MIT Opens NEWMAC Baseball Season With Sweep of Springfield

Sophomore David Hesslink
Sophomore David Hesslink

WORCESTER, Mass. – In the opening games of its New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) baseball season, MIT had timely hitting and strong pitching that led to a doubleheader sweep of Springfield College as the Engineers took 6-3 and 13-1 decisions over the Pride. Senior Parker Tew (Chapel Hill, N.C.) hit a pair of home runs in game one, while freshman Austin Filiere (Chandler, Ariz.) smacked a grand slam in the nightcap to lead the way. MIT improved to 7-3 (2-0 NEWMAC) while Springfield fell to 1-10 (0-4 NEWMAC).

Tew had a hand in four of MIT's six runs in the first game. A mishandle on his ground ball in the first inning allowed a pair of runs to score before he belted his first home run of the season, a shot to left in the third that made it 3-0. The Engineers then extended their lead to 4-0 in the bottom of the fifth when Tew singled, moved to third on a base hit by senior Hayden Cornwell (Newport Beach, Calif.), and then scored on an error.

Sophomore David Hesslink (San Diego, Calif.) kept Springfield off the board over the first five innings, giving up just two hits over that span while striking out a pair. He went on to pick up the victory, going 8.1 innings and giving up eight hits and two earned runs while striking out four. The Pride finally scratched across a run in the sixth when freshman Josh Sabitsky (Milford, Conn.) led off with a single, moving up on a balk and a ground out before scoring on an error. 

MIT added another pair of runs in the eighth. Tew led off with his second round tripper of the game before Cornwell followed with a base hit. Junior Alec Echevarria (Chula Vista, Calif.) came in to run for Cornwell, moved over to second on a groundout and then came around to score on a double by senior K.J. Parent (Knoxville, Tenn.).

Going for the complete game, Hesslink fell short in the top of the ninth when he gave up an infield single and a walk to start the inning. After both runners moved up on a ground out, junior Keith Cotnoir (Westhampton, Mass.) delivered a pinch-hit, two-run single to make it 6-3 and chase Hesslink. Freshman Garrett Greenwood (Edmond, Okla.) came in from center field to close it out for MIT, bearing down after giving up a single to the first hitter he faced to get a comebacker that he turned into a 1-6-3 double play to end it. 

After a pair of scoreless innings in game two, MIT broke it open in the third with five runs. Junior Kendall Helbert (St. Louis, Mo.) led off with a double, moving to third on a Greenwood single. Sophomore John Drago (Peoria, Ariz.) then walked to load the bases for Filiere, who slammed an offering out of the park for a grand slam. Tew and Cornwell then laced back-to-back doubles to make it 5-0.

In the fourth the Engineers tacked on four more to put the game away early. Filiere was again the catalyst, bringing in two with a triple to right center to give him six RBI in a game for the second time this season. Tew then double him home before eventually scoring on a sac fly by Cornwell. It was all the run support that junior Nicholas Locascio (Naples, Fla.) would need as he went six innings and allowed just five hits and one run while striking out three.

MIT put the finishing touches on in the sixth, loading the bases with one down on three straight walks. It lead to four more runs, with junior Nate Rodman (Corvallis, Ore.) and senior Reid Bishop (Cypress, Texas) picking up RBIs for the Engineers. Springfield scored its only run of the contest in the bottom of the sixth when freshman Mark Joao (Wappingers Falls, N.Y.) and senior Steve Starr (Lebanon, Conn.) led off with singles, with Joao eventually scoring on a groundout.

MIT will return to NEWMAC action tomorrow, taking on Emerson at the New England Baseball Complex in Northboro, Mass. at 3:00 p.m. Springfield will play again tomorrow as well, traveling to Coast Guard for a 3:30 p.m. matchup.