Baseball Sweeps No. 24 Wheaton on the Road

Freshman David Hesslink
Freshman David Hesslink

NORTON, Mass. – After dropping the first of a three-game New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) baseball series to No. 24 Wheaton College yesterday, MIT came back and swept the Lyons on the road, getting a 5-3 win in 10 innings before taking the second game, 5-2. Sophomore Nicholas Locascio (Naples, Fla.) and freshman David Hesslink (San Diego, Calif.) both made strong starts on the mound to help the Engineers to the sweep.

As it was yesterday, the starting pitching was strong for both MIT (16-10, 12-5 NEWMAC) and Wheaton (24-10-1, 13-4 NEWMAC). In game one Locascio did not walk a batter in his seven innings on the mound, allowing eight hits and two runs while striking out four. For Wheaton, Alec Palioca went 6.2 innings, giving up two runs and seven hits while striking out three without a walk. Hesslink picked up the win in the second game, allowing eight hits and two runs, none earned, over eight innings while Nick Filloramo allowed just one earned run in 7.1 innings for the Lyons, giving up six hits.

Wheaton got on the board first in game one, scoring a run in the third on a sac bunt by Justin Peluso and another in the fifth on a sac fly off the bat of Matt Lavanchy that brought in Jimmy Smith, who had led off the inning with a double. After not scoring over the first six innings, MIT finally got two across in the seventh to tie it. Junior Hayden Cornwell (Newport Beach, Calif.) led off with a double and then moved to third on a one-out base hit by junior Parker Tew (Chapel Hill, N.C.). Senior Patrick Dayton (Archer City, Texas) brought home Cornwell with a sac fly before Tew moved up on a wild pitch and then scored on a single up the middle by senior Sean Karson (Orlando, Fla.).

MIT took its first lead of the day in the eighth on an RBI single by sophomore Nate Rodman (Corvallis, Ore.), but Wheaton answered in the bottom half of the inning when Justin Silvestro came up with his own RBI single. Neither team threatened in the ninth, but in the top of the 10th a pair of walks and a fielding error loaded the bases with one down for MIT. Junior Phil Reiser (Alpharetta, Ga.) broke the tie with an RBI fielder's choice grounder to second before Tew followed with an RBI single.

Sophomore Michael Wymer (Flower Mound, Texas), who came on to pitch in the eighth, gave up a pair of two-out singles in the 10th to the Lyons, but put the game in the win column when he retired the final hitter on a fly to right.

As they did in the first game, Wheaton took an early two-run lead, getting an RBI single by Mike Bisceglia in the first and an RBI single from Apolinar De La Cruz in the third that scored a pair of unearned runs. Three errors in the fourth inning by the Lyons proved costly, and MIT took advantage and plated four runs. After the first two hitters reached on miscues, Tew legged out an infield single to score the first run. Another error brought home the second run to tie the game before Reiser added an RBI single and senior Jon Rea (Palo Alto, Calif.) lofted a sac fly to center to make it 4-2.

That was all the run support that Hesslink would need as he allowed just three more hits from the fourth through the eighth. In the ninth Wheaton threated when the first two Lyons singled, bringing Senior Rob Bertucci (Belleville, Ill.) out of the bullpen. He retired the first two hitters before an infield single loaded the basses, but he came back to get a fly to right to retire the side and record his second save of the season.

MIT will return home for its next contest, hosting Gordon College on Briggs Field on April, 22 starting at 3:30 p.m. Wheaton will be back on the field on April 22 as well when it hosts Endicott College at 4:00 p.m.

With the sweep, MIT secured the No. 3 seed in the NEWMAC Tournament that starts next weekend. The Engineers will play at No. 2 seed Springfield College in a best two-out-of-three series starting with a doubleheader on April 26.