March 25, 2014

MIT Battles Springfield to 1-1 Draw

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – After 14 innings of baseball that saw MIT and Springfield College combine to strand 24 runners on base, the deciding factor was the light left in the day as the Engineers and the Pride battled to a 1-1 tie in a game that was suspended because of darkness. The game will be finished at a later date, with Springfield batting in the top of the 15th. Senior Max Ockner (Chesterfield, Mo.) started for MIT and gave up one run on six hits over eight innings while striking out four, while his counterpart, senior Alex Williams (East Hartford, Conn.) did not give up a run over his five innings, allowing four hits while striking out five.

Springfield picked up what proved to be its only run in the first inning. Junior Steve Starr (Lebanon, Conn.) led off with an infield single and moved to third on a pair of groundouts. Junior CJ Monroe (Wolcott, Conn.) then delivered and RBI single to center to make it 1-0. MIT loaded the bases in the bottom half of the inning on a single, a walk and a hit batter, but Williams came up with the strikeout to end the threat.

MIT threatened again in the third, getting a leadoff walk from senior Creed Mangrum (Sandy, Utah) that was followed by a double to left center by freshman John Drago (Peoria, Ariz.), but Williams again bounced back by retiring the next three Engineers in order. 

It stayed a 1-0 game until the bottom of the sixth when junior KJ Parent (Knoxville, Tenn.) parked a ball over the fence in left for his first home run of the season. The Engineers put two aboard with one away in the bottom of the eighth on a single and an error, but senior Peter Baranski (Hamden, Conn.) came out of the pen for Springfield and got the next two hitters on fly outs to end the threat.

In the bottom of the 12th Drago led off for MIT with a single, and a sacrifice and an error later the Engineers had runners on the corners with one down. The Pride drew their infield in and it paid off as sophomore Kendall Helbert (St. Louis, Mo.) hit a grounder to short that sophomore Dan Bergami (Schenectady, N.Y.) was able to field and then throw home for the out.

MIT put two more on in the 13th but could not come up with the big hit, and Springfield followed suit in the top of the 14th inning with the same result. Both bullpens did an outstanding job, with four MIT pitchers coming on to throw six innings of three-hit ball, striking out five. Springfield's relief corps tossed nine innings of relief, giving up just the one run on six hits and striking out five.

Drago led an MIT offense that generated 10 hits with a 4-for-7 day. Monroe and junior Steve Starr (Lebanon, Conn.) each had a pair of hits for Springfield.

MIT will be in action again on Thursday, March 27 when it hosts the University of Southern Maine at 3:30 p.m. Springfield is also scheduled to play on Thursday as well, traveling to Westfield State for a 3:30 p.m. contest.