Late Rally Lifts MIT Past Fitchburg in Season Finale
May 4, 2009
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - Sophomore Dan Hyatt followed up a run-scoring double by Thomas Phillips in the eighth with an RBI single to right, as MIT completed a four-run rally en route to a 5-4 victory against Fitchburg State. The victory capped a sensational season for the Engineers, who set a program record with 25 wins.
Trailing 4-1 in the bottom of the seventh, freshman Creed Mangrum clubbed his third hit of the afternoon to lead off the frame and set the stage for the late comeback. With one out, Brian Doyle dropped a single to shallow right field as Mangrum raced home from second to slice the deficit to two. MIT (25-14) added a second run in the inning when Doyle scored on Bryan Macomber's line drive single off the leg of Fitchbug pitcher Perry Russo.
David Nole walked to lead off the next inning and scored on Phillips' double to deep right center. The run-scoring knock gave Phillips a team-record 50 runs batted in for the campaign. Hyatt followed with what turned out to be the game-winning hit, although reliever Nick Ryan minimized the damage by escaping the stanza with three runners on base.
The Engineers received outstanding contributions from their bullpen to seal the season-ending win. Rookie Kenneth Lin made an impressive debut on the mound for MIT in the eighth, striking out the first batter he faced before coming away with the victory. Ryne Barry ensured the result with two strikeouts in the ninth while picking up his team-leading third save of the year.
Fitchburg struck first with two runs in the top of the first before adding another pair in the top of the seventh. Kris Breen, who also made his pitching debut on Monday, helped his own cause early with a two-run double to deep center field. Breen worked the first six innings, scattering seven hits and a run while striking out four. In the seventh, Aaron Granahan and Andy Sauer delivered run-scoring hits to give the Falcons a three-run lead.
Mike Scaramellino shouldered the loss for Fitchburg, which fell to 18-17 on the year. Shortstop John Phelan achieved a personal milestone during the tilt by becoming the Falcons' all-time hits leader with a single to lead-off the ninth.
The late rally sweetened what was already a memorable season in MIT lore. Finishing with the most wins in team history, the Engineers also established single-season Institute records for runs scored, hits, doubles, RBI, batting average, double plays turned, and saves.
Individually, Phillips set school records for homeruns (12), extra-base hits (25), RBI, total bases (108), slugging percentage (.800), and on-base percentage (.534). MIT set several records on the defensive end as well. Phillips closed with 344 putouts, Hyatt yielded just one passed ball during the year, and Macomber factored into a team-record 33 double plays while totaling 146 assists.