Northboro, MA --- After handing its opponents three losses via walk-off this season, the WPI baseball team suffered a walk-off loss on Tuesday afternoon at the New England Baseball Complex falling to home team Emerson in the ninth inning, 11-10.
The Engineers (11-11, 1-5 NEWMAC) built up a 9-1 lead after four-and-a-half innings, before the Lions (8-12, 2-4) were able to chip away netting runs in the fifth, sixth, seventh and ultimately the ninth inning to earn the hard-fought victory, the team's first in conference action this season.
Michael Fraser (Mashpee, MA) finished 2-for-3 on the day with six runs driven in, including a third-inning grand slam. Dylan Connors (Westboro, MA) got the start on the mound, pitching the first five innings and allowing just three runs off of five hits. Joseph Peregrim (Watervilet, NY) pitched the sixth giving up a run before Carter Bach (Albany, NY) hit the mound in the seventh inning pitching 0.2 of an innin. Noah Pins (Holden, MA) closed out the remainder of the game and shouldered his first loss of the season.
A Briggs Loveland (Burleson, TX) single with two outs in the bottom of the ninth brought home Calvin Jacey (Mystic, CT) for the game-winning run. A single by Joe Colucci (Howell, NJ), followed by a walk from Jake Hatch (Carlisle, MA) and then a Colucci single loaded the bases for Jake Okamoto (Placentia, CA) who sent a sacrifice fly to right field to make it a 10-9 ballgame. Quinton Copeland (Houston, TX) reached via a fielder's choice that brought home Rory Tettemer (Westfield, MA) who was pinch running for Hatch, to even the score. In the next at bat, Loveland tallied the game-winner.
Matt Nachamie (Merrick, NY) led the way with five RBIs on the day, including a three-run home run, as seven different Lions finished with an RBI on the day. Colucci finished the day 4-for-5 with three runs scored while Benny Guevara (Hobart, IN) picked up the victory, his second of the season.
Emerson got on the board first in the bottom of the first, but WPI answered back with Fraser's grand slam as the first three batters got on base to start the second, setting up Fraser for the roundtripper, his first of the season.
Kyle Johns (Milltown, NJ) piled on another home in the third bringing home another pair of runs before a Fraser single to center drove home a pair in the top of the fifth. A Frank D'Alessio (Morganville, NJ) fielder's choice made it a 9-1 advantage for the Engineers in the fifth.
Emerson got two back in the bottom of the fifth, another run in the sixth inning, and four runs in the seventh to make it a 9-8 ballgame with two innings left. WPI added to its lead in the top of the eighth as a Joe Salvon (Longmeadow, MA) ground out brought home Andrew Cash (Marlboro, MA) to give WPI a two-run buffer. But Emerson responded in the ninth for the win.
WPI will be back in action this weekend with a three-game series against Springfield. The Engineers will be at Springfield on Friday at 3:30pm before returning home to face the Pride at Assumption as a part of a doubleheader beginning at Noon. Emerson returns to action with a three-game series against Babson this weekend, playing at Babson on Friday at 3:30pm before returning home to face the Beavers with a doubleheader also beginning at Noon on Saturday.