March 18, 2010

Baseball Drops Season's First to Eastern Nazarene

Courtesy of Eastern Nazarene Sports Information

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - The MIT baseball team lost to Eastern Nazarene 3-2 today on Briggs Field, losing to the Lions for the first time since 1997 when ENC beat MIT in another one run game, 9-8. On a beautiful mid-March day on MIT’s campus, the Lions opened their New England season schedule with a win as the Engineers lost the opener of their 2010 campaign.

The Lions got on the scoreboard early in the first as Danny Rodriquez singled on and then advanced to second on a passed ball. One out later, Luke Matthews singled to right driving in Rodriquez for the 1-0 lead.

The score remained unchanged until the bottom of the third when the Lions struck again.  Lead-off hitter Victor Torres doubled to left field and then advanced to third on an infield error allowing Joel Torres to reach first. On Joel Torres’ attempt to steal second base, and ensuing rundown, Victor Torres, on third, found enough time to steal home and give the Lions the 2-0 lead. 

The Engineers got on the scoreboard in the top of the 5th when leadoff hitter James McKinney reached first on an infield single up the middle. He advanced to second on a ground out and then took third as a pick-off attempt from home plate was overthrown into centerfield. This left Grant Iwamoto’s deep fly ball to centerfield to score McKinney from third to make it a one run ball game again at 2-1.

The Lions threatened in the bottom of the 6th as Justin Denbow doubled down the third base line. Luke Matthews walked on and the Lions next batter, Johan Villalona, hit into a fielder’s choice only to have the throw to second miss its target as everyone was safe and the bases were loaded. The Lions next batter, Joel Torres, worked the count to three and two and took ball four to score Denbow and give the Lions the 3-1 lead before the inning ended. 

The Engineers quickly responded in the top of the 7th, as McKinney doubled to the left field warning track and then advanced to third on a wild pitch. Bryan Macomber reached first after being hit by a pitch and then stole second. Ryne Barry then hit a deep infield ground out to score McKinney for the Engineers' second run of the game to bring the score back to a one run deficit, 3-2.  Neither team would seriously threaten the rest of the game as the Lions went on to win by the same score.

Eastern Nazarene junior Justin Denbow went 3 for 3 with a run scored and a walk as Luke Mathews went 2 for 3 with an RBI while MIT’s James McKinney went 2 for 4 at the plate with two runs scored.

ENC’s Jared Daniels picked up the win, going to 2-0, while pitching 6 innings, giving up 3 hits, 1 run and 2 walks and striking out 3. Gregg Olson came in and pitched two innings of relief but Joe Steinwedell picked up the save coming in the ninth as he retired the side.

MIT’s Chris Vaughan was credited with the loss as he threw 3 innings, giving up 4 hits, 2 runs, 2 walks while striking out 3.

Eastern Nazarene improved its record to 7-5 on the season as MIT fell to 0-1.  The Lions face Anna Maria on Saturday, March 20, and the Engineers face Wentworth Institute of Technology on Friday, March 19 at home.