May 1, 2006
NORTON, Mass. - No. 4-seed MIT advanced to its first NEWMAC Baseball Tournament title game with a 14-4 win over sixth-seeded WPI early Sunday at Wheaton College's Sidell Stadium. WPI was eliminated from the tournament following the loss.
Now 18-11, MIT opposes top-seeded Wheaton in the first of a possible two championship-round games at 1:30 p.m. Should the Engineers down the Lyons, the teams will square off again Monday at 4:00 p.m. at Sidell Stadium. Wheaton has won six of the seven NEWMAC Tournaments and downed MIT in yesterday's semifinals, 14-6.
MIT broke on the board with six runs on one hit and three WPI errors during the home half of the second inning. After drawing four consecutive walks to open the frame, MIT scored its next two runs when two miscues occurred on the same play. Senior Wayne Duggan picked up the lone hit in the inning, a two-run single through the right side.
WPI crept back into the contest in the fourth, cutting its deficit in half thanks to three runs on two hits and two errors. Freshman Scott McNee and senior Nick Angelini each smacked run-scoring singles during the frame, but MIT fired right back with two runs in the bottom of the inning. After WPI made it an 8-4 game in the top of the fifth, MIT tallied the final six runs over the next three innings, highlighted by junior Jason Witzberger's two-out, three-run triple to straightaway centerfield in the seventh.
Witzberger finished 3-for-6 with four RBI, two doubles and the triple out of MIT's leadoff spot, while senior Kyle Zeller went 2-for-3 and scored twice. Duggan drove home three runs, and freshman David Nole scored three runs and stole three bases to lead MIT's 7-for-7 day on the base paths. Classmate Chris D'Annunzio allowed one earned run on two hits over the first four innings before sophomore Jay Turner notched the win with four innings of one-run, three-hit ball.
Senior Billy Flaherty smacked a double for WPI, one of five hits for the visitors, while classmate Paul Ragaglia suffered the loss after allowing four earned runs and five walks during one no-hit inning of work.