MIT Opens NCAA Tournament Play Wednesday Against Endicott

Senior Max Ockner
Senior Max Ockner

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – After winning its first New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) title last week, the MIT baseball team leaned today where it sits in the 2014 NCAA Baseball Tournament bracket. The Engineers will be the No. 5 seed in the New England Regional, which will be played at Whitehouse Field in harwich, Massachusetts. MIT will play No. 4 seed Endicott College in its first game on Wednesday, May 14 at 9:30 a.m.

MIT (24-13) will be making its second straight and third appearance in the last four years in the NCAA Tournament. The Engineers won their first NEWMAC title last week with a doubleheader sweep at Wheaton College in the league championship matchup, taking the best 2-of-3 series 2-0. The NCAA matchup with the Gulls will be the second straight game this season between the two schools, as the two teams met last week in the final regular season game of the 2014 campaign, with MIT scoring a 4-3 victory.

After winning the NEWMAC title MIT reached another milestone when six Engineers were selected to the All-NEWMAC baseball teams, including Pitcher of the Year, freshman David Hesslink (San Diego, Calif.), and Rookie of the Year, freshman John Drago (Peoria, Ariz.). Hesslink led the Engineers on the mound with a 6-0 record, posting an ERA of 1.93 while striking out 36 in 56 innings of work. Drago has played a number of positions for the Engineers this season, posting a .314 batting average and leading the team with a .440 on-base percentage.

Along with Drago and Hesslink, senior outfielder Creed Mangrum (Sandy, Utah) also earned first team All-NEWMAC honors, finishing the regular season with a team best .354 average while hitting six home runs and driving in 28. Junior outfielder Hayden Cornwell (Newport Beach, Calif.), senior pitcher Max Ockner (Chesterfield, Mo.) and sophomore pitcher Nicholas Locascio (Naples, Fla.) all earned second team all-conference honors for the Engineers, with Cornwell hitting .295 and leading the team with 29 RBI. Ockner was named the NEWMAC Tournament Most Outstanding Player after winning both of his starts in the playoffs and is among the national leaders with his 1.43 ERA. Another member of the starting rotation, Locascio finished the regular season with a 4-2 record and a 2.63 ERA while leading the Engineers pitching staff with 45 strikeouts.

The remaining seeds at the New England regional are No. 1 seed Eastern Connecticut State, No. 2 Southern Maine, No. 3 Tufts, No. 6 St. Joseph's (Maine), No. 7 Worcester State and No. 8 Mitchell.