HARWICH, Mass. – Junior Parker Tew (Chapel Hill, N.C.) swatted a two-run home run to key a three-run seventh that proved to be the difference as No. 5 seed MIT held off No. 6 seed St. Joseph's College, 4-3, in the 2014 NCAA Division III New England Baseball Regional this evening at Whitehouse Field. MIT will move on in the tournament and play No. 4 seed Endicott College on Saturday at Noon.
With the victory MIT improved to 27-14 on the year, matching the school record for wins the Engineers established last season. St. Joseph's was eliminated from the tournament with the loss and finishes its season with a 30-15 record.
Tew had a hand in the first run of the game, doubling in the second and coming around to score on an RBI single by junior Karl Sorensen (Blacksburg, Va.). St. Joseph's matched the tally in the bottom of the third when Brett Barbati led off the inning for the Monks with a home run.
That was all the scoring that the two starting pitchers would allow until the seventh. Junior K.J. Parent (Knoxville, Tenn.) had a pair of 1-2-3 innings and gave up just six hits over the first seven innings, while Alex Valenti was just as effective for St. Joseph's, surrendering just the one run and four hits over his first six innings on the mound.
In the seventh, however, MIT picked up a leadoff single from sophomore Nate Rodman (Corvallis, Ore.) that Tew followed with his second home run of the tournament for a 3-1 Engineer lead. A walk by junior Phil Reiser (Alpharetta, Ga.) knocked Valenti out of the game and MIT went on to load the bases with one out for senior Patrick Dayton (Archer City, Texas), whose pinch-hit fielder's choice grounder brought home another run to make it 4-1.
An pair of errors and a single in the eighth enabled St. Joseph's to put runners on the corners with one down and the Monks capitalized, getting a sac fly off the bat of Nic Lops to make it 4-2.
St. Joseph's rallied again in the ninth, with a lead off single by Taylor Reuillard knocking Parent out of the game in favor of senior Rob Bertucci (Belleville, Ill.). Alex Markakis greeted him with a single to put two aboard, with a sacrifice and a walk loading the bases for the Monks with one out. Bertucci came back with a strikeout to put the Engineers one out away from advancing before an infield hit by Louie Vigars made it a one-run game and kept St. Joseph's hopes alive. Bertucci came back, however, and retired the final hitter on a fly to right to pick up his fifth save of the season.
Parent improved to 4-3 after finishing with an eight-inning, eight-hit outing, striking out three and walking just one. Valenti dropped to 4-3, allowing all four runs on six hits over six innings while striking out six. Tew, Rodman and Sorensen all had a pair of hits for the Engineers, who saw the 5-8 hitters collect all seven of the team's hits. Markakis picked up three of the 10 St. Joseph's hits to lead the Monks.