Minor and Big Inning Propel Baseball By Springfield in Series Opener

Sean Minor

Holden, MA --- David Trujillo (Sutton, MA) smacked a two-run single to highlight a five run fifth inning to help WPI beat visiting Springfield 6-4 in a NEWMAC baseball contest played at Wachusett Regional High School on Friday afternoon. The Engineers are now 11-5 overall with a 3-1 NEWMAC record while the Pride drop to 6-4 with an 0-1 conference mark. 

The first four innings of the game shaped up to be a pitcher's duel as WPI's Sean Minor (Sherman Oaks, CA) stuck out nine over seven innings, while Springfield's Mike McGowan (Franklin, MA) tallied five K's in four innings. 

The score was deadlocked at 0-0 when, in the top of the fifth, Springfield's Steve Starr (Lebanon, CT) scored from second on an Engineer throwing error to put the Pride on the board. On the very next at bat, Frank Calabrese (East Longmeadow, MA) hit an RBI single to center field, driving in Sean Smith (Broken Arrow, OK) from second as Springfield went up 2-0. 

WPI immediately answered and then some in the bottom of the fifth, lighting up the scoreboard with five runs. After two singles and a hit-batter to load the bases, McGowan got Matt Blakeman (Bedford, NH) to hit into a fielder's choice and keep the Engineers scoreless, only to hit the next batter to score Kyle Bartosik (Midland Park, NJ). John Flynn (Albion, ME) followed up, hitting an RBI single to right-center, scoring Steve Petry (Worcester, MA). After a WPI lineout, Trujillo came to the plate with the bases loaded and two outs. The sophomore singled to right field, scoring two runs as the Crimson and Gray went up 4-2. WPI would score another unearned run before the inning ended, as Flynn scored on a dropped fly ball. WPI led 5-2.  

In the bottom of the seventh, WPI would add another run when Brendan Walsh (Windham, NH) smashed an RBI double to right-center with two outs, scoring Flynn. 

Springfield attempted to get back in the game in the top of the eighth when Karl Quist (New Preston, CT) hit an RBI single up the left side to score Calabrese. On the very next at-bat, Mike Corletta (Westtown, NY) hit a sacrifice fly to right, scoring Matt Milano (Cumberland, RI) and pulling the Pride to within two with the score 6-4. 

That was as close as Springfield would come, however, as WPI reliever Taylor Landry (Kennebunk, ME) would come in to pitch two shutout innings, giving the Engineers the victory. 

Minor (3-1) gave up just three earned runs in seven innings for WPI. In a statistical oddity, eight Engineers recorded hits though none recorded more than one. Walsh had the sole extra-base hit on the day. 

Smith was 3-for-5 at the plate for Springfield, with one RBI and one run scored. Quist went 3-for-4 with an RBI, while Milano had two hits and a run scored. Reliever Craig Zysk (Shelton, CT) allowed no runs and struck out two Engineers in 1 1/3 innings.

WPI and Springfield will play again tomorrow, Saturday, March 24th, when the Crimson and Gray travels to Springfield to play the Pride in a doubleheader. The first game starts at 12:00pm.

Story by Mike Rupp - WPI Athletics