Davenport, FL --- A Wednesday doubleheader against Thomas (ME) resulted in the WPI baseball team's first and second victories of the season as the Engineers started the day off with an 18-5 triumph over the Terriers followed by a rain shortened, delay-filled, 14-2 five-and-a-half inning win.
The Engineers put together 21 hits in the game one victory as Andrew Brooks (Millis, MA) kept his home-run streak going with a three-run shot while Dylan Connors (Westboro, MA), Kyle Johns (Milltown, NJ) and Martin McCormack (Quincy, MA) put together three-hit outings.
Game two saw 10 hits, and three Thomas College errors, resulting in 14 runs as Johns finished with a 2-for-4 effort, driving in five runs while scoring three of his own while starting pitcher Matt Penkala (Warren, RI) earned his first victory of the season, pitching 4.1 innings and facing 23 batters while allowing six hits, two runs and striking out two.
Jack Gomes (Newport, RI), who came in relief of starting pitcher Connors and pitched the fourth and fifth innings, picked up the victory, his first of the season. Gomes allowed six hits, but no runs.
The Engineers netted runs in the first five innings of action starting with the bottom of the first as Connors, who in addition to pitching also stepped to the plate, and reached second following an error by the Thomas College centerfielder with a pair of outs on the board. He made the most of his time on base, scoring one batter later on a single to center by Johns to make it a 1-0 game.
The second inning saw the addition of two runs, as Brooks returned to the plate to smash a homerun to right field bringing home Frank D'Alessio (Morganville, NJ) for a 3-0 lead.
Thomas College took the lead in the top of the third putting together a four-run, four hit half inning making the most of a pair of Engineer errors to gain a 4-3 advantage. But WPI answered back in the bottom of the third with a trio of runs. First, Gavin George (Salem, NH), who started the offense off with a ground-rule double, crossed the plate on a wild pitch. Still during Brooks' at bat, the third baseman ripped a shot to second that brought home Joe Salvon (Longmeadow, MA). One batter later D'Alessio crossed the plate once again following a balk to help WPI to a 6-4 lead, one they would never relinquish.
The bottom of the fourth saw another trio of runs thanks to four Engineers hits and another balk while the fifth inning saw an onslaught of nine runs after 15 different Engineers came to the plate. A trio of doubles from Danny Johnson (Mendon, MA), Salvon and Connors, a homerun from Jacob Hand (Niskayuna, NY) and a couple of wild pitches helped WPI to a massive 14-run lead, one that Thomas College would be unable to overcome, en route to the victory.
A delay-filled game, which was called after yet another rain delay with a runner on first base in the bottom of the sixth inning, resulted in a 14-2 victory for WPI.
The Engineers got the offense going early once again, throwing up a five-spot in the top of the first inning. As the leadoff hitter, Brooks got things going with a walk and came home three batters later as Johns reached on a throwing error. Three batters after that a Michael Fraser (Mashpee, MA) double down the leftfield line brought home two Engineers while Kyle DeRoma (Dracut, MA) sent a shot to left center that brought in another two runs one batter later for the 5-0 advantage.
The Engineers added another two runs in the top of the second as Brooks started things off yet again with a walk, while back-to-back doubles from Johns and Hand brought home a pair. Thomas College got on the board in the bottom of the second off of a RBI single to right field from Austin Stebbins (Farmingdale, ME) and added another run in the bottom of the third inning, scoring on a balk.
The top of the fifth inning, and a few delays later, brought another four runs for WPI making it an 11-2 ballgame as Connors forced a bases loaded walk to drive in the first run, Johns reached on a fielder's choice in a play that ended up scoring two after a throwing error, and a Hand double to center later scored Johns.
The top of the sixth added another three runs to the total for the Engineers and with one on and one out in the bottom half of the inning, and yet another rain delay, the officials called the game as WPI came away with the win. The 4:20 ballgame only featured 2:18 of actual play.
The Engineers are back in action on Friday morning with a doubleheader against another opponent from Maine when they take on St. Joseph's (ME) beginning at 10 am in Auburndale, FL once again at the Lake Myrtle Complex, this time on Field 3.