Babson Park, MA --- Junior Dillon Gonzalez (Beverly, MA) and first-year Kevin Murphy (Pembroke, MA) combined for five hits, four runs scored, and five runs batted in to help fourth-seeded Babson College defeat fifth-seeded WPI, 11-7, in a New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) baseball quarterfinal on Thursday afternoon at Govoni Field.
With its seventh win in a row, Babson is now 19-13 and advances to face top-seeded Wheaton in a best-of-three semifinal series starting on Saturday. WPI, which has dropped four straight games, falls to 16-15 on the year.
Gonzalez homered, drove in three runs, and scored twice, while Murphy finished with three hits to go along with two runs scored and a pair of runs driven in for the Beavers. Junior Sean MacPhee (Framingham, MA) went 3-for-5 with two RBI, junior Rob Caggiano (Medford, MA) had two hits, including a triple, and scored twice, and first-year Owen Shea (Northborough, MA) had a pair of hits and scored once.
Senior Brendan Walsh (Windham, NH) doubled three times and drove in three runs while sophomore Sean Greene (Hingham, MA) also had three hits and scored twice for the Engineers. Junior Zach Blanchard (Warwick, RI) had two hits and senior Sean Kelly (Shrewsbury, MA) had a double to go along with two runs scored and two RBI.
Greene came around to give WPI a 1-0 lead in the top of the first on Walsh's two-out double down the right field line, but Gonzalez tied the game with a home run over the right field wall and Murphy gave the Green and White a 2-1 lead when he scored on MacPhee's fielder's choice in the bottom of the frame. After a groundout to start the bottom of the second, the Beavers took advantage of four consecutive singles to make it a 5-1 game. Gonzalez plated Shea with a knock through the right side and Murphy followed with a two-run single to center to drive in Gonzalez and Caggiano.
Both teams scored in the third and Babson added single runs in both the fourth and fifth innings before breaking the game open with a three-run sixth. Murphy led off with an infield single, first-year Jack Hapin (Glastonbury, CT) walked, and senior Brendan Collins (Abington, MA) laced a double down the left field line to make it 9-2. MacPhee singled to right to score Halpin, and first-year Joe Barry (Stoneham, MA) drove in Collins with a sacrifice fly to center giving the Beavers an 11-2 edge.
Senior Matt Grenier (Rochester, NH) was in control for most of the day for the Green and White, giving up just one hit between the fourth and seventh innings, and using three double plays to stay out of any major trouble. WPI finally got to him in the eighth though, as it strung together five consecutive hits to start the frame. First-year Nick Comei (Haverhill, MA) led off with a double and later scored on a two-run double by Kelly to make it 11-4. Walsh smacked his third double of the game two batters later to plate Kelly and chase Grenier from the game.
Senior Derek Richards (Framingham, MA) came on for the Beavers, and after allowing a walk to sophomore DJ Ouellette (Watertown, CT), got a strike out and an inning-ending double play to maintain a six-run lead. The Engineers tacked on a pair of unearned runs in the top of the ninth but Richards was able to strikeout Ouellette with runners on second and third to secure the win.
Grenier gave up five runs while scattering 11 hits over seven innings to move to 5-1 on the year. Landry (4-4) suffered the loss allowing eight runs on eight hits over five innings for WPI. Mike Duclos (Greenfield, MA) and Sam Miraglia (Babylon, NY) each tosses scoreless innings of relief for the Crimson and Gray.
The opening game of Babson's NEWMAC Tournament semifinal series at Wheaton is set for Saturday at 12 p.m. with game two to follow at 3 p.m. A third and deciding game would be played, if necessary, on Sunday at 1 p.m. at Wheaton.
WPI has non-conference games in the next week at Brandeis and Fitchburg State.
Release Courtesy Babson Sports Information