Nationally-Ranked Baseball Drops Doubleheader at Babson

Sean Minor

Game 1: Babson 1, WPI 0
Game 2: Babson 12, WPI 6

Game 1 Box Score
Game 2 Box Score

Babson Park, MA --- Sophomore starter Sean Minor (Sherman Oaks, CA) posted six shutout innings in game one before allowing a lone run in the seventh, suffering the hard-luck loss in a 1-0 defeat at Babson in the opener of a NEWMAC baseball doubleheader. The Engineers also dropped game two, 12-6, as the 23rd-ranked Engineers suffered the sweep. The Beavers extended their winning streak to 10 in a row with the wins, while WPI fell to 11-3, 2-2 in the NEWMAC.

Babson's senior lefthander Michael O’Brien (Shrewsbury, MA) pitched a seven-hit shutout and the Beavers' Chris Kucher (Westwood, MA) hit his first collegiate homer in the top of the seventh to lead the Babson to the game one win. Playing as the home team at Babson, WPI’s best chance to score came in the bottom of the second, beginning when senior Jameson Kokolis (Manchester, NH) hit a one-out double to center. Senior Paul Galligan (Weymouth, MA) then followed with a single up the middle, but Babson senior centerfielder Peter O’Toole (Salem, MA) made a great throw to the plate to gun down Kokolis for the second out of the inning. O’Brien later induced a groundout to strand Galligan at second.
 
Babson used an error and two hit-batsmen to load the bases with two outs in the top of the third, but Minor got sophomore Travis Jonasson (Needham, MA) to foul out to leftfielder Matt Moreau (Manchester, NH) for the final out of the frame.
 
WPI threatened again in the home half of the fourth, when Moreau singled and took second on an error. After a grounder moved him to third, sophomore Nick Bean (Middleboro, MA) was hit by a pitch to put runners on the corners with one down. Babson then pulled the infield in, allowing junior second baseman Billy Besinger (Milton, MA) to make a lunging stab of a liner off the bat of Kokolis and throw to first for an inning-ending double play.
 
The Beavers finally snapped the scoreless tie in the top of the seventh, when Kucher blasted a 1-2 pitch over the wall in center for the first home run of his collegiate career. WPI then put the tying run on third with one away in the bottom of the inning, but a drawn-in infield once again kept the Engineers off the board when sophomore pinch-runner John Flynn (Albion, ME) was forced to hold there on a groundout to second. Junior pinch-hitter Bryan Watkins (Belmont, MA) followed with another grounder to second for the game’s final out as Babson claimed the 1-0 victory.
 
O’Brien improved to 2-0 with the complete-game win, giving up seven hits and no walks while striking out four in seven innings. Minor (1-1) was also brilliant in defeat for the Engineers, giving up just one run on three hits, walking one and fanning two in seven innings.
 
Game two saw the Beavers erupt for nine runs in the top of the second inning – all coming with two outs – en route to an eventual 12-6 victory. After the first two batters were retired, eleven straight Beaver hitters reached base, including a two-run double down the left field line by Besinger and a two-run single to right by Jonasson. First-year Conor Kortmann (Manalapan, NJ), junior Corey Highfield (East Hampstead, NH), Kucher, senior captain Brian Scanlon (Lawrenceville, NJ), and O’Toole also knocked in runs in the inning, which gave Babson a commanding 9-0 lead.
 
The Beavers eventually increased its advantage to 11-1 after a sacrifice fly by Highfield in the top of the fifth before WPI plated one in the bottom of the inning, two more in the sixth, and one in the seventh to cut its deficit to 11-5. However, Babson senior captain Dave Ahern (Bedford, MA) hit an RBI single in the eighth and junior Austin Dadio (Branford, CT) held the Engineers to just one run over the final 2 2/3 innings as the Beavers held on for the six-run win.
 
Sophomore Trevor MacNeill (Hanover, MA) started and picked up the win (2-1) for Babson, giving up four runs and striking out five in 5 2/3 innings of work. Junior Jeff Browne (Vorhees, NJ) went 2/3 of an inning and allowed one unearned run before Dadio finished up with 2 2/3 innings of one-run ball.
 
Offensively, the Beavers were led by Besinger, who knocked in three runs, and Jonasson, who plated two more. Kucker, O’Toole, Kortmann, and Highfield had two hits apiece, while O’Toole, Highfield, and sophomore Billy Miller (Sagamore Beach, MA) each scored twice.
 
WPI was paced by Kokolis, who went 4-for-5 with a double, a run, and an RBI in game two to finish the day with six hits in seven trips to the plate. Sophomore Kyle Bartosik (Midland Park, NJ) came in to catch in the sixth and ended up going 3-for-3 with an RBI for the Engineers, while Bean, Moreau, and senior Cody McGregor (Westfield, MA) each added two hits and sophomore Mitch McClune (Pembroke, MA) knocked in a pair. Watkins started on the mound in game two for WPI and took the loss, evening his record at 1-1 on the season.

Release courtesy Babson College Sports Information