Bats Break Out As Baseball Splits Two With Curry

Sean Kelly

Auburndale, FL --- Senior Sean Kelly (Shrewsbury, MA) and sophomores Vinny D'Ambrosio (Mahopac, NY) and Anthony Capuano (Stoneham, MA) combined to rap out 15 hits in WPI's doubleheader split with Curry on Wednesday afternoon in Auburndale, FL. 

The Engineers (3-3) rallied with seven runs in the bottom of the sixth to take the opener 12-6, but fell short in a comeback bid in the nightcap falling 7-6. 

Trailing by one score entering the bottom of the fifth, the Capuano slugged a double and scored on an RBI single by sophomore Sean Greene (Hingham, MA) to equalize the contest at 5-5.

Reliever Dan Bettigole (South Windsor, CT), who was inserted in the fourth inning, then set down the side in order to maintain the momentum for the Boynton Hillers in the top of the sixth. The effort on the mound helped set the stage for the Engineers to bat around, take over the commanding margin and score seven times in the bottom of the frame.  

After Zach Blanchard (Warwick, RI) produced a run scoring ground out, Capuano launched a three-run inside the park home-run to the right centerfield gap to lead the charge. Pinch hitter Joey Botelho (East Providence, RI) and Kelly helped tack on two more runs by drawing walks with the bases juiced.

The Crimson and Gray originally opened the affair with the early 1-0 lead in the first inning on an RBI double down the left field line by Blanchard.

WPI then snapped a 1-1 game in the bottom of the second on a two-run two-bagger by D'Ambrosio and another two-base safety by Kelly. All three runs in the stanza were scored with two men down.

The Colonels, however, got to junior Andrew Portera (Alpharretta, GA) who gave up five runs (four earned) on seven hits in his three innings of work to open up a 5-4 margin entering the fifth inning.  

Bettigole (1-0) earned the victory on the hill for the Engineers. With three solid frames of two hit baseball, the rookie ran scoreless innings streak to four innings.

Kelly finished with a trio of base-knocks for the Boynton Hillers while D'Ambrosio, Capuano and Greene all registered two safeties each. D'Ambrosio touched home plate three times and chipped in with two RBIs as Kelly and Blanchard both knocked in a pair.

WPI edged Curry, 13-12, in the hitting department with six for extra bases. Capuano smashed his second collegiate homer. The WPI pitching staff did not register a strikeout in the opener while also issuing just one free pass.

In the finale, the Engineers found themselves down 6-2 in the top of the third, but scored twice to chip away at the deficit.

D'Ambrosio hammered a triple to centerfield before coming around to score when Kelly drove him in with a single to right. Later on in the inning, Vendetti notched the second run when he helped WPI take advantage a throwing error by the second baseman as he scored from third when the Colonels tried to spin a double play.

The Crimson and Gray scored one more time in the top of the fourth to inch closer and make it a 6-5 contest. Sophomore Cody Holmes (Plymouth, MA) started the rally with a double, moved to third on a wild pitch and scampered home on a RBI ground out.

Curry, however, registered a key insurance run in the bottom of the fourth for what proved to be the game-winning score.  

With the score 7-5 in the top of the sixth, the Engineers had a great chance to threaten again when they put runners on the corners with consecutive singles to begin their uprising. Holmes then put in play a run-scoring ground out to move the tying run into scoring position in the form of Ouellette at second base.

But Curry southpaw Ben Carrasco (San Francisco, CA) bore down and retired the next two batters to end the frame. Carrasco also tossed a scoreless seventh to help the Colonel's even up the afternoon series.

WPI originally led 1-0 early on after a RBI single by Kelly and tallied another score in the top of the second on a run producing solo base-knock by freshman Nick Comei (Haverill, MA).

Miles Schuler (Murrieta, GA) was absorbed the setback for the Crimson and Gray while Mike Vaitkunas (Auburn, MA) and Craig Teed (Stratham, CT) both completed scoreless stanzas late in the game to help give the Boynton Hillers a chance at a sweep.

Highlighted by a 3-for-3 performance by Capuano and a three-base knock effort by Capuano, the Engineers took the category, 13-8.  Comei and Kelly both added two runs driven in the loss for the Crimson and Gray.

After its final day off of its weeklong Spring Break on Thursday, WPI will face Worcester County rival Anna Maria on Friday in a 1:30pm doubleheader in Winter Haven.