Baseball Drops Back-and-Forth 6-5 Final at Babson on Friday

Baseball Drops Back-and-Forth 6-5 Final at Babson on Friday

THE BASICS:

- Score: Babson 6, MIT 5

- Records: MIT (12-7-1, 6-4 NEWMAC); Babson (11-10, 5-3 NEWMAC)

- Location: Babson Park, Mass. (Govoni Field)

- The Lead: On Friday afternoon, the MIT baseball team rallied from an early deficit to take a 4-3 lead in the seventh at Babson before the Beavers used a three-run eighth inning to regain the lead, en route to a 6-5 win in the first game of a three-game weekend series.

HOW IT HAPPENED:

- In the bottom of the second, Babson took a 1-0 lead as Ryan Arena reached on a leadoff single to right center and later scored with an unearned run on a groundout. MIT answered in the top of the third as junior Austin Filiere (Chandler, Ariz.) homered to center to tie the game at 1-1, marking his team-leading fifth home run of the season. The Beavers regained the lead in the bottom of the frame though as Babson scored on an RBI groundout and then on an RBI double to right by Arena that brought home Adam Ayala for the 3-1 edge.

- The Engineers tied the game for the second time in the top of the fifth with a pair of runs, started with an RBI single to left by sophomore Jared Schwait (Boca Raton, Fla.) to score junior Max Lancaster (Attleboro, Mass.). Later in the inning, sophomore catcher Alec Kushner (Cooper City, Fla.) scored on a wild pitch after reaching earlier in the frame after being hit by a pitch.

- The score remained tied until the top of the seventh when the Engineers took a 4-3 advantage to lead for the first time in the game. Filiere nearly flew out in foul territory but the ball fell in, setting him up to double to right later in the at-bat to score junior David Heller (Fair Lawn, N.J.) for the one-run edge and chase Babson starter Connor Gill from the game.

- The Beavers struck for three runs in the bottom of the eighth for what proved to be the winning surge to take a 6-4 edge. Jack Halpin tied the game with an RBI single to center that marked the final batter of the day for MIT starter David Hesslink (San Diego, Calif.) after 7.1 innings pitched. Freshman Zachary Kopstein (Tiburon, Calif.) came on in relief for the Engineers and Arena gave the Beavers two insurance runs, including the eventual winning run, as he homered to left for the 6-4 lead heading to the ninth.

- In the ninth, Filiere drew a bases-loaded walk to score Lancaster and make it a 6-5 margin before Babson reliever Matt Cuneo induced a game-ending double play to earn the save.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS:

- Schwait finished 2-for-3 with two walks in his leadoff spot, while Filiere was 2-for-3 with one run scored, three RBI and a pair of walks. Freshman Matt Johnston (Portola Valley, Calif.) was 2-for-4, while Heller had two hits and Lancaster scored a pair of runs.

- Filiere now has an eight-game hitting streak and has reached base safely in 49 straight games dating back to last season. Johnston has the team's longest hitting streak at 10 games as he has reached safely in all 20 games as a rookie.

- Ayala was 3-for-4 with two runs scored at the leadoff spot for Babson, while Arena was 3-for-4 with three RBI and Halpin was 1-for-4 with two runs batted in.

- Hesslink went 7.1 innings for MIT in the loss as he fell to 4-2 overall after scattering nine hits with four earned runs and two strikeouts. Ken Rotunno earned the win to improve to 1-1 as he threw two perfect innings of relief, while Cuneo allowed on run with two walks in one inning for his third save of the season. 

UP NEXT:

- MIT and Babson complete the three-game series on Saturday afternoon as the Beavers visit Cambridge for a doubleheader beginning at Noon at Fran O'Brien Field in Cambridge.

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