Engineers Follow Familiar Pattern; Split Twinbill with Chicago

March 23, 2009

Box Score - Game 1
Box Score - Game 2

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. - Senior first baseman Thomas Phillips was 6-for-6 with three homeruns, four runs scored, and seven RBI as MIT split its third doubleheader of the annual spring trip. Facing University of Chicago for the first time in school history, MIT defeated the Maroons, 14-6, in the opener. Chicago took the second game, 9-3.

Rookie third baseman Kenneth Lin, who matched Phillips with six hits on the day, increased an early lead to 2-0 for MIT with a double in the top of the third inning. In the ensuing at bat, Phillips delivered his first homerun of the afternoon as the Engineers' lead swelled to 4-0.

After Stephen Williams got one run back for the Marooons with an RBI double in the bottom of the frame, freshmen Creed Mangrum and Lin answered with back-to-back run-scoring singles.

Chicago climbed back into the tilt in the bottom of the fourth after scoring four runs on three hits but with the benefit of two errors. Zach Osman provided the key knock during the inning with a base-clearing triple that reduced MIT's lead to 6-5.

After plating two runs in the fifth, including Phillips' second bomb of the game, the Cardinal and Gray put the battle out of reach with four runs in the sixth. Stephen Nunez paced the assault with a two-run triple, while William Blackman and Dan Hyatt also picked up RBI's.

Chris Hendrix got the start for the Engineers, but it was classmate Columbus Leonard (1-0) who picked up the win. Leonard notched his first career victory after giving up one run and five hits in 3.1 innings of work. Chicago's Alex Gallan shouldered the loss.

Chicago turned the tables on MIT in game two by jumping on Tech starter Matt Loper early. The Marooons secured hits in six of their first seven plate appearances, getting a two-run double off the bat of Rob Serpico while Travis Blane added a two-run single.

Trailing 5-0 in the fourth, Chicago stretched the advantage to eight behind RBI singles by Osman and Scott Hofer.

MIT picked up three runs in the sixth off one swing as Phillips connected for his third homerun in four hours. Unfortunately, it was the only runs of the game the MIT offense would produce.

Cameron Brown pitched 3.1 innings without allowing an earned run, although Matt Loper (0-1) endured his first loss of the campaign. Going the distance for the Maroons, Dan McConologue gave up three runs and 10 hits while striking out four in the win.