walk, moved to third on a pair of groundouts and then scored on a wild pitch from MIT starter, junior Aric Dama (Winfield, Ill.).

That was all the scoring until the sixth when MIT loaded the bases with nobody out on a hit batter and a pair of singles. All the Engineers could get out of it was a single run, however, when Hansborough hit into a double play that plated Mangrum to put MIT up 2-1. It was again a short-lived advantage as the Lyons again came back to score in the bottom half of the inning. This time Wheaton got a one-out RBI double from Dan Gusovsky, who later came in on a bases loaded passed ball that put the Lyons on top to stay.

Wheaton broke the game open in the seventh, scoring four times in an outburst that was capped by a two-run home run by John Keating. Dama took the loss for MIT, giving up four hits and three runs in 5.1 innings while Alec Palloca threw a complete game for Wheaton, surrendering two runs on five hits. 

MIT and Wheaton will complete their three-game series tomorrow in Cambridge in a single game that will begin at Noon on Briggs Field.