Auburndale, FL --- Down much of the game, first baseman Brendan Walsh (Windham, NH) notched a walk-off two RBI single up the middle in the bottom of the seventh to give the WPI Baseball its first victory of the season on Sunday in a 4-3 win over Wentworth. The Engineers split their two games with the Leopards, having lost the earlier game 3-2.
WPI (1-1) was down 1-0 after the third inning when Wentworth's Jon Spitz (Hanover, MA) took advantage of a throwing error to reach home from second on a fielder's choice. Wentworth (3-2) went up 3-0 in the fifth when Spitz doubled in a run to left-center and later scored from third on a dropped fly ball.
WPI got on the board in the bottom of the sixth when Walsh walked with the bases loaded. Down 3-1 in the bottom of the seventh, David Trujillo (Sutton, MA) led off by singling to left field and Kyle Bartosik (Midland Park, NJ) walked. After a sacrifice bunt, Matt Blakeman (Bedford, NH) singled home a run. After a walk and a strikeout, Walsh came to the plate for a storybook-type ending with two outs and the bases loaded, coming through in the clutch.
Shane Sampson (Worcester, MA) was a rock on the mound for the Crimson and Gray, giving up just seven hits and no earned-runs in six innings of work while racking up five strikeouts. Paul Finn (Winthrop, MA) picked up his first career win with a shutout seventh inning.
The Engineers got the victory despite eight errors and 10 strikeouts from Wentworth starter Dakota Baird (Bermuda Dunes, CA).
In the first game, WPI was down 1-0 in the top of the sixth when third baseman Tim Erlandson (Hudson, MA) tied the game on a two-out RBI single. In the top of the seventh, Walsh hit an RBI single to left field on what was nearly one of two game-winning hits on the day. The Leopards rallied in the bottom of the seventh when Spitz tied the game on an RBI single with the bases loaded. The Engineers would lose the game on a hit batter that brought in the winning run.
Sean Minor (Sherman Oaks, CA) went the distance, yielding just one earned run for the Crimson and Gray. Erlandson equaled his career high with three hits while Walsh added a pair of base knocks.
It was the second straight year that WPI has opened its season with a split against Wentworth. The Engineers continue their season when they face SUNYIT in Auburndale on Monday at noon in a doubleheader.
Story written by Mike Rupp - WPI Athletics