CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – A bases-clearing double by senior Chris Kucher (Westwood, Mass.) broke a 2-2 tie in the 13th inning and lifted Babson College to a 5-2 victory over MIT in New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference baseball action this afternoon. Senior Ricardo Perez (Vienna, Va.) had a pair of hits to lead the Engineers.
It was a well pitched game by both starters. For MIT (14-4, 10-2 NEWMAC) freshman Nicholas Locascio (Naples, Fla.) struggled a bit in the first, giving up a pair of walks before sophomore Sean MacPhee (Framingham, Mass.) singled to left to bring in the first run of the game. After that Locascio did not surrender another run as he scattered seven hits over his six innings of work.
For Babson (12-10, 6-6 NEMWAC), junior Matt Grenier (Rochester, N.H.) went 7.1 innings for the Beavers, giving up a pair of runs on six hits while striking out three. MIT got to him for a run in the third when junior Jon Rea (Palo Alto, Calif.) walked with one away and then moved up on a single by sophomore Parker Tew (Chapel Hill, N.C.). Senior James McKinney (Wakefield, R.I.) followed with another single to score Rea and tie the game.
There was not any more scoring until the bottom of eighth when sophomore Hayden Cornwell (Newport Beach, Calif.) connected for solo home run to left off of Grenier to put the Engineers on top. Babson came back to tie things up in the top of the ninth, however, getting runners at the corners with one down on a double by senior Pat Matvichuk (Middleton, Mass.) and a single from senior Trevor Boyce (Canton, Mass.). Sophomore Dillon Gonzalez (Beverly, Mass.) then lofted a sac fly to center to send the game into extra innings.
Both squads received some good work from their bullpens, as junior Rob Bertucci (Belleville, Ill.) threw a pair of scoreless innings for MIT and sophomore Connor Allen (Madison, N.J.) tossed 2.2 scoreless innings for Babson in relief. In the 12th, senior Henry Zhu (Overland Park, Kan.) came on and retired Babson in order, but ran into trouble in the 13th.
Senior John Botelho (Tempe, Ariz.) led off with a double and was sacrificed to third to start the rally. Boyce and Gonzalez followed with walks before Kucher stroked his game-winning hit to the fence in left center. Freshman Nick Ahearn (Norfolk, Mass.), who had entered the game in the bottom of the 11th, then worked around a one-out walk to sophomore K.J. Parent (Knoxville, Tenn.) to pick up the win. He worked the last three innings of the contest, allowing just one hit and a walk while striking out a pair to improve to 2-0.
MIT will step outside the NEWMAC for its next game as it hosts Curry College tomorrow at Briggs Field in a 3:30 p.m. matchup. Babson will host UMass Boston on Thursday in its next action, taking on the Beacons at 3:30 p.m.