Baseball Moves On With a 7-6 Walkoff Win Over Springfield in the NEWMAC First Round

Baseball Moves On With a 7-6 Walkoff Win Over Springfield in the NEWMAC First Round

THE BASICS:

- Records: No. 4 MIT (19-16-1); No. 5 Springfield College (20-17)

- Scores: MIT 7, Springfield College 6 (12 Innings)

- Location: Cambridge, Mass. (Fran O'Brien Field)

- The Lead: Trailing 6-2 in the ninth, the MIT baseball team tied the game on a three-run homer by junior Matt Johnston (Portola Valley, Calif.) and won the game on an RBI single by sophomore Ethan Rolland (Burke, Va.) in the bottom of the 12th for a 7-6 victory over Springfield College. The No. 4 seeded Engineers now advance to the double-elimination portion of the tournament at top-seeded Wheaton College.

- Prior to the start, the Engineers honored the program's six graduating seniors for their contributions to the program during their four-year careers as they were playing in their last career home game.

HOW IT HAPPENED:

- Springfield jumped out to the 1-0 lead in the first as Brandon Russo stole third and came home on a throwing error. The Pride added four more in the third behind two-RBI singles by Mark Joao and Jake Gleason and seized control by a 5-0 margin.

- After the leadoff runner reached in the top of the fourth, MIT sophomore Casey Bussone (Danvers, Mass.) came on in relief of senior starter Patrick Callahan (Vicksburg, Mich.) as the Engineers got out of the jam. Springfield made it a 6-0 lead in the fifth on a bases-loaded walk before MIT began to claw its way back into the game.

- MIT cut the lead to 6-2 in the sixth as a single by junior Tony Rice (Colorado Springs, Colo.) scored senior Jared Schwait (Boca Raton, Fla.), followed by Rice scoring on a sacrifice fly by sophomore Andrew Krause (St. Louis, Mo.).

- Trailing 6-2 in the ninth, the Engineers loaded the bases with no outs and made it a 6-3 game on a Schwait RBI groundout that scored Zach Roberts (West Chester, Pa.). With two outs, Johnston came to the plate with two runners on and smashed his eighth home run of the season over the left field fence to tie things up at 6-6.

- In the 11th, Springfield's Joao launched a leadoff shot to dead center that was pulled down with a leaping catch at the fence by Roberts to keep the game tied.

- In the 12th inning, the Engineers got two runners on with one out to bring Rolland to the plate. Rolland's hit went just inside third base and down the line as senior Alec Kushner (Cooper City, Fla.) came around from second for the game-winning run.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS:  

- Rolland went 3-for-6 to pace the offense as three Engineers had multiple hits. Schwait and junior Thomas Allison (Kingwood, Texas) each had two hits, while Johnston scored a team-high three runs.

- For MIT, Bussone was phenomenal in relief as he threw 6.1 innings and struck out a season-high 13 batters. Callahan struck out five batters in three innings to start the game, while sophomore Tommy Hannan (San Marino, Calif.) threw 2.2 innings of one-hit relief to get the win as he is now 3-4 overall and also had five strikeouts.

- As a team, MIT struck out 23 Springfield batters, which was just four strikeouts shy of the NCAA Division III single-game record of 27 which was set in a 21-inning game.

- Springfield starter Noah Bleakley was excellent over seven innings, scattering five hits with two runs to go along with six strikeouts and no walks. After two innings from Cole Donovan, Brian Johnson came on in relief to start the 11th inning and eventually took the loss as he fell to 2-2 after giving up the game-winner. 

- For the Pride, both Joao and Gleason had two hits each with Joao adding two RBI and runs scored and Gleason driving in a pair.

UP NEXT:

- MIT now advances into the double-elimination portion of the NEWMAC Tournament, which takes place at top-seeded Wheaton College beginning on Friday, May 3rd. The Engineers will take on the Lyons in a game scheduled for a 3:30 p.m. start in Norton and will continue on Saturday and Sunday.

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