Winter Haven, FL --- Junior Steven Gallagher (Coventry, RI) and sophomore David Larson (Port Tobacco, MD) combined to slug five home runs while senior Matt Howard (Worcester, MA) collected three hits in both ends of WPI's doubleheader sweep of Gwynedd Mercy (PA) and DeSales (PA) Tuesday at the RussMatt Invitational. WPI defeated the Griffins 14-10 and the Bulldogs 11-8.
The Pennsylvania-based teams agreed to forgo facing each other to help the Engineers (3-1) make up for the delayed start to the trip.
A miscue on an attempted sacrifice fly off the bat of junior Austin Lindner (W. Windsor, NJ) put WPI on the board in the second vs Gwynedd Mercy. Larson launched his first of the day down the left field line to make it 2-0 in the fourth. The Engineers tacked on five in the fifth behind a Gallagher sac fly, an RBI comebacker by Howard, a run producing single by sophomore Tyrone Patterson (Upper Marlboro, MD) and a 2-RBI knock by Lindner.
The Griffins finally dented the scoreboard with three in the bottom of the fifth. WPI grabbed two back thanks to a two-run round-tripper by Gallagher. A single up the middle by sophomore Jake Spada (Middleton, MA) made it 10-3 in the seventh. Gwynedd Mercy put together three more while Patterson chased Howard home with a sacrifice fly in the eighth. Inching closer, the Griffins plated four in the eighth to pull within one. Gallagher, Larson (double) and Patterson each drove in a run for the 14-10 final.
Junior Ryan Tropeano (Pembroke, MA), Howard, Larson (stolen base) and Patterson (stolen base) all registered three hits. Gallagher drove in four as Patterson and Lindner (stolen base) plated three apiece. On the mound, Larson struck out three in 6 1/3 to collect the win. Juniors Sam Bacchiocchi (Freetown, MA) and Dominic Fusco (North Haven, CT) each went at least an inning in relief.
WPI owned 1-0 lead after an inning thanks to Gallagher's second blast of the day, this time to center field. DeSales then claimed the 2-1 advantage though three. The Engineers began the first of two consecutive four-run frames with an RBI walk issued to junior Josh Herlands (Glastonbury, CT). Senior Chas DeWitt (Nashua, NH) followed with a productive ground out. A pair of miscues allowed two more Engineers to cross the dish. Gallagher targeted right center for his third home run of the day to kick off the scoring in the fifth. Larson added a two-run shot to left and sophomore Kyle Wood (Hauppauge, NY) singled in a run for the 9-2 lead.
Each team scored a run in the sixth while the Bulldogs totaled three over the next two frames. Howard pushed the 11th run across with a hit up the middle in the eighth. DeSales drew a bases-loaded free pass and capitalized on a miscue to get within three before the final out was recorded.
Howard and senior Evan Lacroix (Methuen, MA) each amassed three hits while Gallagher followed with his two dingers. Junior Tyler Weiss (Monroe, CT) fanned five in the first six-innings as sophomore Matt Woods (Wilmington, MA) came in for a pair and junior Rob Chase (North Hero, VT) finished the game.
Baseball and Rhode Island College will meet for a set tomorrow beginning at 1:15pm.