Auburndale, FL --- WPI and Wentworth drew a split today at the Lake Myrtle Stadium as the Engineers took the first game 6-1 before they were blanked by the Leopards, 3-0 in the nightcap. The twin bill marked the season opening contests for both squads.
In the opener, DJ Ouellette (Watertown, CT), Sean Kelly (Shrewsbury, MA) and Alex Venditti (Newton, MA) all chipped in with two base-knocks each. Ouellette also logged three RBIs while Kelly and Venditti both crossed home plate twice.
Down by one score early on, the Engineers put up a crooked number and took over the 4-1 margin in the top of the third. With two men down, Vinny D'Ambrosio (Mahopac, NY) drew a walk and swiped second to move into scoring position before Kelly drove D'Ambrosio in with a run producing double. Kelly then came around to score on a wild pitch. Ouellette and Brendan Walsh (Windham, NH) followed with consecutive RBI doubles to cap off the big rally for the Crimson and Gray.
In the top of the fifth, Ouellette belted a two-run single with runners on second and third to give the Engineers some insurance and the 6-1 advantage.
After giving up an unearned run in the opening frame, Taylor Landry (Kennebunk, ME) was masterful, setting down 18 of his last 25 batters. He scattered five base-knocks, recorded seven punch outs and allowed one walk over his six innings of work. Sam Miraglia (Babylon, NY) tossed a scoreless seventh to help preserve the win for the Boynton Hillers.
The Boynton Hillers had trouble trying to figure out Wentworth righthander Aaron Denis (Dover, NH) in the finale. Denis tossed a six-hitter with four strikeouts to help the Leopards even the series.
WPI, who had runners on in every inning as the home team, had a frustrating time at the plate. In the fourth, Walsh and David Trujillo (Sutton, MA) both reached on back-to-back solo base-knocks, but were stranded at the plate when Denis induced a fly-out and a fielder's choice to end the threat.
The Engineers had another chance with no one out in the last of the seventh. Anthony Capuano (Stoneham, MA) and pinch-hitter Cody Holmes (Plymouth, MA) started the uprising with singles, however, WPI was unable to cash in as Denis reached back and fanned the next two batters before jamming another batter for a pop-up to complete the gem.
Aidan Freeburg (Billerica, MA) gave up three runs (two earned) on five hits over six innings as he rang up six on strikes. Dan Bettigole (S. Windsor, CT) hurled a 1-2-3 seventh to preserve the deficit late in the game.
All told, WPI combined to outhit their opponents (15-11) and Engineer pitching fanned 16 batters while issuing just three free passes.
WPIs will take on Westfield State Monday in a 10am doubleheader at Pat Thomas Stadium in Leesburg, FL.