Babson Park, MA --- WPI senior Mike Vaitkunas (Auburn, MA) and Babson junior Teddy Carey (Upton, MA) dueled through seven complete while the Engineers exploded for five runs, highlighted by a three-run rocket by junior Matt Howard (Worcester, MA), in the top of the ninth to key an 8-2 victory over host Babson Monday afternoon at Govoni Field.
Babson, which has dropped two straight games, is now 7-7 overall and 1-1 in conference play, while WPI improves to 14-5 overall and 3-1 in the NEWMAC with its fourth straight win.
Beaver sophomore Brian McHale (Ramsey, NJ) went 1-for-3 with an RBI and junior Adam Ayala (Franklin Lakes, NJ) singled, swiped a pair of bases and scored once for the Beavers. Carey struck out eight while allowing three hits and four walks in a no-decision.
Junior Evan Lacroix (Methuen, MA) finished with a double, a triple and three RBI, while Howard cranked a three-run homer for the Engineers. Vaitkunas struck out four and allowed two runs on just six hits over eight innings to move to 2-2 on the year with the win.
The Green and White started fast as Ayala walked and stole second before scoring on McHale's single through the right side. McHale went first to third on a base hit by senior Jack Halpin (Glastonbury, CT) and scored one batter later to give the Beavers a 2-0 lead.
The Engineers cut their deficit in half on Lacroix's RBI double in the top of the second before the Central Mass. pitchers took control of the game. Carey allowed just one hit after the second and worked out of a two-out bases-loaded jam in the fifth, while Vaitkunas retired 16 straight hitters between the third and eighth innings.
Trailing 2-1 in the eighth, WPI put runners on second and third with one out and went in front on a two-out triple to the base of the wall in right field by Lacroix. The Engineers made it 4-2 on an RBI single by sophomore Ryan Tropeano (Pembroke, MA) in the ninth, and Howard and graduate student Anthony Capuano (Stoneham, MA) followed with back-to-back two-out homers for the final margin.
Both teams are scheduled to return to action on Tuesday at 3:30 p.m. as Babson hosts Coast Guard, while WPI travels to Emerson.
Majority Release Courtesy Babson Sports Information
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