Northboro, MA --- Barrett O'Neill (Ashland, MA) doubled his career-best with 16 strikeouts and Adam Ayala (Franklin Lakes, NJ) drove in the lone run of the game as Babson defeated WPI, 1-0, in a NEWMAC baseball contest on Friday afternoon at the New England Baseball Complex.
With the win, Babson improves to 7-5 overall and 3-1 in league action. The Engineers dip to 10-6 on the season and even out at 1-1 in conference play.
O'Neill, who was two punchouts shy of tying a Babson single-game record, set down the side in the second and third while his defense chipped in to help post three more 1-2-3 innings for the Beavers.Brett Ender (Skillman, NJ) added a trio of strikeouts in the ninth to earn the save and help set the team record for strikeouts in a game.
The only tally of the game came in the bottom of the third as Ayala sent a single up the middle to plate an unearned run in the form of Rob Caggiano (Medford, MA).
Alex Venditti (Newton, MA) single split up walks by Nick Comei (Haverhill, MA) and Sean Greene (Hingham, MA) as the Engineers loaded the bases in the top of the first with one out. A Babson double play denied the Crimson and Gray from extending their first inning scoring streak to six games.
WPI had a runner in scoring position in the fourth and again in the ninth but a fielder's choice and swinging strikeout thwarted any opportunity of pushing a runner across.
Babson left six runners on base, including a pair in the pivotal third inning. WPI, who stranded five runners, had two aboard when the first and fourth innings ended.
Steven D'Agostino (Shrewsbury, MA) yielded four hits and fanned three batters in a strong complete game effort for the Engineers.
Venditti and Caggiano were the only batters to notch multiple hits on the day.
Before the game, WPI wore yellow tops in warmups to support five-year-old Seth Lane who underwent his second bone marrow transplant in four and a half years. They also delivered this video message just before the contest.
The Engineers are slated to travel to Wheaton on Sunday for a noon doubleheader while Babson steps out of conference play with a 3pm single game against Mass. Maritime on Sunday at the New England Baseball Complex. WPI and Babson will then return to the NEBC on Monday for a 3:30pm first pitch.