March 23, 2013

Engineers Sweep Springfield in Florida

WINTER PARK, Fla. – For a second straight weekend the MIT baseball team picked up a sweep of its New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference foe. Playing against Springfield College in Florida as part of its spring break trip, the Engineers picked up a 6-0 victory yesterday in a rain-shortened game and then swept the Pride by scores of 5-3 and 8-0 today. The victories keep MIT undefeated in 2013 at 6-0, the best start for the program in school history.

On Friday MIT (6-0, 6-0 NEWMAC) picked up the only runs it would need in the first inning. Sophomore Eben Bitonte (Wichita, Kan.) led off with a walk and senior James McKinney (Wakefield, R.I.) followed with a base hit. Both moved up on a wild pitch and then came around on a single by sophomore Hayden Cornwell (Newport Beach, Calif.).

That would prove to be all the run support that senior Aric Dama (Winfield, Ill.) needed as he blanked Springfield (3-6, 1-4 NEWMAC) on just a first inning single by junior Frank Calabrese (East Longmeadow, Mass.). He allowed just two other runners, one on a hit batter and the other on a walk, as he struck out eight to improve to 2-0. Bitonte and McKinney both reached in each of their plate appearances, with McKinney going 3-for-3 and Bitonte drawing three walks to go along with a hit.

Both teams traded runs in the first inning of the first game of a doubleheader played today. Bitonte scored first when he reached on an error and came around on an RBI single by junior Creed Mangrum (Sandy, Utah). Springfield answered in its half of the inning, as junior Jared Hopkins (Cranston, R.I.) led off with a single, moved to second on a walk and scored on an RBI hit by Calabrese. The Pride then took the lead with two in the second, loading the bases with one away with the aid of an MIT error to set up a two-run single by junior Mike McGowan (Franklin, Mass).

MIT came right back and retook the lead in the top of the third. With one down McKinney and Mangrum singled to put a pair aboard. Springfield's starter, junior Alex Williams (East Hartford, Conn.), struck out the next hitter, but senior Ricardo Perez (Vienna, Va.) followed with a single to tie the game. An error by the Springfield first baseman then allowed Mangrum to score the game-tying run.

In the top of the fourth Mangrum provided the big hit. With one out junior Jon Rea (Palo Alto, Calif.) singled and moved to third on a double by Bitonte. McKinney was then called out on an obstruction call, but Mangrum followed with a single that plated both runs.

Junior Rob Bertucci (Belleville, Ill.) blanked Springfield in the third to pick up the win, striking out one. Freshman Michael Wymer (Flower Mound, Texas) then tossed three perfect innings, striking out a pair, before senior Henry Zhu (Overland Park, Kan.) worked around a walk and a hit in the seventh to record the save. Williams struck out nine in 6.2 innings for Springfield, but gave up all five runs, three of which were earned, on six hits in taking the loss. Hopkins finished with a pair of hits for the Pride.

In the final game senior Max Ockner (Chesterfield, Mo.) blanked Springfield for 6.2 innings, scattering eight hits. He worked out of jam in the second when the Pride loaded the bases on singles by junior Sean Smith (Broken Arrow, Okla.), senior Matt Milano (Cumberland, R.I.) and freshman Billy Paskowski (Wappingers Falls, N.Y.). With one away he got out of trouble when he got sophomore C.J. Monroe (Wolcott, Conn.) to bounce into a 4-6-3 double play.

MIT scored all the runs it would need with three in the first. With one down McKinney and Mangrum reached on base hits and then moved up on a wild pitch. A ground out by Cornwell plated McKinney with the first run of the game, with Mangrum coming around on a Perez RBI single. After an error extended the inning, sophomore Reid Bishop (Cypress, Texas) brought home Perez with a double. The Engineers added two more in the fourth on a wild pitch and an RBI ground out by McKinney before icing the win with three in the sixth. MIT put the first three aboard and Mangrum and Cornwell brought two in with back-to-back sac flies. Perez, who had two hits and drove in two in the game, followed with an RBI single to complete the scoring.

Junior Eric Chase (Vernon, Conn.) gave up all eight runs for Springfield to take the loss, giving up 11 hits. Hopkins and Paskowski each had a pair of hits, with Paskowski lacing a double, to lead the Pride.

MIT will continue on its spring trip tomorrow when it will face Bard College at 3:00 p.m. at Field 3 at Lake Myrtle Park.