NEW LONODON, Conn. – After taking the first game of the series on Friday, the MIT baseball team could not come up with the series win today as the U.S. Coast Guard Academy scored a sweep of its NEWMAC doubleheader with the Engineers, winning by scores of 5-4 and 5-2.
MIT took an early lead in the first inning of game one, getting a one-out base hit from junior James McKinney (Wakefield, R.I.) that was followed by a two-out, run scoring double off the bat of freshman K.J. Parent (Knoxville, Tenn.). Coast Guard responded with two of its own in the bottom half of the inning. Junior Eric Gerken (Tampa, Fla.) led off with a double and eventually came around to score on a wild pitch. That same wild pitch advanced junior Eddie Babkiewich (Golden, Colo.), who had walked, to third. He then came in on an infield ground out to give the Bears a 2-1 edge.
MIT retook the lead in the third with three runs. The Engineers got back-to-back doubles from senior Brian Macomber (Los Altos, Calif.) and junior Ricardo Perez (Vienna, Va.) to score the first run. An error on the Coast Guard shortstop allowed Perez to come around before a double by freshman Hayden Cornwell (Newport Beach, Calif.) and a single off the bat of senior A.J. Hansborough (Deltona, Fla.) completed the scoring.
Junior Henry Zhu (Overland Park, Kan.), MIT's starter, kept the Bears off the board until the fourth when they scored three times after the first two hitters had been retired. A pair of singles put runners on the corners for Gerken, who doubled to left center. A wild pitch brought in the tying run before junior Joe Petry (Worcester, Mass.) put Coast Guard up for good with a single to center.
MIT had a pair aboard in the fifth, but a double play erased that scoring threat. The Engineers put a pair on again in the seventh, but junior Tyler Vieira (Dumfries, Va.), who had entered the game in the top of the inning, retired the final two MIT batters to earn his first save of the season.
Coast Guard wasted little time in the second game, putting across four runs in the first. The Bears loaded the bases with a pair of singles and a hit batter from their first three hitters An error on MIT's center fielder allowed the first run to score, with the second coming across on a fielder's choice play. An RBI single from sophomore Dave Wolinski (Henrico, Va.) plated another whit another fielder's choice play making it 4-0.
That would be all the run support that Coast Guard starter, junior Riley Beecher (Elgin, Texas) would need as he allowed just three hits and two runs over eight innings to pick up the win. MIT picked up its first run in the fifth without the benefit of a hit as Cornwell led off and was safe on an error. He stole second, moved to third on a ground out and then scored on a passed ball.
Trailing 5-1 going into the ninth, MIT threatened when Macomber walked to lead off the inning and chase Beecher. Vieira came on and gave up singles to Perez and Parent to load the bases with no one down. After getting the first out on a short fly ball, Vieira walked Hansborough walked to make it 5-2. He then got out of the jam when he induced a 4-6-3 double-play ball to end the game.
MIT will play again on Tuesday, April 3 at 3:30 p.m. when it travels to Salem State University for a non-conference game. Coast Guard will stay in conference, playing at Babson College on Tuesday at 3:30 p.m.