Northboro, MA --- It took extra innings, but the WPI baseball team defeated crosstown foe Worcester State 7-6 on Wednesday afternoon at the New England Baseball Complex. Dylan Connors (Westboro, MA) drove home the game-winning run in the bottom of the 10th inning with a two-out single through the left side for the walk-off victory.
The Engineers pick up their second victory in as many days, improving to .500 on the season evening their record out at 5-5 while Worcester State drops to 4-7 on the season.
The Lancers evened the score at six-apiece in the top of the eighth inning, ultimately forcing extra innings where Connors came away the hero. A one out walk by DJ Brooks (Danvers, MA) got the first Engineer on base in the extra frame. Brooks stole second one batter later, but a line out to right field put two outs on the board with a runner on second. Gavin George (Salem, NH) was intentionally walked, but it wouldn't matter as Connors stepped to the plate and ripped one through the left side of the field bringing home Brooks for the win.
Connors finished the day going 3-for-6 with two RBIs, while Brooks was 2-for-3 with two runs scored and a walk against the Lancers. George finished with a 1-for-3 outing, knocking in two, drawing two walks and scoring a run.
Noah Pins (Holden, MA) who came into the game in relief, pitched the eighth, ninth and 10th innings of action giving up two hits and just one earned run while striking out three of the 12 batters he faced and picking up the victory, his first of the season. Everett Wonson (York, ME) got the start for WPI pitching 6.2 innings of action allowing seven hits, five runs and striking out four. Brett Bucklin (Lynn, MA) shouldered the loss for Worcester State, also pitching the final three innings of action for the Lancers.
WPI got things going in the first inning as another Connors single to right center brought home Andrew Brooks (Millis, MA) who started things off with a leadoff double. Worcester State evened the score in the top of the second, but WPI was able to regain the lead in the third inning as a Martin McCormack (Quincy, MA) single to centerfield brought home George to make it a 2-1 ballgame.
WPI continued the offensive action in the bottom of the sixth inning piling on another pair of runs thanks to a George single to right centerfield with bases loaded that brought home DJ Brooks and Kyle DeRoma (Dracut, MA) to give the Engineers a 4-1 advantage.
But Worcester State brough the offense in the top of the seventh tallying four runs on five hits via a single from Tom Halliwell (Leominster, MA) and a three-run homerun from Mike Chaves Jr. (Hudson, MA) to give the Lancers a 5-4 advantage, for the time being. WPI responded by adding two more runs to the board in the bottom half of the frame as a Michael Fraser (Mashpee, MA) double to left field brought home Jacob Hand (Niskayuna, NY). Fraser then came home a couple of batter's later as DeRoma reached on a fielder's choice to put WPI back on top 6-5.
A Halliwell single to center evened the score in the top of the eighth before Connors' heroics earned the victory for the Engineers.
Haliwell finished the game with a 2-for-5 effort driving in two runs while scoring another of his own while Chaves lone hit of the ballgame was the three-run blast. The Engineers limited Worcester State to 10 hits while accounting for 13 of their own.
WPI is back in action on Friday, March 25 afternoon with a 3pm matinee against Fitchburg State back at the New England Baseball Complex while Worcester State will return to the diamond on Saturday, March 26 with a noon start at home against Clark.