WPI 15, Nichols 8
Worcester, MA --- Bryan Watkins (Belmont, MA), Cody McGregor (Westfield, MA) and Mike Swanton (Foxboro, MA) each registered three RBI to pace nationally-ranked WPI to a 15-8 victory over Nichols in a non-conference baseball game played Wednesday at the Class of 1893 Field. The contest, originally scheduled for Dudley, was moved to Worcester due to wet field conditions.
With the win, WPI improved to 11-0 on the season while the Bison slip to 4-6.
Playing as the road team, the Engineers, ranked No. 23 in the latest D3baseball.com Top 25, jumped out to a 3-0 advantage in the top of the first following a two-run triple by Swanton and a run-producing single from Paul Galligan (Weymouth, MA). Swanton pushed the lead to 4-0 an inning later with a RBI single before Nichols answered back in the bottom of the frame with a two-run single by Matt Whitman (North Plainfield, NJ).
After a pair of scoreless innings, Watkins launched his first homer of the season in the top of the fifth, only to see the Bison slice the advantage to 5-4 in the bottom of the inning with RBI single from Zac Johnson (Wakefield, RI) and Austin Martin (Wakefield, RI).
WPI then exploded for seven runs in the top of the sixth, highlighted by a two-run single by John Flynn (Albion, ME) and a two-run double from McGregor. After Nichols registered four runs in the bottom of the frame, the Engineers closed out the scoring with three runs in the top of seventh, including RBI by Watkins and McGregor.
Watkins ended the day with four hits for the Crimson and Gray while Mitch McClune (Pembroke, MA) and Nick Bean (Middleboro, MA) added to the 20-hit attack with three base hits each. John Micciche (Holbrook, MA) and Whitman both collected three hits each for the Bison.
Engineer starter Ryan Marques (Gloucester, MA) allowed just three earned runs over six innings of work to improve to 3-0 on the season. Kyle Boucher (Manchester, NH) and Forrest Dwyer (Winthrop, ME) combined to toss three scoreless innings of relief. Michael Rafferty (Framingham, MA), the first of six Nichols’ pitchers, took the loss to drop his record to 2-1.
Both teams are back in action on Thursday. WPI is back at the Class of 1893 Field as the road team. The Engineers take on city rival Worcester State at 3:30pm in a rematch of the championship game of the 2009 ECAC Tournament. Nichols heads to Roger Williams for a TCCC doubleheader beginning at 2pm.