April 19, 2009
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - Seniors Steven Nunez and Matt Loper authored a pair of complete-game victories on Sunday as MIT rolled past Newbury College in its final test before the NEWMAC Championship Tournament behind scores of 6-0 and 19-1, respectively. The Engineers enter postseason play having won eight of their last nine and will host Babson College in the opening round on Wednesday.
Nunez was sensational in leading MIT (19-9) to a shutout win in game one. In his first start of the year, Nunez (2-2) went the distance, scattering six hits, while striking out seven. The senior righty also finished the opener 3-for-3 at the plate.
The Engineers scored two runs in the first inning of play on Sunday as Thomas Phillips picked up an RBI following the Nighthawks' third walk of the inning, while Nunez drove home a run with a sacrifice fly to deep center. MIT doubled its lead in the third as rookie Kenneth Lin plated a pair of runs with a single to left center. David Nole and Nunez, who each singled during the frame, scored on the play.
The Cardinal and Gray capped the scoring by adding two more runs in the fourth. With one out, Stewart Park doubled down the right-field line. Dan Hyatt tripled to right in the ensuing at bat, while Phillips picked up a sac fly after driving a pitch to the fence in left center.
Newbury (3-22) posted six hits during the game, including four lead-off hits, but didn't advance a runner past second base. Matthew Hrasky worked all six innings for the Nighthawks, while falling to 1-1 on the season.
The Engineers took quick control of the second game by scoring 14 runs in the first inning. Working through the order twice during the opening frame, Nole and Phillips each delivered two run-scoring knocks, Nunez brought home a pair with a double to center, and rookie Bryan Macomber belted a three-run triple to highlight the assault. Park added an RBI double as MIT tied a season game-high with six stolen bases during the inning.
Stephen Toth had an RBI single to center to push the lead to 15 in the third, while the Engineers closed out the scoring with four runs on five hits in the sixth. Cameron Brown, Doyle, Nole, and Toth earned RBI's during the frame.
While MIT established a single-game season high for runs scored, Matt Loper (1-1) was terrific on the hill. Loper yielded no earned runs and didn't allow a player to reach third until the final inning of the game. His counterpart, Michael Gulla, worked 0.1 innings, as did reliever Alex Chetelat. Curran Shane pitched the final five innings for the Nighthawks.
In two games, neither Phillips nor Nunez recorded an out. Phillips finished 5-for-5 with two runs and four RBI on the day, while adding two stolen bases. Nunez was 4-for-4 with three runs batted in. Nole also enjoyed a strong afternoon, closing 5-for-8 with three runs scored and four RBI.