Babson Takes 10-Inning Thriller Over MIT

Junior Hayden Cornwell

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – A pair of strong performances by the starting pitchers highlighted the first of a three-game New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) baseball series between MIT and Babson College this afternoon After MIT tied the game in dramatic fashion in the bottom of the ninth, Babson came back with a pair of runs in the 10th to take a 4-2 win. Senior Matt Grenier (Rochester, N.H.) tossed all 10 innings to pick up the win for the Beavers, while junior Hayden Cornwell (Newport Beach, Calif.) sent the game into extra innings with a two-run home run in the ninth for the Engineers.

Grenier and senior Max Ockner (Chesterfield, Mo.) matched each other pitch-for-pitch in what turned into a pitching dual, with each allowing just one hit over the first three innings. Babson (12-10, 6-5 NEWMAC) got on the board first in the fourth, with the rally starting with a one-out single by senior Brendan Collins (Abington, Mass.). Freshman Jack Halpin (Glastonbury, Conn.) followed with a single to left, with both runners moving up a base when Collins beat the throw to third. Ockner was then called for a balk, allowing the first run to score, before junior Sean McPhee (Framingham, Mass.) lofted a fly to left that was deep enough to allow Halpin to come home.

It looked as if that was going to be enough to win it for Grenier, as he allowed just four hits over the first eight innings to the Engineers. Ockner was just as impressive; giving up just three more hits through the ninth inning after the Beavers had scored. Grenier retired the first hitter in the ninth as he worked towards the complete-game shutout, but senior Creed Mangrum (Sandy, Utah) singled down the line in right and Cornwell followed with his third home run of the season to left to send the game into extra innings.

Babson took advantage of three MIT (11-8, 8-3 NEWMAC) errors in the top of the 10th to score what proved to be the game-winning runs. Junior Chris Warren (Medfield, Mass.) led off with an infield single, taking second with the throw to first was errant. Two more errors loaded the bases and brought senior Brandon Lowe (Brier, Wash.) out of the bullpen for MIT. With the infield pulled in, he got the force at home on a grounder to first, but Collins then singled to center to score both runs.

MIT put runners on in the bottom of the 10th, but could not score. Sophomore Nate Rodman (Corvallis, Ore.) singled to lead off the inning, but was erased on a double play. Junior K.J. Parent (Knoxville, Tenn.) then drew a walk, but Grenier retired the next hitter on a fly to center to end it. Grenier allowed six hits and the two runs over his 10-inning complete-game, striking out three and walking two. Ockner went nine innings, giving up four runs, two earned, on seven hits while striking out five against two walks.

Collins finished with a 3-for-5 day, driving in the two runs in the 10th to lead Babson at the plate. No MIT hitter had more than one hit, with Cornwell's shot in the ninth providing all of the offense for the Engineers.

The two teams will conclude their series tomorrow at Babson with a doubleheader starting at 12:00 p.m.