Chaffee Plays All Nine Positions as Baseball Splits with Keene State

Ben Chaffee and Mike Callahan, Baseball

Auburndale, FL --- WPI graduate student Benjamin Chaffee (Franklin, MA) played nine positions in seven innings during today's baseball doubleheader against Keene State.

Chaffee accomplished the feat in the second game of the day, a 3-2 loss by the Engineers, after helping lead WPI (4-4) to a 7-1 victory in the opening game.

WPI closes out its trip to Florida, and its 2020 season, with a doubleheader at 9:45am tomorrow morning against Anna Maria.

Game 1: WPI 7, Keene State 1 

WPI continued their trend of scoring in their first at-bats, plating four runs in the top of the first inning to seize control of the opening game of the day. 

The first six batters for WPI reached base safely to start the game, and the Engineers broke through with RBI singles by David Larson (Port Tobacco, MD) and Jordan DeDonato (Danvers, MA), a bases-loaded hit-by-pitch by Kyle Johns (Milltown, NJ) and an RBI walk taken by Martin McCormack (Quincy, MA).

The top six batters in the WPI lineup all had hits and all scored runs in the victory.

Chaffee was 2-3 at the plate and also walked in the fifth, eventually scoring on a sacrifice fly by Nick Wright (Foxboro, MA).

Everett Wonson (Wenham, MA) allowed just one earned run over five innings of work and improved to 2-0 on the season. Wonson struck out three and walked just one batter.  Griffin St. Onge (Litchfield, NH) tossed two scoreless inning of releif to secure the victory.

The Owls scored in the bottom of the fifth on an RBI triple to left center by Ryan Linehan (Bedford, NH).

WPI added an insurance run in the top of the seventh when Joe Salvon (Longmeadow, MA) scored on an error after reaching on a one-out infield single.

Game 2: Keene State 3, WPI 2

Chaffee became just the second player in the over 115-year history of WPI baseball to play all nine positions in a single game, joining Shane Sampson, who turned the trick in 2013.

In 150 years of major league baseball, only five players (Cesar Tovar of the Twins in 1968, Bert Campenaris of the Athletics in 1965, Scott Shelden of the Rangers in 2000, Shane Halter of the Tigers in 2000 and Andrew Romine of the Tigers) accomplished what Chaffee did today. 

The graduate student pitched the opening inning of the game before moving to catcher and then working his way around the infield. He played third base in the top of the fifth inning, and then delivered an RBI single to score Tyrone Patterson (Upper Marlboro, MD) in a two-run bottom of the fifth, the only scoring for WPI.

After playing shortstop in the sixth, Chaffee played each of the outfield spots for one out in the seventh inning. 

Keene State took a 2-0 lead in the top of the first and added on the eventual game-winning run in the third on an RBI single by Tyler Gammie (Newington, CT).

DeDonato drove in a run when he was hit by a pitch in the bottom of the fifth, scoring Andrew Brooks (Millis, MA) who had walked to lead off the inning.

The Engineers still had the bases loaded with nobody out after Chaffee's single to center, but a strikeout and a double play ended their best chance to get back level.