New London, CT -- Freshman David Larson (Port Tobacco, MD) hit the first two home runs of his career and drove in five runs while junior Matt Howard (Worcester, MA) was 3-for-3 with two doubles, a homer and three RBI leading WPI to a 15-8 win over Coast Guard in the opener of a three-game NEWMAC West weekend series. Game two and three are set for tomorrow at the New England Baseball Complex beginning at noon.
Senior Timbo Duncan (Heath, TX) broke the Coast Guard career record with his 16th career homer, a three-run shot to left field in the third. It was also his school-record eighth homer this season.
WPI improves to 18-8 overall and 7-3 in conference play while the Bears drop to 12-17 overall and 3-8 in the NEWMAC.
Howard hit a two-run homer in the first to give WPI a 2-0 lead before Coast Guard took the lead 3-2 on Duncan's three-run blast in the third. Graduate student Anthony Capuano's (Stoneham, MA) RBI double tied the game in the fourth before Larson's two-run homer to left gave the Engineers a 5-3 lead.
The Bears pulled to within 5-4 on an RBI double by senior Brendan McNeil (Pawcatuck, CT) in the fifth.
WPI erupted for six runs in the sixth. Larson's two-run homer gave WPI a 7-4 lead before sophomore Austin Lindner (W. Windsor, NJ), who singled, scored on a wild pitch, senior Connor Kurtz (Lunenburg, MA), who doubled scored on a throwing error and sophomore Steven Gallagher (Coventry, RI) lifted a sacrifice for a 10-4 lead. WPI added another run as senior Nick Comei (Haverhill, MA) scored on a double steal attempt to close the inning.
Coast Guard scored three times in the seventh on an RBI single by Duncan. Junior Zach Serna (Palatine, IL) doubled and later scored on a wild pitch and freshman Jon Pressley (Austin, TX) drove in a run with a ground out to make the score 11-7.
The Engineers would add three runs of their own in the eight as Howard and Larson each drew bases loaded walks and Capuano added an RBI single. The Bears got their final run in the eighth on an RBI single by McNeil.
Sophomore Doug Rives (Bethany, CT) improved to 6-0 on the season as he went six innings and allowed eight hits and four runs, all earned, while walking three and striking out seven to get the win. Lindner, Capuano and Kurtz all had two hits for WPI in the win.
Sophomore Dustin Reeder (Lincoln, DE) (1-4) worked the first five innings and took the loss for Coast Guard. Classmate Will Stephens (Raleigh, NC) had three hits including a double for Coast Guard while Serna, Duncan, McNeil and sophomore Jake Behne (Clifton, VA) also had two hits for the Bears.
Release Courtesy Coast Guard Sports Information