Babson Park, MA --- Babson received a pair of outstanding pitching performances to take both ends of a New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) baseball doubleheader against visiting WPI on Saturday, helping the Beavers complete a weekend sweep of the Engineers. Babson, which took game one, 5-2, and the nightcap, 3-1, is now 9-2 overall and 3-0 in the conference. The Engineers fall to 4-9 overall and 0-3 in the NEWMAC.
In the opener, senior Dave Ahern (Bedford, MA) pitched all seven innings for the Beavers, allowing just one earned run on nine hits while walking one and striking out four. The victory improved his record to 2-0 on the season.
Junior Sean Minor (Sherman Oaks, CA) shouldered the loss in game one for WPI, dropping his record to 1-1. The hard-throwing righthander allowed only two hits through the first four frames and only four total in five-plus innings, but four walks and two hit-batsmen resulted in four earned runs against him. First-year lefty David Trujillo (Sutton, MA) came on with two men on in the sixth and got the final three outs for the visitors.
Sophomore Mike Gauvin (Leominster, MA) led off the game with one of his three hits in the opener and later scored on an error to give WPI an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first. However, Babson quickly moved in front with a pair of runs in the bottom of the inning, beginning when junior Billy Miller (Sagamore Beach, MA) hit a sacrifice fly to right to score Ahern with the tying run. One batter later, junior Travis Jonasson (Needham, MA) got caught in a run down between first and second, allowing sophomore Trevor Boyce (Canton, MA) to scamper home from third with the Beavers' second run of the contest.
It remained a 2-1 game until the bottom of the fourth, when Jonasson was hit in the elbow with the bases loaded to force in sophomore Pat Matvichuk (Middleton, MA) for a 3-1 Babson cushion. The hosts then tacked on two key insurance runs in the fifth, the first coming when junior pinch-runner Joe Nixon (Foxboro, MA) scored from third on a wild pitch and the second on senior Corey Highfield's (East Hampstead, NH) RBI-single through the right side that plated first-year Brendan Collins (Abington, Mass.).
The Engineers got one run back in the top of the seventh, as junior Kyle Bartosik (Midland Park, NJ) doubled, took third on a single by junior Greg Mannke (Weymouth, MA), and scored on a fielder's choice by Gauvin. WPI then loaded the bases with two away, but Ahern recorded his fourth strikeout of the afternoon to finish off the complete-game win.
WPI once again jumped in front in game two, scoring an unearned run in the top of the first inning against Babson sophomore starter Kyle Lyon (Flemington, NJ). Gauvin and senior Bryan Watkins (Belmont, MA) opened the game with back-to-back singles and then moved up on an infield error. Two batters later, sophomore Daniel Thomas (Manchester, NH) lined a sac fly to right, scoring Gauvin to give the Engineers a 1-0 edge.
That would prove to be all that Lyon would allow, as he set down 13 batters in a row before surrendering a one-out double to Flynn in the fifth. He then retired eight of the next nine hitters before finally running into trouble in the eighth. For the game, Lyon allowed no earned runs and only six hits, walked one and struck out six in 7 1/3 innings as he evened his season mark at 1-1.
The Beavers scored all three of their runs in the bottom of the second, beginning when Highfield walked, stole second, and scored on a basehit up the middle by sophomore John Botelho (Tempe, AZ). Two batters later, Ahern drew a walk, and both he and Botelho moved into scoring position on a wild pitch. Boyce then delivered the biggest hit of game, as he laced a two-run double into the gap in left-center to give Babson a 3-1 lead.
WPI finally chased Lyon from the game in the top of the eighth, as Bartosik, Gauvin, and Watkins recorded singles to load the bases with one out. However, Babson first-year Derek Richards (Framingham, MA) came out of the bullpen and pitched the Beavers out of the jam, getting a huge strikeout and then inducing an inning-ending fly ball to left to preserve his team's two-run advantage.
First-year Michael Bortolotti (Milton, MA) pitched a perfect ninth for the Beavers to collect his first collegiate save.
Senior Nolan Murphy (Shrewsbury, MA) went the first five innings in game two for WPI, allowing three runs on five hits, walking five and fanning two. The loss dropped his record to 1-1 on the year. Sophomore Shane Sampson (Worcester, MA) came on and pitched three scoreless innings of relief, allowing one hit and one walk and striking out one.
WPI is off until Thursday when they take on city rival Worcester State at 3:30pm. Babson begins a stretch of eight games in seven days on Monday at 3:30pm with home matchup versus Framingham State.
Release Courtesy Babson Sports Information