Auburndale, FL --- Senior Mike Vaitkunas (Auburn, MA) struck out three in a complete-game shutout and sophomore Ryan Tropeano (Pembroke, MA) went 4-for-5 in game two as WPI swept Muskingum 1-0 and 15-1 Monday in a pair of nine inning non-conference baseball games at the RussMatt Invitational.
Vaitkunas collected his first career complete game shutout for the Engineers (2-2) and sophomore Austin Lindner (W. Windsor, NJ) went yard for the second time as a member of the Crimson and Gray. His home run came on a 3-2 pitch with two outs in the seventh.
Senior Nick Comei (Haverhill, MA) was a perfect 3-for-3 as Lindner was 2-for-3 and sophomore Steven Gallagher (Coventry, RI) batted 2-for-4. The Engineers had the advantage in hits (9-5) and had one fewer runner left on base (7-6).
Comei remained hot at the plate as he went 3-for-5 with an RBI and a run scored in game two. Gallagher (2-for-5) added two more hits to his collection, including a triple, to go with five RBI and two runs scored. Sophomore Kyle Opiekun (Cumberland, RI) had a 3-for-5 outing while junior Matt Howard (Worcester, MA), freshman Tyrone Patterson (Upper Marlboro, MD) and senior Connor Kurtz (Lunenburg, MA) each chipped in with a pair of hits. Tropeano, Patterson, Opiekun and Kurtz also stole a base and senior Joe Fainer (Thomaston, CT) was credited with a sacrifice fly.
Sophomore Doug Rives (Bethany, CT) allowed three hits and fanned five in the first six innings. Senior Mike Duclos (Greenfield, MA) went two innings and classmate Dan Bettigole (South Windsor, CT) took the ninth as each struck out three during their time on the mound.
Gallagher drove in the first run while freshman David Larson's (Port Tobacco, MD) two-out fielder's choice made it a two-run ball game after one. Patterson and Opiekun each found a hole in the right side for back-to-back RBI singles. The Muskies used a sacrifice fly to manufacture their only run of the afternoon in the fourth.
Gallagher struck again in the sixth, this time with a 3-RBI triple to right center. Howard's fly out allowed Gallagher to score. Opiekun crossed home plate thanks to a miscue in the seventh. Comei later pushed Kurtz home with a single. Gallagher's fielder's choice then helped Tropeano score.
The last four runs were scored in the bottom of the eighth. Sophomore Benjamin Chaffee (Franklin, MA) reached on a fielder's choice to enable junior Chas DeWitt (Nashua, NH) to score. Sophomore Quintin Barker (Monroe, CT) used an infield single to drive in Patterson. Freshman James Werosta (Hamilton, NJ) got Chaffee home with a single through the right side which was followed by Fainer's sac fly.
WPI returns to the diamond Wednesday for an 11am set versus New England College.
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