May 5, 2007
Courtesy Williams Sports Information
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. - MIT baseball heads toward the home stretch of the 2007 season looking for its fourth consecutive winning season. With two game scheduled on the slate, including a home tilt against Suffolk on Sunday, The Engineers (16-16) are in prime position to do just that after splitting a doubeheader against region power Williams College (22-8) on Saturday.
In game one, the Ephs had a 6-2 lead after four innings but could not hold MIT off as the Engineers used timely hitting and took advantage of walks and Eph defensive miscues to post a 12-7 win.
The Ephs enjoyed a big inning in the third inning after they tallied four runs to grab a 6-1 lead. Chris Kenney doubled to right and Paul Morgan followed with a cloud scraping double off the right field fence that held Kenney at third. A ground out to second by Sean Gleeson plated Kenney. Junior Max Pinto then stroked a line drive homerun over the right field fence to bring in Morgan. Zach Stone ripped a single to left and he scored when Chad Brown followed with a booming double over the left fielder's head.
Brown's blast brought MIT head coach Andy Barlow to the mound for a change and after junior lefty Mike Vasquez entered the game, he immediately cooled off the Eph bats by allowing just two hits over the final 4.2 innings. Vazquez did not strike out a batter but he was effective in spotting his pitches as he walked one and allowed one earned run en route to the win.
Junior Kevin Wheeler struck the big blow for the Engineers in the opener when he highlighted their six-run fifth inning with a bases clearing double that pushed MIT in front, 7-6. Wheeler was 2-for-4 on the day with four runs batted in. Rookie shortstop Stewart Park was the only other MIT player with more than one hit as he finished 2-for-3 with a stolen base and three runs scored.
In game two, the Ephs got a stellar relief effort from senior Cory Catelli and defeated MIT 6-3 to split the doubleheader with the Engineers. MIT scored one run in each of the first three innings and held a 3-2 lead on the Ephs until the bottom of the fifth inning when the Eph offense put three runs on the board against MIT starter Jason Witzberger.
The Eph rally was started with two outs. Trey Pendery tripled down the right field line to start the attack, while Chris Kenney knocked in Pendery with a double tying the score at three. Senior shortstop Paul Morgan then put the Ephs on top 5-3 when he scorched a sinking liner into centerfield that skipped past the MIT centerfielder and rolled all the way to the fence allowing Morgan to touch all of the bases.
Junior righty Matt Gustafson started on the hill for the Ephs and pitched the first four innings allowing six hits and three runs. Catelli then fashioned three strong innings in relief where he allowed just one hit. Catelli fanned five and walked one in collecting the win. Senior lefty Ryan Fote hurled a scoreless eighth and ninth to record a save.
Witzberger was charged with the loss as he allowed five hits and five runs in five innings. Matt Loper relieved Witzberger and pitched three innings, allowing four hits and one run.
Witzberger was one of two MIT players to have more than one hit in the game as he stroked a single and a double and scored two runs in four trips to the plate. Thomas Phillips was the other Engineer with more than one hit as he had two singles in three at bats and drove in one run.