CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Looking to repeat as New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) champions, the Beavers of Babson College added two more wins to their record, defeating the MIT baseball team in two games during Saturday’s NEWMAC doubleheader on Briggs Field. With the losses, the Engineers drop to 5-8 (0-5 NEWMAC) on the year, while Babson has won 15 of its last 16 to rise to 5-1 in the NEWMAC and 15-3 overall.
In the day’s first game, solid pitching from MIT sophomore Torre Swanson and Babson senior Michael O’Brien kept the first four innings quiet and scoreless. The Beavers broke the silence in the fifth, when first-year John Botelho led off with a double down the left-field line. Botelho advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt from senior Peter O’Toole and advanced home on the next batter via a passed ball.
Later in the inning, with men on first and third, Babson senior Dave Ahern launched a sac-fly to right field to bring in sophomore Travis Jonasson and put the Beavers in front, 2-0.
MIT responded in the sixth, opening the inning with a single from senior Stewart Park and a double from sophomore Bryan Macomber. Junior Dan Hyatt picked up an RBI with a ground-out to second, scoring Park and cutting the lead to 2-1.
In the seventh, Babson’s Ahern advanced to first on error and second by stolen base before sophomore Billy Miller picked up an RBI with a single to right, giving the Beavers a 3-1 lead heading into the bottom of the final inning.
In their final at-bat, the Engineers picked up a runner on a walk and advanced him to second on a grounder. With two out, freshman James McKinney drove in pinch-runner Zach Carr to pull MIT to within one run. An error put Park and the go-ahead run on first, but O’Brien forced a fly to shortstop for the final putout of the game, sealing the 3-2 win for Babson.
Both O’Brien (3-0) and Swanson (0-3) pitched complete 7-inning games. O’Brien had 5 strikeouts and 1 walk with 8 hits and 2 earned runs, while Swanson posted 4 strikeouts, 2 walks, 7 hits and 2 earned runs.
Babson’s Trevor MacNeill and MIT’s Chris Hendrix took to the mound as starting pitchers in the second game, and despite some exciting plays, the first four innings were again scoreless.
In the fifth, senior Brian Scanlon led off the inning by reaching on a throwing error and advancing to second. Two batters later, junior Corey Highfield brought Scanlon home with a sacrifice fly to left field, putting the Beavers up 1-0.
Babson opened up the lead in the eighth with a single by junior Billy Besinger and an RBI-double by first-year Chris Kucher. Two more runs scored in the inning, closing out the game’s scoring and giving Babson the 4-0 win.
The Cardinal and Gray struggled in the second game, tallying only 5 hits and racking up 4 fielding errors. Though the Engineers did manage to turn 2 double plays, they left 7 on base and had another 2 runners picked off.
MacNeill (3-1) pitched 7 innings for Babson with 3 strikeouts and 3 walks. Junior Austin Dadio threw the final 2 innings, allowing only 1 hit.
MIT’s Hendrix had 1 earned run, 3 strikeouts, 1 walk and 1 earned run in his 7 innings on the mound. Henry Zhu provided relief for 2 outs in the eighth before junior Cameron Brown closed out the game for the Engineers, throwing one strikeout among his 4 outs of the game.
The Engineers look to rebound when they face the Rams of Suffolk University in a non-conference game on Monday, April 5. The Beavers also play Monday when they return home to host UMass-Dartmouth. Both games are scheduled to begin at 3:30 p.m.