Early Offense and Solid Pitching Lifts Baseball over MIT 11-3

Ryan Marques

WPI 11, MIT 3

Box Score

Worcester, MA --- WPI scored in each of the first four innings to fuel the hosts to an 11-3 triumph over visiting MIT in New England Men's and Women's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) competition on Thursday afternoon. WPI moved to 12-3 overall and 3-2 in the NEWMAC with the win, while MIT dropped to 4-6, 0-3 in the conference.

The Engineers used two base hits and an RBI groundout to take an early 1-0 lead after one inning of play before tallying three more in the second. With one out in the inning, Mitch McClune (Pembroke, MA) and Cody McGregor (Westfield, MA) produced back-to-back singles to start the rally before Mark Dignum's (Albany, NY) double to left drove in both runners. Dignum later crossed the plate on a throwing error as the Worcester Engineers jumped out to a 4-0 advantage.

After a scoreless top of the third, WPI widened the gap by erupting for four more runs in the bottom half of the inning. Senior first baseman Jameson Kokolis (Manchester, NH) singled to lead off the inning and, following a fielder's choice, a Daniel Thomas (Manchester, NH) double provided the hosts with their fifth run. McClune followed with a base hit and McGregor had RBI double before catcher Joe Walsh (Weymouth, MA) lined a double to left for two more runs and an 8-0 lead.

The Crimson and Gray rallied for two more in the fourth, as Matt Moreau (Manchester, NH) led off the frame with a single before a ground-rule RBI double from Kokolis and a run-producing single from McClune added to the WPI lead.

MIT was able to break through and narrow the gap in the sixth inning. Left fielder Sean Fannin (Reynoldsburg, OH) and third baseman Dan Hyatt (Wallingford, CT) picked up back-to-back hits with one out in the inning. Then, with two out and Fannin and Hyatt in scoring position, first baseman Ben Steuck's (Alpharetta, GA) single to left-center scored both runners and cut the WPI lead to 10-2. Steuck later added an RBI double in the eighth, as the freshman drove in all of MIT's runs on the afternoon.

WPI also added a run in the eighth inning, scoring on Nick Bean's (Middleboro, MA) first home run of the season.

WPI starter Ryan Marques (Gloucester, MA) pitched a strong game for the Engineers. The senior went six full innings and allowed just two earned runs to move to 4-0 on the year. Marques surrendered seven hits while walking just one and striking out three, lowering his ERA to 2.62 in the process.

McClune was 3-for-3 and Moreau 3-for-5 to lead the WPI offense, while Galligan, Bean, Kokolis and McGregor each produced two hits in the game. Kokolis' two hits boosted his batting average to a team leading .435 on the season.

Steuck was one of three players to post a multi-hit game for MIT in addition to his three RBI. Sophomore shortstop Bryan Macomber (Los Altos, CA) and freshman outfielder James McKinney (Wakefield, RI) each contributed two hits for the visitors. Relief pitcher Max Ockner (Chesterfield, MO) pitched well, tossing four innings of one-run ball out of the pen for the visitors. Ockner only allowed two hits while walking none and striking out six.

WPI will be back in action on Saturday, when it travels to Springfield for a 12pm conference doubleheader against the Pride. MIT will head home to take on Brandeis on Saturday at 3pm in a game that had been postponed on Tuesday due to heavy rain.