Springfield Pulls Out Win over MIT in Bottom of Ninth

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – Springfield College scored a run in the bottom of the ninth inning without the aid of a hit to pull out a 7-6 win over MIT in a New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference game this afternoon. Errors were costly for both sides as a total of 11 miscues, seven by the Engineers, led to seven unearned runs scored in the contest, including the game winner.

With one out in the ninth, Springfield senior Mike Corletta (Westtown, N.Y.) drew a walk off junior Henry Zhu (Overland Park, Kan.) and moved to second on a wild pitch. MIT intentionally walked the next hitter to set up the force and it almost worked as junior Matt Milano (Cumberland, R.I.) hit a comebacker to Zhu. Unfortunately his throw to second to get the force there went into center field, allowing the winning run to score.

Springfield (11-9, 5-4 NEWMAC) scored a single run in each of the first two innings to take an early 2-0 advantage. The Pride scored an unearned run in the first before getting a two-out, RBI single from freshman Steve Starr (Lebanon, Conn.) in the second.

MIT (11-10, 2-8 NEWMAC) also scored its first run with the aid of an error, with sophomore Sean Karson (Winter Park, Fla.) scoring in the third on an misplay by the Springfield shortstop. The Engineers tied it in the fourth on an RBI single off the bat of junior Ricardo Perez (Vienna, Va.) before taking its first lead of the game in the fifth. Karson led off the inning with a single, was sacrificed to second, stole third and then scored on a wild pitch. Senior Torre Swanson (Redding, Calif.), who was at the plate when Karson scored, reached when he was hit by the pitch. He then moved over on the second wild pitch of the inning, stole third and then scored on another Pride error.

MIT scored two more times in the sixth for a 6-4 lead. Perez led off with a single, made it to third on a wild pitch and groundout before stealing home. Later in the inning sophomore Jon Rea (Palo Alto, Calf.) delivered a single down the line in right that scored senior A.J. Hansborough (Deltona, Fla.), who had reached on another error.

Both of MIT's two-run innings were answered by Springfield. The Pride scored a pair in the fifth when Milano delivered a two-run single. In the sixth it was Starr that came up with the big hit, another two-run single that gave him three RBI on the day and tied the game at six-all.

After the sixth the Engineers could only come up with a pair of hits as freshman Tyler Benoit (North Adams, Mass.)  and sophomore Jon Medici (South Portland, Maine) came out of the bullpen to close the door on MIT. Benoit threw 2.2 innings of scoreless ball, with Medici setting down the two batters he faced to pick up the win. Despite not allowing an earned run in three innings of work, Zhu took the loss for the Engineers, giving up three hits and a pair of walks while striking out two. Junior Aric Dama (Winfield, Ill.) started for MIT, going 5.1 innings and allowing six runs, three earned, on nine hits while striking out a pair.

The two teams will play again tomorrow at MIT, completing the three-game series with a doubleheader that will begin at Noon.