Walkoff Loss for Baseball at Nationally-Ranked MIT

Matt Blakeman

Cambridge, MA – Freshman Jonathan Rea (Palo Alto, CA) delivered a bases loaded single in the bottom of the ninth to plate Sean Fannin (Reynoldsburg, OH) to give the MIT baseball team a 2-1 victory over the WPI Engineers on Tuesday at Briggs Field. MIT improves to 12-4 on the season, 6-2 NEWMAC play. WPI falls to 8-11, with a 4-4 mark in the conference. 

Rea singled twice, was hit by two pitches and scored a run in the afternoon in addition to his RBI.

The hosts held a 1-0 lead for most of the game, grabbing their first run in the bottom of the first. Rea singled down the left field line and stole second before scoring on a WPI throwing error on a grounder by Dan Hyatt (Wallingford, CT).

A pitcher's duel ensued, but the visitors finally broke through and evened the game in the top of the eighth inning with an unearned run of their own. Left fielder Mike Gauvin (Leominster, MA) reached on an error and then came in to score on a passed ball. The visitors threatened to take the lead with two runners on but a double play to ended the threat.

With the prospect of extra innings at hand, MIT loaded the bases in the bottom of the ninth, starting with a walk by Ryne Barry (Phoenix, AZ), who was running for Fannin. Center fielder Brian Doyle (Hopkinton, MA) dropped a bunt down the third base line for a single and the bases were loaded for Rea, who slammed the first pitch he saw into left field for the game winning hit.

Henry Zhu (Overland Park, KS) improved to 2-0 after pitching four innings of relief and earning the victory. Zhu allowed just the one unearned run on two hits and no walks, while striking out five batters. The MIT starter, Chris Vaughan (Fort Worth, TX), pitched five shutout innings and struck out five WPI batters.

Eric Johnson (Rutland, MA) pitched a complete game for WPI but took the loss. Johnson allowed eight hits and walked five MIT batters, while also fanning five.

Each team had eight hits on the afternoon. Third baseman Sean Karson (Winter Park, FL) joined Rea as the only two Engineers to have two hits while Bean and second baseman Matt Blakeman (Bedford, NH) did the same for WPI. The hosts made three errors in the game, while WPI committed one on the day.

The two teams will play the rubber game of the three-game series on Wednesday at 3:30pm on the campus of Holy Cross.  

Release Courtesy MIT Sports Information