MIT Ousts Tufts With 6-4 Victory At NCAA Baseball Regional

Senior Jon Rea

HARWICH, Mass. – Senior Jon Rea (Palo Alto, Calif.) tallied three hits while finishing with two runs and a pair of RBIs to help lead the fifth-seeded Engineers to a 6-4 victory over third-seeded Tufts University in the 2014 NCAA Division III New England Baseball Regional this afternoon at Whitehouse Field.

With the victory, the Engineers (26-14) advance to face sixth-seeded St. Joseph's College of Maine in an elimination game on Friday evening at 8 p.m. The Monks staved off elimination in the morning contest to oust eighth-seeded Mitchell College.

The Jumbos (34-9) end their 2014 campaign in their fifth National Tournament appearance and third since 2010.

The Engineers used a three-run outburst in the bottom of the sixth to turn a 4-3 deficit into a 6-4 advantage that MIT did not relinquish.

Trailing by one midway through the contest, Rea singled and freshman John Drago (Peoria, Ariz.) connected on a double to put a pair in scoring position. Parent tied up the contest, ripping a single through the left side of the infield before junior Hayden Cornwell (Newport Beach, Calif.) induced a fielder's choice play to plate Drago.

Junior Parker Tew (Chapel Hill, N.C.) tacked on some insurance on a clean single to left to end the rally.

With the two-run lead on the board entering the bottom of the seventh, sophomore Alan Wang (Paoli, Pa.) spun three hitless innings to record his first collegiate save to seal up the victory.

The Engineers opened the contests' scoring in bottom of the second, driving in two runs on a pair of hits. 

Sophomore Nate Rodman (Corvallis, Ore.) lined a one-out single to right field to start the rally before Tew was plunked by Tufts freshman Tim Superko (Wellesley, Mass.). With two on and one away, junior Phil Reiser (Alpharetta, Ga.) walked to load the bases and with two outs, Rea laced a two-run single into left center field to put the Engineers ahead, 2-0.

The Jumbos responded in the top half of the third, stringing together three consecutive base hits to tie up the score 2-2. With junior Connor McDavitt (Holden, Mass.) on first, senior Wade Hauser (Palo Alto, Calif.) ripped a base-knock to left before senior Max Freccia (Stamford, Conn.) reached on an infield hit.

Sophomore Matt Moser (Great Falls, Va.) strode to the plate with the bases full and dropped a two-run single into shallow right field, scoring McDavitt and Hauser. 

MIT regained the 3-2 edge in the bottom of the fourth. The Scarlet and Gray scratched across a single score with two men down and the bases juiced when Rea scampered home as the shortstop opted to get the final out at second.

Tufts came right back in the top of the fifth and regained the one-run advantage. Junior Conor McDavitt (Holden, Mass.) stretched out a triple to start off the inning and then senior Tim Mitropoulos (Winchester, Mass.) equalized the contest by driving him in with a solo base-knock to right.

After Mitropoulos reached third on a misplayed fly by the centerfielder, he moved to third and touched home on a sophomore Kevin Godin (Canton, Mass.) run producing single to help put the Jumbos on top 4-3. 

MIT finished with the 10-8 edge in the hitting department as Mangrum and Tew recorded two base-knocks each.

Mitropoulos and Hauser both chipped in with a pair of singles for Tufts. McDavitt crossed the pentagon twice and Moser drove in duo of runners.

Freshman David Hesslink (San Diego, Calif.) earned the winning decision for the Engineers as he improved to 7-0. Hesslink allowed four runs (three earned) on eight hits to go with four strikeouts and a trifecta of walks.

Suuperko (4-2) shouldered the loss for Tufts. He permitted six earned runs on nine hits as he dispensed four bases on balls and fanned two. Jumbo freshman Speros Varinos (Middleton, Mass.) fired two scoreless final frames to keep the Scarlet and Gray at bay and preserve the two-run deficit.

Release Courtesy of the ECAC