May 7, 2008
FITCHBURG, Mass. - Behind Keith Weagle's complete game victory, Fitchburg State closed out MIT's season with a 5-3 win on Tuesday afternoon at Elliot Field.
The Engineers (18-19) jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first inning on an RBI single by Steven Nunez. Tech's lead didn't last long as Andrew Sauer led off the bottom half of the inning with a solo homerun to right field to knot the game at 1-1.
The Falcons (12-22) took a lead 2-1 in the third inning on an RBI double by Kris Breen and added single runs in the sixth and seventh on a fielding error and an RBI double by Jim Abreau to extend their advantage to 4-1.
MIT trimmed the deficit to 4-3 in the top of the eighth on an RBI double by freshman Ryne Barry and a fielding error. Matt Slattery added an insurance run in the bottom half of the eighth with an RBI double to cap the scoring.
Weagle (3-3) went the distance on the hill, allowing three runs on five hits while striking out three. Senior Jay Turner (3-5), who made his last career start, pitched 7.2 innings and allowed four earned runs with six strikeouts for the Engineers. Mike Vasquez pitched the final third of an inning allowing a hit.
After a strong middle-half of the season, MIT endured its worst month of May under fifth-year skipper Andy Barlow. The Engineers went 1-5 to close out the campaign including four straight losses to drop the team under .500 for the first time since 2003.
Despite the disappointing finish, MIT set numerous season records during the spring. Sophomore Stewart Park shattered his existing Institute record with 34 stolen bases (39 attempts) while Thomas Phillips clubbed a program-best 15 doubles and Kevin Wheeler helped turn 24 double plays. David Nole tied the single-season record with five triples.
Wheeler earned a few dubious distinctions as well, closing out his career as the program's all-time leader in hit-by-pitches (15) and strikeouts (77). As a team, the Engineers stranded a school-record 294 runners.
MIT also established two career pitching records as Mike Vasquez set a new mark for appearances with 56, while Jay Turner yielded 265 hits. Turner finished his career tied for second on the program's all-time win list with 19 victories (19-11).