March 22, 2008

Engineers Rally to Win in 13-Inning Battle; Split Regular-Season Series with Babson

March 22, 2008

Box Score - Game One
Box Score - Game Two

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - Junior David Nole supplied MIT with its second walk-off hit in as many days as the Engineers rallied to defeat Babson, 13-12, in 13 innings, to complete a wild nightcap in Saturday's NEWMAC baseball doubleheader. The Beavers were dominant in a 10-1 victory over the Engineers in the opener.

Freshman Andrew Aizenstadt paced Babson's (6-4, 1-1) big game-one win with a tremendous performance on the hill. Despite scattering four hits and three walks over six innings on the mound, the rookie surrendered just one run while striking out five. Aizenstadt stranded four MIT (3-2, 1-1) base runners through the first two innings while the Babson attacked slowly expanded its lead.

Sophomore Brian Scanlon plated two Babson runners in the first with a two-run single to right field while the Beavers added two runs in each of the next two innings including RBI singles by sophomore Dave Ahern and senior Andrew Nodine.

Ben Bersanti scored on a wild pitch in the bottom of the fifth to account for MIT's lone run, but Babson responded with four more runs in the top of the sixth to pull away. Brian Evans, Ahern, and Jeff Wojnar connected on run-producing hits during the frame while sophomore Chris Wood delivered a sacrifice fly to cap the scoring.

Freshman Ryan Munoz endured the loss for MIT although Erik Fiegel made his college debut, pitching 1.2 innings without surrendering a hit. Pete Bizinkauskas pitched a scoreless seventh for Babson.

In game two, the Engineers responded to the sluggish offensive start by scoring in four of the first five innings. MIT jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the second behind two-run singles by Paul Groudas and David Nole. In the third, Groudas picked up a third RBI while Bersanti's run-scoring double down the left-field line moved MIT in front, 6-0.

Babson erased the sizeable advantage with six runs in the top of the fourth. Two MIT errors proved costly during the stanza while rookie Corey Highfield, Nodine and senior Steve Tahmoush provided the offense with run-scoring hits.

MIT answered with two more runs in the bottom of the fourth and added another run in the fifth off Stewart Park's single to left field. Park set up one of MIT's runs in the fourth with one of his three stolen bases in the game.

Down three, senior Matt Delaney homered to left center to lead off the Babson sixth. Reducing the lead to two, the Beavers tied the game in the seventh with a single to left field by Tahmoush.

After an explosive first nine, the offense disappeared on both sides for the next three frames. In the top of the 11th, Babson made a significant push to win the game. Nodine's RBI double to left field put the Beavers ahead by one. Delaney plated Nodine with a single two batters later and Peter O'Toole doubled to left center to drive home Babson's third run.

Rookie Williams Blackman single down the third-base line to lead off the bottom half of the 11th for MIT. A walk and a wild pitch put the Engineers in scoring position. Freshman Dan Hyatt singled to left field to reduce the deficit to 12-10, while freshman Brian Doyle scored on a passed ball to trim the advantage to one. During the ensuing at bat, fellow rookie Ryne Barry's single to right field led to a miscue along the line that enabled Steven Nunez to race home from second and tie the game.

MIT finally secured the winning run in the bottom of the 13th. Barry singled to center with two outs despite a diving stop by Ahern. Park followed with a single to right that moved Barry to third before Nole singled over the head of the Babson third baseman for the bench-clearing hit.

MIT utilized all of its hitters during the tilt while Doyle finished 5-for-6 with a walk and three runs to pace the attack. Nole finished 3-for-7 and four RBI.

Delaney was 3-for-4 with three walks, three runs and two RBI to lead Babson. Tahmoush finished 4-for-8 with two RBI while Nodine drove home two runs as well on three hits.

Each team received an outstanding relief effort from its bullpen early in extra innings. Babson's Matt Barton pitched 5.1 scoreless innings, scattering five hits and striking out six. MIT's Mike Vasquez set an Institute record with his 43rd career appearance and made it a good one as he hurled three innings, allowing just one run and three hits. Matt Loper threw the final 1.2 innings without yielding a run to gain the win for the Engineers.

While the Engineers are celebrating 60 years of baseball in 2008, today's first game marked Babson's 1000th career game in its 40th season. The Beavers are 505-495-1 all-time.