Pitching Rules the Day in Baseball's St. Patrick's Day Split with Babson

Taylor Landry

Babson Park, MA --- Junior Conor Kortmann (Manalapan, NJ) drew a bases-loaded walk and junior John Botelho (Tempe, AZ.) and senior captain Sean Cleary (Milton, MA) each added two-run singles in the 13th inning to help Babson College salvage a split of a New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) doubleheader with WPI at Babson's Govoni Field on Saturday afternoon. WPI, which played as the home team in each game, won the opener by a score of 1-0 before the Beavers took the nightcap, 7-1, in 13 innings. 

Game one featured a brilliant pitchers' duel between Babson sophomore Derek Richards (Framingham, MA) and the combination of WPI junior Shane Sampson (Worcester, MA) and first-year Taylor Landry (Kennebunk, ME). Richards and Sampson traded zeros for the first five innings, with only one runner for each team advancing as far as third base during that stretch. Sampson induced an inning-ending grounder to second to leave Beavers' senior Joe Nixon (Foxboro, MA) at third in the top of the third, and Richards recorded a key strike out to strand WPI senior Kyle Bartosik (Midland Park NJ) 90 feet away in the bottom of the frame. 

Babson threatened again in the top of the sixth, as Landry came on in relief of Sampson and immediately surrendered a lead-off single to junior Pat Matvichuk (Middleton, MA). Matvichuk then moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Nixon and took third on a groundout by senior Billy Miller (Sagamore Beach, MA). However, Landry picked up a key strikeout to get out of the inning unscathed. 

The Engineers plated the lone run of the contest in the bottom half of the sixth, beginning when sophomore Tim Erlandson (Hudson, MA) led off with a walk and senior John Flynn (Albion, ME) followed with a line single off the glove of lunging first baseman Travis Jonasson (Needham, MA). After a sacrifice bunt moved both runners into scoring position, sophomore David Trujillo (Sutton, MA) drew a walk to load the bases. Senior Mitch McClune (Pembroke, MA) then laced a single through the right side, plating Erlandson with the game's only run. 

That would be enough for Landry (1-1), who retired the side in order in the seventh to finish off the 1-0 Engineer victory. The rookie righthander tossed two scoreless inning in relief, allowing just one hit and fanning one, to earn the first win of his collegiate career. Sampson was also outstanding for WPI, going the first five innings and giving up only three hits and a walk while striking out three in the no-decision. 

Richards (0-2) went six strong innings in the loss for the Beavers, giving up one run on five hits, walking a pair and striking out five. 

Game two was another brilliantly pitched affair, as neither team scored through the first eight innings of play. Babson sophomore Matt Grenier (Rochester, NH) completely baffled opposing batters through the first nine, holding WPI to just five baserunners along the way. Meanwhile, Engineers' freshman starter Andrew Portera (Alpharetta, GA) set down the first 13 batters he faced before pitching out of jams in the fifth and seventh on his way to eight scoreless frames. 

Trujillo came on in relief of Portera in the ninth and escaped trouble when he stranded runners at the corners. However, the Beavers finally broke through against the sophomore lefty in the top of the 10th, as Matvichuk led off with a single to center, took second on a sacrifice by Nixon, and scored on a base hit to left by Cleary. Landry helped his team escape further damage, however, coming on in relief and getting the final two outs on a one-pitch double play. 

After being kept off the board for nine innings, the Engineers plated their first run of the day off Grenier in the bottom of the tenth to keep the game going. Trujillo singled to start the frame, advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by McClune, and then scored on a pinch-hit single to left by sophomore Sam Moraglia (West Babylon, NY). WPI would put the winning run at third after a Bartosik single later in the inning, but Grenier induced an inning-ending fielder's choice to keep the game knotted at 1-1. 

Things stayed that way until the top of the 13th, when the Beaver bats finally came alive with a six-run outburst. Junior Billy Hocking (Duxbury, MA) led off the inning with a walk, first-year Dillon Gonzalez (Beverly, MA) reached on an error, and Jonasson was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Kortmann then drew a four-pitch walk to force in the go-ahead run, and Botelho followed with a single to right through the drawn-in infield to plate two more. Cleary added another two-run single later in the frame to make it 6-1, and Miller knocked in the final run of the contest with an RBI-fielder's choice to cap off the 7-1 Babson victory. 

Senior Rick Gilbody (Hanover, MA) pitched the final three innings and allowed no runs on only one hit while striking out one to earn his first career win for the Beavers. Grenier took the no-decision after a magnificent starting effort that saw him allow just one run on seven hits and a walk while fanning six in 10 innings of work. 

Portera went the first eight innings for WPI, allowing no runs on five hits, walking two and striking out five. The last of four Engineer hurlers, senior Brandon Boucher (Manchester, NH) suffered the loss (0-2) after surrendering four earned runs in three innings of work. 

Cleary was the only Babson player with multiple hits in game two for Babson, finishing 2-for-6 with three RBIs. Senior Nick Bean (Middleboro, MA) added three hits in defeat for WPI.

Release Courtesy Babson Sports Information