Baseball Toppled by Worcester State's Offensive Barrage

Cody McGregor

Worcester State 23, WPI 7

Box Score

Worcester, MA --- Visiting Worcester State blasted six home runs, scoring the first 10 runs and the final 12 runs of the game, en route to posting a convincing 23-7 victory over host WPI in non-conference baseball action on Monday afternoon. The Engineers, who are currently receiving votes in the Top 25 and are tied for fourth in the New England regional rankings, dropped to 14-4 with the loss while the Lancers improved to 13-5-1 with the win.

The visitors scored six times in the top of the first to start the game with a bang. Senior Ryan LaPrade (Leominster, MA) led off the game with a triple to right-center that kicked off the rally. LaPrade would score on a TJ Magnell (Leominster, MA) infield hit and Worcester State added a second run on a Johno Hinkell (North Adams, MA) fielder's choice following a pair of walks. Lancer third baseman Tyler McElman (Marlboro, MA) then followed with the big blow, a grand slam on an 0-2 count that finished off the six-run first for the visitors.

The Lancers added four more in the top of the second to go up 10-0, as the first five batters reached in the inning. Magnell led off with an infield hit and DH Corey McDonald (Hudson, MA) walked before Nick Fluegge (Ware, MA) added a ground rule double that extended the lead to 7-0. Hinkell followed by launching his fifth home run of the year, a three-run shot that gave the Lancers a 10-run cushion.

WPI answered back however, scoring multiple runs in each of the next two innings to cut into the Worcester State lead. In the bottom of the second, Jameson Kokolis (Manchester, NH) led off with a base hit before Mike Swanton (Foxboro, MA) slammed his first home run of the season to slice the lead to 10-2. Mitch McClune (Pembroke, MA) then reached on an error before Mark Dignum (Albany, NY) and Cody McGregor (Westfield, MA) lined back-to-back singles that plated the third Engineers run.

Then, after the Lancers picked up a run in the top of the third to make it 11-3, WPI sent four runs across the plate to cut the deficit to 11-7. Kokolis, McGregor and Swanton were instrumental in the third-inning rally as well, as they each doubled in the inning. Matt Moreau (Manchester, NH) walked and Kokolis doubled to set WPI up with runners on second and third and nobody out. Swanton followed with a double that plated Moreau, then McGregor sent a two-out double down the left field line that trimmed the deficit to 11-6. McGregor later scored on a throwing error to cut the Worcester State lead to four.

The Engineers would get no closer however, as McDonald and Fluegge led off the sixth with back-to-back homers as part of a three-run rally that boosted the Lancer lead to 14-7. Magnell added a solo shot in the seventh that made the score 15-7. Worcester State then exploded for eight runs in the ninth, keyed by a three-run blast off the bat of Magnell, his second home run of the game. The senior shortstop was 4-for-5 with five runs scored and five RBI, and his five runs tied a Worcester State record held by four different players. The last Lancer to score five times in a game was Nick Dortona last season against Colby-Sawyer.

McElman added an impressive 4-for-6 day with two runs and five RBI, while Chris Creen (Worcester, MA) was 3-for-5 with three RBI and Hinkell drove in four on the afternoon. Bobby DeVito (Webster, MA) got the start for the Lancers and earned his third win (3-0) in five innings of work.

Swanton and McGregor each posted 2-for-4 lines with three RBI for WPI. Kokolis was also 2-for-4 with two runs scored.

WPI will return to action on Tuesday for a 3:30pm game at NEWMAC-rival Coast Guard. Worcester State will have a couple of days off before its next game at 3:30pm on Thursday at Anna Maria.