BEVERLY, Mass. – It was an old fashioned pitching duel between MIT and Endicott College this afternoon, as the starters for both team allowed just four hits each. A three-run first inning by the Gulls proved to be the difference as they survived a home run in the ninth by sophomore Hayden Cornwell (Newport Beach, Calif.) to hang on for a 3-2 victory.
After retiring the first two hitters he faced, senior Max Ockner (Chesterfield, Mo.) ran into trouble when he gave up a single to Brett Holmgren and double down the line in left to Colin Sitarz to put two runners in scoring position. A third consecutive hit, this time a triple by EJ Martinez quickly made it 2-0. After a hit batter put runners on the corners, the Gulls executed a double steal in which Martinez was able to score before the Engineers were able to get the putout on the other runner.
MIT (9-2) got one of runs right back in the top of the second, also with two down. Freshman Nate Rodman (Corvallis, Ore.) beat out an infield hit before sophomore Parker Tew (Chapel Hill, N.C.) delivered him home with a double to center. Sophomore Karl Sorensen (Blacksburg, Va.) followed with another infield hit, but Tew was thrown out at the plate on the play to end the threat.
From there the pitching for both teams took over the rest of the game. Endicott (7-4) threatened again in the third, loading the bases with two away before Ockner got Eric Lemke to tap one back to him to get out of the jam. He went six innings, giving up the three runs on four hits while striking out three and walking a pair as he saw his record fall to 2-1. Junior Brandon Lowe (Brier, Wash.) and freshman Eric Tu (San Roman, Calif.) each tossed a scoreless inning in relief for the Engineers, giving up a hit apiece.
For Endicott, starter Brendan Pittsley only gave up one more hit, a single to Rodman in the fourth, as he improved to 2-0 after a 6.1 inning effort that saw him give up just four hits and two runs while striking out five against one walk.
MIT made it close in the ninth when Cornwell smacked one over the wall in left with one down, but Kevin Dupras, who came on in the seventh in relief of Pittsley, struck out the final two MIT hitters to end the game.
Rodman was the only MIT hitter with a pair of hits, finishing 2-for-4. For Endicott, both Sitarz and Holmgren had a pair of hits, with Sitarz belting a pair of doubles for the Gulls.
MIT will play again tomorrow when it travels to Johnson and Wales University for a 1:00 p.m. game. Endicott will remain at home, hosting Husson in a doubleheader beginning at Noon.