Venditti's Seventh-Inning Blast Salvages Sunday NEWMAC Baseball Split With Babson

Alex Venditti

Babson Park, MA --- Babson sophomore Teddy Carey (Upton, MA) scattered three hits, struck out seven and walked one in an eight-inning appearance and WPI senior Alex Venditti (Newton, MA) batted 3-for-4 with a pair of home runs, four RBI and two runs scored as the squads split a NEWMAC baseball doubleheader Sunday at Govoni Field. The Beavers (12-8-1, 4-4 NEWMAC) won game one 11-2 while the Engineers (18-7, 6-2 NEWMAC) rebounded with an 8-7 triumph in game two.

Game One

Sophomore Mark Webber (Norwell, MA) led Babson with a 2-for-3 showing at the plate with a double, two walks, three RBI and a pair of runs scored. Freshman Brian McHale (Ramsey, NJ) batted 2-for-4 with a walk, a stolen base and three runs scored while junior Jack Halpin (Glastonbury, CT) also went 2-for-4 to go along with a walk, two RBI and a run scored. Sophomore Adam Ayala (Franklin Lakes, NJ) walked twice, stole a base and crossed the plate twice. Senior George Crowley (Watertown, MA) hit a two-run home run and freshman Eric Jaun (Loveland, OH) doubled. Junior Kevin Murphy (Pembroke, MA) swiped a pair of bases for the Beavers. Halpin had a hand in all five Babson double plays while Ayala factored in four and McHale contributed in two. Carey and sophomore David Lennon (Windermere, FL) each chipped in on one. Carey, who enjoyed four 1-2-3 innings, moved to 1-1 on the season while freshman Connor Gill (Sterling, MA) pitched the bottom of the ninth.

Seniors Vinny D'Ambrosio (Mahopac, NY), Venditti, John Mulready (Rockland, MA) and Sean Greene (Hingham, MA) each had a hit for the Engineers, as did freshman Steven Gallagher (Coventry, RI). Mulready drove in a pair of late runs while Gallagher logged a double. Junior Nick Comei (Haverhill, MA) and Venditti turned a double play for the Boynton Hillers. Junior CJ Doskocil (Sterling, MA) struck out five in the start before freshmen Adam Bettigole (South Windsor, CT), Doug Rives (Bethany, CT) and Robert Chase (Grand Isle, VT) all saw time on the mound. Bettigole fanned one while Chase enjoyed a 1-2-3 ninth, including a swinging strikeout to end the frame.

Halpin and Webber each singled in a run for the 2-0 lead after half an inning. Ayala singled to right with two outs in the second for what proved to be the game-winning run. Jaun's double plated a Beaver in the third while Webber's double delivered another tally in the fifth. Crowley hit a two-run shot to right and Murphy sent an RBI single up the middle in the three-run sixth. Babson added one more in the seventh as Webber scampered home on a wild pitch. The eighth inning saw Halpin draw a bases-loaded walk and Ayala score on a fielder's choice put into play by Webber.

Mulready broke up the shutout with a 2-RBI single down the left field line in the bottom of the ninth before a pop up and foul out ended the game.

Game Two

Gill batted 3-for-4 in as Webber (HR, walk, three RBI, two runs) and Lennon (two doubles, two RBI, run) each went 2-for-3. Rookies Kyle Waldron (Cheshire, CT) and Daniel Cooney (Verona, NJ), as well as junior Graham Stack (Arlington, MA) all pitched in the nightcap for the Beavers. Cooney was tagged with the decision (3-2) while Stack fanned two in a pair of no-hit frames.

Gallagher (2-for-3, walk, stolen base), Comei (2-for-4, run) and Ouellette (two HR, three RBI, two runs) joined Venditti in the multi-hit club with two each while Greene added a double for the Engineers. Freshman Sam Bacchaocchi (Freetown, MA) started and junior Mike Duclos (Greenfield, MA) took over for three innings and was credited with the win. Rookie Austin Labastie (Mendon, MA) tallied three strikeouts in two no-hit innings en route to the save.

Venditti homered to get the Engineers on the scoreboard in the bottom of the first. Senior Anthony Capuano (Stoneham, MA) walked and was promptly plated by a Greene RBI double to left center in the bottom of the second. Greene then came home on home run to center by senior DJ Ouellette (Watertown, CT) as WPI claimed the early 4-0 advantage. Babson neutralized the trio of runs in the top of the third as Ayala scored thanks to a wild pitch and Webber laced a 2-RBI single through the right side.

The Beavers evened it up in the fourth when McHale sent a run-producing single up the middle. An inning later, Lennon put Babson ahead 6-4 with a 2-RBI double to left center. Venditti came through once again to bring the Engineers within a run as he singled in D'Ambrosio in the home portion of the fifth. Ouellette's solo round-tripper in the sixth evened the game at 6-6. Webber answered with a homer in the top of the seventh only to see WPI regain the lead once more thanks to a two-run, game-winning, jack by Venditti to make it 8-7 in favor of the Crimson and Gray heading into the eighth.

Stack and Labastie then took the mound for their respective ball clubs and did not allow a hit in the final two innings.

WPI returns to action Tuesday hosting MIT at the New England Baseball Complex. First pitch is set for 3:30pm. Babson entertains UMass Dartmouth in its sixth game in four days beginning at 3:30pm.