Babson Park, MA --- Sophomore Anthony Capuano (Stoneham, MA) drove in three runs and a trio of WPI rookie pitchers combined to allow just two runs over nine innings as the Engineers took the opener Saturday 4-2 in a NEWMAC baseball doubleheader against Babson. The Beavers earned a split as senior Matt Grenier (Rochester, NH) tossed a complete-game six hitter and classmate Brendan Collins (Abington, MA) drove in a pair of runs as Babson took the night cap 7-0 at rain-soaked Govoni Field.
Babson is now 6-6 overall and 4-1 in conference play, while WPI is 10-6 on the year and 3-1 in the NEWMAC.
After working around a pair of walks to the Beavers in the top of the first inning of game one, the Engineers jumped on top 1-0 in the bottom of the frame. Seniors Sean Kelly (Shrewsbury, MA) and Brendan Walsh (Windham, NH) both singled, and Kelly came around to score on a two-out double by Capuano.
The Green and White knotted things up in the third as junior Rob Caggiano (Medford, MA) walked and stole second before coming home on a one-out single by classmate Dillon Gonzalez (Beverly, MA). WPI regained the lead in the bottom of the inning though, as Walsh, who doubled with two outs, scored on a fielding error that allowed Capuano to reach, making it 2-1.
Babson had its best opportunity to tie the game in the sixth when Collins led off with a walk and junior Sean MacPhee (Framingham, MA) followed with a single. Both runners moved into scoring position on a sacrifice bunt by senior Sean Lanahan (Avon, CT), but Engineers' first-year pitcher Mike Vaitkunas (Auburn, MA) induced back-to-back fly outs to end the frame.
WPI added a pair of insurance runs in the seventh, using three straight infield hits to load the bases, before getting a two-run single from Capuano that scored Kelly and sophomore Vinny D'Ambrosio (Mahopac, NY) for a 4-1 lead. MacPhee singled home sophomore George Crowley (Watertown, MA), who started the top of the eighth with a double, to cut the deficit to 4-2, but the Engineers brought on first-year Mike Bettigole (South Windsor, CT) to close things out in the ninth.
First-year Aidan Freeburg (Billerica, MA) earned the win for WPI, giving up one earned run and just two hits over five innings, striking out three and walking three.
Senior Kyle Lyon (Flemington, NJ) took the loss for the Beavers, giving up one earned run and four hits in four innings. Classmate Derek Richards (Framingham, MA) allowed two runs and six hits, striking out two, in three innings of work.
Both starting pitchers were sharp early in game two as Grenier allowed just two runners into scoring position over the first four innings, while his counterpart, WPI junior Taylor Landry (Kennebunk, ME), allowed just one hit over the first four frames. The Green and White got on the board in the top of the fifth though, taking advantage of two errors. Collins reached on a throwing error and junior Joe Zanca (Braintree, MA) walked to start the frame, and both scored on a throwing error after sophomore Shea Rosadino (Devon, PA) singled for a 2-0 lead.
Crowley and MacPhee reached on errors to start the sixth and both scored on Collins' single to make it a four-run game. MacPhee plated Crowley with an RBI double to left field in the eighth, and the Beavers tacked on a pair of runs in the ninth before the game was halted because of rain with one out.
Grenier (2-0) tossed his second consecutive complete game and earned his first shutout of the year, allowing six hits and two walks while striking out six. He gave up just two hits over the final four innings while not allowing a runner past second base.
Landry (3-1) took the loss for the Engineers giving up no earned runs and just two hits while fanning six over five innings.
Babson hopes to return to the diamond Sunday, hosting Plymouth State at 2pm. WPI's conference makeup game with Emerson has already been postponed to due the rain. Reschedule information will be available on Monday.
Release courtesy Babson Sports Information