Northboro, MA – Sophomore Steven Gallagher (Coventry, RI) had a career day at the plate, hitting four home runs to lead an offensive display by WPI in a Saturday Senior Day sweep over Coast Guard. The Engineers won, 22-4, in the opener and then later held on for a 12-10 victory out at New England Baseball Complex.
WPI swept the three-game series against the Bears and won its sixth straight game to improve to 20-8 and a NEWMAC West-leading 9-3 in the conference.
Overall, the Engineers smacked 11 home runs, with Connor Kurtz (Lunenburg, MA) and Anthony Capuano (Stoneham, MA) also homering in both games, while Gallagher increased his season home run total to a team-high 10 homers.
Gallagher had two of the Engineers' six homers in the opener on Saturday, driving in a game-high seven runs, including the go-ahead two-run slam to right field in the first inning to start a nine-run rally in the first frame of the day.
WPI loaded the bases to start a run of four straight scoring plays as David Larson (Port Tobacco, MD) singled in Matt Howard (Worcester, MA) and then Austin Lindner (W. Windsor, NJ) followed by droving in Capuano.
Evan Lacroix (Methuen, MA) scored on a wild pitch and then Kurtz cleared the bases with a two-run double down the left field line to push the lead to 7-0.
Three batters later, Gallagher walked with the bases loaded to bring home Kurtz, and then Ryan Tropeano (Pembroke, MA) scored on a fielder's choice grounder by Howard to cap the rally and make it 9-0.
The Crimson and Gray's next three hits were all home runs, as Kurtz (2 for 3, 4 RBIs) sent a two-run bomb to left field in the bottom of the second to push the lead to 11-0, and then Howard and Nick Comei (Haverhill, MA) both slapped solo shots over the fence in the third inning to expand WPI's advantage to 13-0.
WPI went off for another five runs in the fourth inning, headlined by a grand slam over the wall in left center by Gallagher to make the score 18-0.
Coast Guard (12-18, 3-9 NEWMAC) scored in the sixth inning as Alex Cordes (Boynton Beach, FL) scored on a ground out by Zach Serna (Palatine, IL).
Joe Fainer (Thomaston, CT) singled and then Capuano sent a two-run homer to right center to start a four-run bottom half of the sixth.
Josh Herlands (Glastonbury, CT) doubled and then later scored on an error, and then Nick Wright (Foxboro, MA) singled in Chas DeWitt (Nashua, NH) to finish WPI's scoring for the game, pushing the lead to 22-1 at the time.
Cordes drove in two of Coast Guard's final three runs, doubling in Reed Jenkins (Brown Summitt, NC) in the seventh inning and then singling up the middle to bring home Luke Sniatkowski (Verona, NJ) in the ninth inning.
Capuano led WPI by going 3 for 5 in the opening game, while Gallagher, Kurtz, Tropeano, Fainer and DeWitt all had multi-hit games.
Mike Vaitkunas (Auburn, MA) was in command on the mound, striking out seven, while scattering six hits over seven innings to pick up his third win.
The hosts started off strong again in the second game of the day as Tropeano led off the bottom of the first inning with a solo shot to left center.
Capuano sent a base hit to right field to drive in Gallagher for the second run of the inning and then Howard later scored on a wild pitch to make it 3-0.
Gallagher made it a five-run lead in the second inning with a two-run blast to center field for his third homer of the day to push WPI's lead to 5-0.
Coast Guard leveled the score at 5-5 with a rally in the top of the third inning that included a two-run double by Kyle Jackson (Lincoln, RI) and a two-run single by Trey Rittenhouse (Ellenwood, GA), both sent to right field.
The Boynton Hillers responded with a pair of two-run jacks by Kurtz and Gallagher in the bottom half of the inning to take back the lead, 9-5.
Capuano hit a solo homer in the fourth inning, but the Bears got that run back in the fifth as Jon Pressley (Austin, TX) scored on a Rittenhouse ground out.
That repeated again as Lacroix drove in Gallagher with a base hit to left in the bottom of the fifth, but then Serna came in to score on a fielder's choice by Jake Behne (Clifton, VA) to make it 11-7 midway through the seventh inning.
Coast Guard made a comeback bid in the eighth inning, getting a solo shot by Timbo Duncan (Heath, TX) to lead off the inning and a two-run home run by Jeremy Lhotka (Orange Park, FL) to pull it back to a close 11-10 game.
Duncan's home run upped his Coast Guard season-record total to nine homers and his program career-record total to 17 blasts.
Tropeano came through with an RBI triple that brought in Tyrone Patterson (Upper Marlboro, MD) in the bottom half of the eighth to give WPI a two-run cushion, 12-10, heading into the final inning.
WPI returns to action on Monday with a 10am game out at Babson rescheduled from the beginning of the month.