Northboro, MA --- Sophomore Steven D'Agostino (Shrewsbury, MA) scattered four hits over seven innings to help lead WPI to a 4-3 victory over Clark in both teams' NEWMAC Baseball West Division opener Friday afternoon at the New England Baseball Complex.
With the win, the Engineers improve to 15-6 overall and 3-1 overall in conference action while Clark evens out at 12-12 on the year and 2-2 in league play.
Senior Vinny D'Ambrosio (Mahopac, NY) logged the second ground-rule double of the game to lead off the bottom of the first. He came home two batters later courtesy of a senior Alex Venditti (Newton, MA) RBI single up the middle. Clark benefitted from a sacrifice fly of the bat of junior Tyler Hutchinson (Greene, ME) and a muffed throw to take the 2-1 lead in the top of the second.
The Engineers put two men in scoring position in the second only to see the next 11 batters of the game retired in order. Senior DJ Ouellette (Watertown, CT) restarted the offense with a first pitch homer to left center to begin the bottom of the fourth. The blast also evened the game at 2-2.
Clark regained the lead in the top of the eighth behind a two-out RBI single by junior Adam Chochrek (Foxboro, MA). D'Ambrosio leveled the game at 3-3 with a run-producing hit to right before a wild pitch allowed sophomore Evan Lacroix (Methuen, MA) to plate the game-winning run.
Lacroix led the way with a 3-for-4 outing and a double as freshman Steven Gallagher (Coventry, RI) batted 2-for-3 with a walk and a run scored. Both Venditti and senior John Mulready (Rockland, MA) (double) went 2-for-4 at the plate and D'Ambrosio was 2-for-5 with an RBI and a run scored a the top of the lineup. D'Agostino allowed two runs – one earned – on four hits while striking out three and walking four. Junior Dan Bettigole (South Windsor, CT) pocketed the win (2-1) after yielding one run on one hit in an inning of work. Sophomore Drew Gelinas (Saco, ME) picked up his second save of the season after a 1-2-3 ninth.
Chochrek went 2-for-3 with a walk, an RBI and a run scored. Sophomore Kyle Bonicki (Waterbury, CT) doubled as senior Chris Dibble (Manchester, CT) was credited with a sacrifice bunt and Hutchinson collected a sacrifice fly. Sophomore Teddy Downing (Cambridge, MA) and senior Zach Richall (Tyngsboro, MA) each stole a base for the Cougars. Freshman Cal Slepkow (Rehoboth, MA) worked the first 7 2/3 and handed the ball to sophomore Joshua Dobratz (Southington, CT) for the balance of the game.
In all, the game featured three ground-rule doubles in the first inning.
The two teams meet again tomorrow at Granger Baseball Diamond for a twinbill set to begin at noon.
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