What a Relief! - Bettigole's Five Solid Innings Sparks Baseball to Series Win Over Clark

DJ Ouellette

Worcester, MA --- Reliever Dan Bettigole (South Windsor, CT) threw five strong innings of relief as the Engineers of WPI rallied from a pair of early deficits to defeat host Clark 12-5 in a NEWMAC baseball contest played Saturday afternoon.  It was the rubber game of a three-game set between the two squads that split Friday evening. 

The Cougars struck first on a two-run homer to left in the bottom of the first by Zach Richall (Tyngsboro, MA) only to see the Engineers counter with a run-producing single by DJ Ouellette (Watertown, CT) and a two-run double from Nick Comei (Haverhill, MA).  The base knock was Ouellette's 100th hit of  his career.  Clark answered quickly when Tyler Hutchinson (Greene, ME) smacked a triple to left center to plate a pair of runs.   In the top of the third, WPI regained the lead on an Alex Venditti (Newton, MA) two-run blast to left for the junior's third home run of the series and sixth of the season. 

At that point, WPI skipper Mike Callahan handed the ball to Bettigole, his typical late-inning reliever. The sophomore allowed just one run over a career-high five innings of work , while equaling his career-best with four punch outs.  Clark's only run versus the righty came in the bottom of the fifth when David Eschen's (New York, NY) single to left chased home Kyle Bonicki (Waterbury, CT). 

The Engineers made a winner out of Bettigole (2-0) by registering multiple runs in three straight innings beginning in the top of the sixth when Vinny D'Ambrosio's (Mahopac, NY) single to right resulted in a pair of runs.  An inning later, WPI posted runs on a John Mulready (Rockland, MA) single to right field and a double play.  The Crimson and Gray closed out the scoring in the top of the eighth when D'Ambrosio collected a sacrifice fly and Sean Kelly (Shrewsbury, MA) belted an inside the park homer.  

Matt Cote (Burrillville, RI) led the WPI hit parade with three base knocks while Sean Greene (Hingham, MA), Kelly, Venditti, Mulready, Ouellette and Comei all tallied multiple hits.  Bonicki ended the day with three hits for the Cougars. 

Conor Walsh (Barnstable, MA) started for the hosts and took the loss.  The freshman right hander fanned four while yielding five runs in six innings of work. 

Aidan Freeburg (Billerica, MA) worked the first two innings for WPI while sophomore classmate Mike Vaitkunas (Auburn, MA) threw two scoreless innings of relief to close the game. 

Both teams return to action with NEWMAC homes games on Tuesday afternoon.   WPI (13-10, 4-5 NEWMAC) entertains MIT at the New England Baseball Complex in Northboro while Clark (5-9. 2-3 NEWMAC) plays host to Babson.  Both games are slated for a 3:30pm start. 

Story by WPI Athletics Intern Ben Ilg