FARMNINGDALE, N.Y. – Keene State jumped out to a 4-0 lead after three innings and went on to take a 6-2 win over MIT in the season baseball opener for the Engineers in a game played at Farmingdale State on Long Island in New York. Freshman Eben Bitonte (Wichita, Kan.) led an eight-hit attack for MIT with a pair of hits and scored a run.
Keene State (1-1) struck first in the second inning when Tyler Estevez came up with the big two-out hit, singling off of MIT sophomore starter Aric Dama (Winfield, Ill.) to bring in two runs and give the Owls the first scores of the game. Keene State again came up with two-out hits in the bottom of the third, getting back-to-back run scoring singles from Chuck Vogt and Tanner Chase to go up 4-0.
MIT (0-1) scored its first run of the day in the top of the fourth. With two down Bitonte doubled and junior James McKinney (Wakefield, R.I.) followed with a single. An error on the play allowed Bitonte to come up with the first run of the season for MIT.
Keene State answered the MIT score with one of its own in the bottom of the fourth to push its lead back to four. The Engineers got back on the board in the sixth when McKinney walked and freshman Hayden Cornwell (Newport Beach, Calif.) followed with a run-scoring double to center. Any further damage by MIT was erased when Cornwell was thrown out at third trying to stretch his hit into a triple. The Owls matched the MIT tally again, however, putting together a triple and single plate the final run of the day.
Keene State's starter, Jeff Pelkey, gave up just the one earned run in seven innings of work to pick up the victory, allowing seven hits and three walks. Dama gave up 10 hits and five runs in his 3.2 innings of work for MIT. Senior Chris Hendrix (Richardson, Texas) allowed one run in 2.1 innings and sophomore Creed Mangrum (Sandy, Utah) gave up just one hit in his two innings of work out of the bullpen.
MIT will its visit to Long Island tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. when the Engineers will face No. 11 Western New England University, with the game again taking place at Farmingdale State.