Freshmen Hurlers Key in Baseball's New England Opener
Providence, RI --- Freshman Andrew Portera (Alpharetta, GA) won his second straight start as WPI opened the New England portion of its 2012 schedule with a 5-3 victory over Johnson & Wales in a non-conference baseball game played at Pierce Stadium on Tuesday afternoon. The Engineers are now 8-3 on the young season while Johnson & Wales dips to 1-5.
Portera (2-0) tossed the first six innings, yielding two runs on eight hits and striking out four without allowing a walk. Classmate Taylor Landry (Kennebunk, ME) worked the final three innings and dodged an unearned run in the eighth to pick up his first career save.
WPI, who played as the home team, never trailed in the game but also never led by more than two runs. The Crimson and Gray jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first when Nick Bean (Middleboro, MA) tripled to right field to score John Flynn (Albion, ME) and came home on a David Trujillo (Sutton, MA) single to center.
Johnson and Wales got a run back in the second when a Jake Dickerson (Garnet Valley, PA) RBI grounder scored Jack Hocking (Hanover, MA). The teams traded zeros until the bottom of the fourth when Mitch McClune (Pembroke, MA) lifted a sacrifice fly to bring home Sam Miraglia (West Babylon, NY) with WPI's third run. Again Johnson and Wales answered, this time with Pete Rosa's (Ambler, PA) run-producing doubled that chased home Zach Boyes (West Warwick, RI).
The Engineers extended the lead to 4-2 in the bottom of the sixth when Flynn walked with the bases loaded and the two teams traded runs in the eighth with Dickerson scoring on an error for the Wildcats in the top of the frame and Kyle Bartosik (Midland Park, NJ) coming home on a Tim Erlandson (Hudson, MA) RBI single for the Engineers a half inning later before Landry worked a perfect ninth to nail down the save.
Erlandson, Bean, Bartosik and Steve Petry (Worcester, MA) all registered two hits for WPI. Hocking led all players with three hits for JWU while Boyes chipped in with two. Sophomore Aldo Morales (Miami, FL) took the loss for the Wildcats, giving up two earned runs in five innings on the mound.
WPI is off until Friday when it opens up a three-game NEWMAC series at Babson. First pitch for Friday's nine-inning game is slated for 3:30pm. Johnson and Wales hosts Coast Guard on Wednesday at 3:30pm.