CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – A five-run fifth inning proved to be the difference for WPI this afternoon as the Engineers built a 7-0 lead and went on to defeat MIT, 7-2, in the first game of their New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference baseball series. The loss snapped a five-game win streak for MIT.
WPI (21-13, 9-7 NEWMAC) struck quickly in the game, plating a run in the first inning that gave it a lead that it never gave up. Sophomore Matt Blakeman (Bedford, N.H.) led off the inning with a double and was then sacrificed over to third. Senior John Flynn (Albion, Maine) then scored the run with a sac fly off of MIT starter, senior Torre Swanson (Redding Calif.).
WPI added another run in the third on another sac fly by Flynn before breaking the game open with the five-run fifth. A leadoff double, a sacrifice and a walk put runners on the corners for senior Nick Bean (Middleboro, Mass.). He singled to left to score the first run of the inning before Flynn hit a grounder to second that was misplayed for an error, allowing another run to score. The miscue proved costly for MIT (16-14, 6-10 NEWMAC). Swanson came back to strike out the next hitter, but senior Mitch McClune (Pembroke, Mass.) drove a pitch out of the park in right for a three-run home run.
Senior Sean Minor (Sherman Oaks, Calif.) started for WPI and held MIT in check for most of the game allowing just two hits over the first six innings of the contest. He wound up going all the way for WPI, allowing just five hits and two runs while striking out two and walking a pair.
Freshman Hayden Cornwell (Newport Beach, Calif.) touched Minor for a solo home run in the seventh to put the first MIT run on the board. MIT tried to mount a comeback in the ninth, getting the leadoff hitter aboard on a single by sophomore Creed Mangrum (Sandy, Utah). A one-out double by senior Bryan Macomber (Los Altos, Calif.) brought Mangrum home, but Minor allowed just a two-out walk to junior James McKinney (Wakefield, R.I.) the rest of the way as he picked up the complete-game win.
The two teams will finish off the series tomorrow in Cambridge with a doubleheader. The first pitch of game one will be thrown at 11:00 a.m.