Engineers Fall In Extra Innings to Tufts

Senior Jon Rea

HAMPTON, Va. – For the second straight day, MIT and Tufts University hooked up in a close baseball battle in Virginia, with this one going extra innings before the Jumbos came out on top, 8-7 in 12 innings. Junior Hayden Cornwell (Newport Beach, Calif.) had a pair of doubles among his five hits for the Engineers while Nick Barker collected four hits for the Jumbos.

Cornwell's infield single scored senior Creed Mangrum (Sandy, Utah) from third in the bottom of the first to give MIT (2-2) the early advantage. Tufts (4-0) came back with a pair in the top of the third on an RBI single by Barker and a fielder's choice off the bat of Bryan Egan. The Jumbos went on to score single runs in the fifth and the eighth to increase their advantage to 4-1.

Tuft's starter, Tim Superko, limited MIT to just the first inning run and struck out seven in his six innings of work. Speros Varinos followed him to the mound and gave up just a single in the seventh, but ran into trouble in the eighth when the Engineers loaded the bases with two down on a pair of singles and a walk. Senior Sean Karson (Orlando, Fla.) then singled to left to plate a pair and chase Varinos. Senior Jon Rea (Palo Alto, Calif.) followed with a game-tying single before Mangrum completed the four-run uprising with a base hit that put MIT on top, 5-4.

Tufts came right back in the ninth to retake the lead, getting and RBI double from Wade Hauser and a run-scoring single from Nick Cutsumpas to put the Jumbos back on top. MIT rallied to tie it up in the bottom of the inning, getting two aboard with one away on a single and a double. Tufts got the strikeout on the next hitter to move to within an out of the win, but junior K.J. Parent (Knoxville, Tenn.) came up with an infield single that sent the contest into extra innings.

After a scoreless 10th, both teams scored in the 11th, with Tufts getting and RBI single from Max Freccia and senior Patrick Dayton (Archer City, Texas) delivering the run for MIT that extended the game again. Tufts regained the lead in the 12th, getting a leadoff single and a sacrifice to move the run into scoring position. Tom Petry delivered the run, doubling to left to put the Jumbos back on top. In the bottom half of the inning MIT attempted to rally again, with a walk and a hit batter putting a pair on with two down, but Tom Ryan came out of the bullpen for Tufts and recorded the final out to pick up the save.

Cornwell finished 5-for-6 with an RBI and three runs scored for MIT, with Karson delivering a pair of runs on two hits for the Engineers. Senior Max Ockner (Chesterfield, Mo.) started for MIT and allowed just one earned run on seven hits over seven innings, striking out six. Hauser led Tufts with a pair of RBI and two runs scored, while Matt Moser picked up the win in relief, giving up seven hits and a pair of runs over four innings.

MIT will play away from home in its next contest, as the Engineers will play at Curry College on Tuesday, March 18 at 3:00 p.m.