Baseball Splits Marathon Twinbill with NEC to Conclude Three-Game Series

Martin McCormack

Northboro, MA --- Senior Austin Lindner (Princeton Jct., NJ), sophomore Jordan DeDonato (Danvers, MA) and freshman Michael Fraser (Mashpee, MA) all batted .500 and combined for eight RBI while senior Steven Gallagher (Coventry, RI) and Junior Tyrone Patterson (Upper Marlboro, MD) each accumulated five hits, including eight for extra bases, as WPI split a baseball twinbill with New England College Saturday at the New England Baseball Complex. The Engineers (11-3) won the first part of the seven-plus hour marathon 22-21 and the Pilgrims (10-4) return to Henniker with a 6-5 victory in the nightcap.

Lindner was 2-for-4 with a double, a home run, three RBI and four runs scored as DeDonato was 2-for-4 with an RBI and three runs scored, and Fraser was 4-for-8 with a pair of doubles, a home run, four RBI and three runs scored. Gallagher and Patterson each finished 5-for-11 with three RBI apiece.

Senior Ryan Tropeano (Pembroke, MA) collected four hits and five RBI, including what proved to be the game-winning swing with a three-run homer in the bottom of the eighth in game one. Freshman Martin McCormack (Quincy, MA) chipped in with a double and a home run as part of his three-hit, three RBI day. Junior David Larson (Port Tobacco, MD) added a pair of hits and four RBI for the Engineers.

Senior Dominic Fusco (North Haven, CT) was the winning pitcher in the opener while freshman Alexander Mondro (Westford, MA) was tagged with the decision in the finale.

For New England College, senior Evan Delaney (Hadley, MA), senior Christian Aybar (Pawtucket, RI), senior Xavier Nunez (Lawrence, MA), sophomore Connor Morin (North Andover, MA), junior Bobby Fulkerson (Anaheim, CA) and junior Luis Atiles (Roxbury, MA) all had multiple hits in game one. Morin (double, HR) and Delaney (HR) combined for 11 RBI to go with three by Atiles (HR), and two each from Aybar (double) and Nunez. Fulkerson also had a home run for the Pilgrims. Aybar, Atiles and Delaney (3 RBI) also had a pair of hits in the second game.

Sophomore Shayne Audet (Springfield, MA) struck out 12 in the start and junior Joseph Pascucci (Wayne, NJ) shouldered the decision in the first game. Senior Nick Powers (Malden, MA) set down nine Engineers and freshman Dylan Champagne (Newtown, CT) collected the save in the victory.

Trailing 14-2 through 4 1/2 innings, WPI posted a five-run bottom of the fifth. Gallagher began the outburst with a home run to center. Lindner followed with a three-run home run and McCormack finished it off with a solo shot to right. McCormack later used a ground-rule double to chase home two runs before Tropeano notched an RBI infield single in the sixth.

Morin cleared the bases with a three-run double in the top of the seventh and was countered by a three-run jack by Fraser to key a nine-run seventh. Patterson singled in a run and Gallagher sent a two-run hit to left. Larson followed with a 2-RBI single up the middle to forge an 18-17 advantage. DeDonato made it a two-run game with a hit up the middle.

Fulkerson cut the deficit to one with a solo home run before Delaney swung the scoreboard back in NEC's favor with a three-run homer in the top of the eighth. Tropeano then sent his three-run blast to center for the 22-21 lead in the bottom of the frame.

Delaney struck first for the Pilgrims with an RBI single in the top of the first inning of the nightcap. Larson then put the Engineers in front with a two-run single up the middle for the 2-1 lead after a full inning. A miscue led to a pair of NEC runs in the second. The guests then pulled away with a two-run shot by Delaney in the third and a sacrifice fly off the bat of freshman Shane McNamara (Londonderry, NH) in the fourth.

Patterson doubled in a run in the fifth and followed with a solo home run in the eighth. Tropeano later lifted a one-out sacrifice fly to center only to have a pinch runner erased heading to third on the play to end the threat of a walk-off.

WPI hosts Gordon for a single game at 3:30pm on Tuesday. New England College returns to action on Saturday for a single game versus Emerson at 1pm at St. John's Prep in Danvers.