MIT stuns 18th-ranked Wheaton during opening weekend of NEWMACs

AUBURNDALE, FL- The MIT baseball team began its New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) conference play in style on Saturday with a pair of wins over reigning conference champions Wheaton College. MIT beat the Lyons, ranked 18th in the country, 1-0 and 5-3 at the Lake Myrtle Sports Complex. Wheaton, had its three-game winning streak snapped to fall to 4-3, while the Engineers won their fifth straight to move to 5-1.

A fourth-inning unearned run proved to be the difference in the opener, as the game featured a pitcher's duel between Wheaton freshman Alec Palioca and MIT sophomore Aric Dama.  Palioca allowed five hits with two strikeouts and two walks in a complete-game effort, while Dama yielded five hits, fanned four batters and walked three in six innings.  MIT senior Cameron Brown picked up the save.

Tech sophomore Ricard Perez drove in the lone run while Engineer senior Brian Doyle added two hits. Lyon senior Tad Skelley went 2-for-3 with a pair of doubles.  Wheaton had a chance to tie the game in the seventh when Skelley doubled with one down.  However, he didn't advance beyond second, as a liner to center field and a groundout to second ended the game.

After stranding seven runners in game one, the Lyons left 12 runners on base in the second contest. Senior Eric Laliberte and junior Hal Landers posted two hits apiece, while Landers, senior Sean Munley and junior Dan Haugh each drove in a run.  Sophomore righty Justin Dickinson was saddled with the loss, striking out four and walking two while surrendering four earned runs on seven hits in five innings.

For the Engineers, junior A.J. Hansborough went 3-for-4 with an RBI and a run, senior Ryne Barry was 2-for-3, junior Bryan Macomber plated a pair of runs, and freshman Jonathan Rea scored twice.  Sophomore Max Ockner had six strikeouts and three walks while giving up two earned runs and scattering six hits in 5.2 frames.  Classmate Henry Zhu collected the save.

Wheaton took an early 2-0 run with two runs on two hits in the first inning but didn't score again until the eighth, while the Engineers pushed across a run in each the second through sixth frames for a 5-2 advantage.  The Lyons stranded two runners in the first, third, fourth and sixth innings.

Wheaton had a golden opportunity in the eighth, as a two-out rally resulted in a run and a bases-loaded situation, but Zhu entered the game and retired his only batter by inducing a fly out to thwart the threat.  MIT jammed the bags in the home half with one out before striking out and grounding out to short to end the frame.

The Engineers complete their three-game season series against the Lyons tomorrow morning at 9:00 a.m. at Chain of Lakes Park.

Release Courtesy of Wheaton Sports Information