March 28, 2006
GLENDALE, Ariz. - One day after splitting a two-game set with the defending NCAA Division III National Champions, the Engineers' (5-1) diamond club continued one of the best starts in program history with a 16-12 victory over Hartwick College (5-4). Senior Kyle Zeller drove in a game-high four runs, while rookie Thomas Phillips fueled the attack at the plate and on the mound.
Tuesday's slugfest started innocuously enough with only one unearned run showing on the board after three innings. Senior Wayne Duggan delivered the first blow in the afternoon by leading off the fourth with a double. Phillips picked him up with an RBI single two batter later, while Kevin Wheeler's double put Phillips in position to score on David Nole's groundout. Although MIT jumped ahead 3-0, Hartwick answered with two runs on two hits to cut the lead to one in the bottom of the frame.
After tacking on a seemingly insurance run in the top of the fifth, Hartwick exploded with five runs in the last half of the inning to jump ahead of MIT, 7-4. Sophomore Brad Polcare delivered the biggest blow during the stanza with a two-out, two-run triple down the right-field line.
Faced with another rally situation, the Engineers wasted no time in responding to Hartwick's offensive push. Opening with Phillips reaching first via an error at the hot corner, the Cardinal and Gray would go on to score eight runs on six hits during the inning. Freshmen Steven Nunez, David Nole and Chris D'Annunzio, along with junior Jason Witzberger, each picked up an RBI; while Zeller singled two home in what proved to be the game-winning hit. Wheeler also picked up an RBI after getting hit by a pitch with the bags full.
While Hartwick scored two more runs in the seventh to slash the deficit to 12-9, MIT scored four more runs in the eighth to put the game out of reach. Warren Bates singled to lead off the inning with Duggan smacking his second double of the tilt during the next at bat. Zeller followed with his second two-run single of the day, while Phillips added an RBI double and D'Annunzio chipped in with another RBI single.
Phillips finished 4-for-5 at the plate with three runs and two runs batted in. He also started the game on the hill and surrendered two earned runs in four innings pitched.
Zeller's four RBI's was a season-high and Nole drove in a career-best three runs. D'Annunzio went 3-for-5 at the plate with two runs batted in, while Duggan, Wheeler and Witzberger each enjoyed a multi-hit performance. Junior Lincoln Pasquina (1-0) was credited with the win.