Northboro, MA --- The WPI baseball team made things interesting once again but fell to MIT 7-6 on Wednesday afternoon falling just shy in the ninth inning in mid-week NEWMAC action.
WPI (12-14, 2-8 NEWMAC) had runners on second and third with two outs in the bottom of the ninth but were unable to get any more runs on the board as they fell to MIT (9-16-1, 4-6) in a game that was moved to a new site, date and time after a rain soaked Tuesday.
A trio of Engineers compiled a pair of hits for WPI as Joe Salvon (Longmeadow, MA) finished the afternoon with a 2-for-4 effort and a run scored, Michael Fraser (Mashpee, MA) finished with a 2-for-4 effort, two runs scored and three batted in, and Andrew Cash (Marlboro, MA) went 2-for-5 on the day. Starting pitcher Everett Wonson (York, ME) pitched five innings, allowing nine hits and five runs in the loss. Carter Bach (Albany, NY) and Alexander Mondro (Westford, MA) combined for three shutout innings of relief in the final three frames.
MIT had four different batters come away with a pair of runs led by Kyle Sonandres' (Torrance, CA) 2-for-5 effort which netted three RBIs and a pair of runs scored. MIT starter Graham Cartwright (La Jolla, CA) pitched five innings and allowed four runs on four hits while striking out eight.
Both teams had their offense going early with the Cambridge-based Engineers netted three runs in the top of the first, and their Worcester-based foes putting up a four-spot in the bottom half of the inning. MIT used a two-run homer by Sonandres and a sacrifice fly from Erik Anderson (Palos Verdes, CA) to get on the board.
But in the bottom half of the inning, a wild pitch from MIT starter Cartwright got the first run of the day across while Fraser followed up with a three-run blast to give WPI a 4-3 edge.
MIT evened the score in the top of the second, and it took another four innings for either team to score until the Engineers put up another three spot in the top of the sixth to make it a 7-4 ballgame. Nick Aiello (Freehold, NJ) started the inning off with a solo shot prompting a WPI pitching change. After back-to-back singles and a sac bunt that forced a WPI error to load the bases, a Brian Rapanan (Gurnee, IL) sac fly to center brought home another run. MIT was able to tally a run via a wild pitch to close out the scoring.
Never to give up, WPI added a run in the bottom of the eighth as an Andrew Brooks (Millis, MA) single to center brought home Jacob Hand (Niskayuna, NY) to cut the lead to 7-5. In the ninth, a ground rule double from Cash put runners on second and third, with Fraser touching home for the second time on the day after yet another wild pitch to make it a 7-6 ballgame. But MIT was able to hold off WPI and hang on for the win.
WPI is back in action with a weekend series against Coast Guard that sees them face the Bears on Friday night at 6pm at Holy Cross while Saturday's doubleheader will take place in New London, CT beginning at 1pm. MIT's NEWMAC weekend series pits the Engineers against Babson beginning Friday afternoon at 3:30pm at Fran O'Brien Field followed by a Saturday doubleheader at Babson beginning at Noon.