Howard, Larson Clutch Hits Give Baseball Season Sweep Over Coast Guard

WPI Seniors

Northboro, MA – After rallying to beat Coast Guard in extra innings on the road on Friday night, WPI baseball completed a regular season sweep of the Bears with a pair of wins on Saturday afternoon, 9-3 and 5-1, out at New England Baseball Complex.

The Engineers rallied from deficits in both games, but got a pair of big go-ahead hits as graduate student Matt Howard (Worcester, MA) provided a bases-clearing double in the fifth-inning of the opener, while junior David Larson (Port Tobacco, MD) hit a two-run jack to during a decisive five-run, eighth-inning rally by WPI in the second game.

Larson also tossed eight strong innings in the first game, scattering three hits, giving up two earned runs and striking out six to pick up his fourth victory of the season.

WPI improves to 20-10 overall and moves above .500 in NEWMAC play at 6-5 in conference. The Bears fell to 14-13 overall and 4-9 against NEWMAC competition.

Larson settled down after allowing a two-run homer to Coast Guard catcher Jeremy Lhotka (Orange Park, FL) in the top of the first inning.

The visitors made it 3-0 in the third inning as Luke Thompson (San Ramon, CA) walked, advanced on an error and then came home on a wild pitch.

WPI came alive in the bottom half of the inning as Tyrone Patterson (Upper Marlboro, MD) drove in Austin Lindner (Princeton Jct., NJ) with a double down the left field line. Patterson, a junior, reached base on all four of his at bats, doubling three times.

In the fifth inning, Benjamin Chaffee (Franklin, MA) hit a leadoff double and then later tagged up to score on a sacrifice fly by Martin McCormack (Quincy, MA). Three batters later, with the bases loaded, Howard (2 for 4, 4 RBI) brought everyone home with a double to center to send the Engineers in front for good, 5-3, at the time.

Chaffee tripled in the sixth inning and again scored on a sac fly, this time from Lindner, to put the hosts' advantage to 6-3 two-thirds of the way through game.

WPI added a few insurance runs in the seventh inning, as Patterson, Howard and Larson smacked back-to-back-to-back doubles to right field, with the latter driving in freshman pinch runner Andrew Brooks (Millis, MA). Steven Gallagher (Coventry, RI) wrapped up the scoring with an RBI single to center.

Rob Chase (Grand Isle, VT) tossed a scoreless ninth inning in relief of Larson.

Lhotka again homered, this time a solo shot, in the fourth inning of the second game and the Bears thought they were on course for a consolation win in the final game.

Coast Guard's Dustin Reeder (Lincoln, DE) tossed seven scoreless innings of three-hit baseball, but the Engineers rallied in the eighth inning after he exited the game.

Doug Rives (Bethany, CT) went six innings for WPI, giving up just one run and striking out eight, but it was reliever Tyler Weiss (Monroe, CT) who took advantage of the late comeback, tossing three scoreless innings to pick up the win.

Patterson hit a leadoff single in the eighth and then Larson homered with one out to send WPI into the lead. Lindner added a two-run single to left field, followed by an RBI base hit to right by McCormack for good measure as the hosts pushed the lead to 5-1.

With Sunday's doubleheader at MIT postponed due to expected rain, the Worcester Engineers will pick back up on Tuesday when they host NEWMAC-leading Wheaton.

Coast Guard will head home to host the Cambridge Engineers on Tuesday afternoon.