MIT Rallies Past Worcester State, 4-3

WORCESTER, Mass. – Down 3-0 going into the eighth inning, MIT scored once in the eighth and then three times in the ninth to rally past Worcester State, 4-3, in non-conference baseball action this afternoon at Rockwood Park. Junior Creed Mangrum (Sandy, Utah) and sophomore Hayden Cornwell (Newport Beach, Calif.) smacked back-to-back doubles in the ninth to win it for the Engineers.

Worcester State (12-16) scored its runs early with one in the first and a pair in the third. Steve Wallace led off the bottom of the first with a single, stole second and moved to third on an errant throw to second, and then scored on a base hit off the bat of David Ruggiero. In the third the Lancers got things started with a leadoff single and a double down the line in right to put runners on second and third. Ruggiero's grounder to third was misplayed for an error, allowing one run to score, before Zach George followed with an RBI single to make it 3-0.

The MIT (18-6) bullpen stepped in after the third and blanked Worcester State the rest of the way, allowing just five hits over the final six innings. Junior Brandon Lowe (Brier, Wash.) was the first out of the pen and tossed three innings of scoreless ball. He was followed by freshman Eric Tu (San Roman, Calif.), freshman Michael Wymer (Flower Mound, Texas) and senior Aric Dama (Winfield, Ill.), who all threw a scoreless inning in relief.

MIT's offense was held in check by Worcester State starter, Cody Osburn, who gave up nine hits over seven innings, while striking out five and issuing one walk.

After being blanked for seven innings, MIT finally got on the board in the eighth when the Engineers received singles from Mangrum, Cornwell, and senior Ricardo Perez (Vienna, Va.) to load the bases with no one out. Sophomore Parker Tew (Chapel Hill, N.C.) then brought in the first run with a sac fly to left. Nick Bonofiglio, who came in from the pen to start the eighth, then got of the jam by striking out the next two hitters to end the threat.

Alex Teal then came on to pitch the ninth for the Lancers to close it out, but immediately got into trouble when he walked the first two hitters he faced. Senior James McKinney (Wakefield, R.I.) sacrificed both runners into scoring position for Mangrum, who doubled to right to tie the game. Cornwell then parked his double in right center, putting MIT on top for the first time in the contest.

Dama then finished things off with a perfect ninth to record the save, with Wymer picking up his first collegiate win with his scoreless eighth.  Mangrum and Cornwell each went 3-for-5 in the game to account for six of the 14 MIT hits, with Mangrum scoring twice and driving in a pair, and Cornwell banging out a pair of doubles. Wallace was 3-for-4 for Worcester State, scoring twice, while Ruggiero drove in a pair for the Lancers.

MIT will host No. 11 Wheaton College on Friday at Briggs Field in its next contest as the Engineers and Lyons open a three-game NEWMAC series between the top two teams in the league standings. The two will square off at 3:30 p.m. Worcester State will play again tomorrow at Fisher College at 7:00 p.m.