- Records: MIT (8-5); Tufts (7-8)
- Scores: MIT 10, Tufts 4
- Location: Cambridge, Mass. (Fran O'Brien Field)
- The Lead: On a brutally cold Thursday afternoon, the MIT baseball team rallied from an early 3-0 deficit to come away with a 10-4 victory over Tufts University in non-conference play at Fran O'Brien Field. The Jumbos held a 4-2 lead heading to the bottom of the seventh inning before the Engineers scored the last eight runs of the game for the six-run win.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- Tufts jumped on the board in the second as Nick Falkson homered to left field as he got the ball up into a strong wind for the 1-0 lead. Tommy O'Hara's sacrifice fly in the second scored Elias Varinos with an unearned run. In the fourth, Tufts added another single run as Varinos singled through the right side to bring home Casey Santos-Ocampo to make it a 3-0 game. Santos-Ocampo reached on a one-out single and moved to third on a two-base throwing error before scoring with two outs.
- The Engineers got on the board with a two-out rally in the bottom of the fifth to close within 4-2. Senior David Heller (Fair Lawn, N.J.) tripled to right center as the ball rolled to the wall and scored freshman Ethan Rolland (Burke, Va.). Sophomore Matt Johnston (Portola Valley, Calif.) followed that with a single to right center that dropped in to bring Heller across.
- After the Jumbos extended the lead back to 4-2 in the seventh on a bases-loaded walk of Ryan Day, MIT struck for four runs in the bottom of the inning to take the 6-4 advantage. Johnston had an RBI single that was knocked down by the wind to make it a 4-3 game, followed by a bases-loaded walk of senior Max Lancaster (Attleboro, Mass.) to tie the game at 4-4.
- The Engineers took the lead for good as Heller scored on a passed ball for the 5-4 edge, followed by Johnston coming across on another passed ball to increase the lead to 6-4. In the eighth, Rolland picked up his first career home run with a solo shot to left, followed by three straight unearned runs for the Engineers as MIT closed out the scoring.
- Sophomore Jared Tramontano (Corona, Calif.) came on in relief for MIT with two outs in the eighth and shut down the Jumbos with three strikeouts over 1.1 innings.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS:
- Freshman Casey Bussone (Danvers, Mass.) went five innings in the start for MIT, scattering six hits with one earned run and two strikeouts. The eventual winning pitcher was junior Nick Charchut (Santa Monica, Calif.) as he threw a hitless seventh to improve to 2-1 on the season.
- Tufts starter R.J. Hall went seven innings in the start, giving up six runs (three earned) on 10 hits, two walks and three strikeouts. Joe Thomas pitched an inning of relief as he was charged with four runs on five hits.
- Offensively, MIT senior Garrett Greenwood (Edmond, Okla.) was 4-for-5 with a run scored to continue to close in on the 200-hit mark for his career as he currently sits at 195. Johnston was also 4-for-5 in the win as he had three RBI and scored a pair of runs. Heller continued his excellent season with three runs scored to push his season total to a team-best 16, along with two hits each from Rolland and sophomore Thomas Allison (Kingwood, Texas).
- Tufts was led by two hits each from Santos-Ocampo and Varinos, while Justin Mills and Falkson each drew a pair of walks as MIT outhit the Jumbos by a 15-6 margin.
- MIT is receiving votes in this week's ABCA/Collegiate Baseball Division III National Poll.
- MIT is back in action on Friday, April 6 as the Engineers travel to Campanelli Stadium in Brockton, Mass. to take on Emerson College in a NEWMAC contest beginning at 3:30 p.m.