As part of our summer series, we are looking back at the best moments from the 2021-2022 academic year, today featuring WPI baseball as the Engineers swept Eastern Nazarene for head baseball coach Mike Callahan's 299th and 300th career victories this past March.
Marlboro, MA --- A doubleheader sweep of Eastern Nazarene propelled WPI baseball head coach Mike Callahan to his 299th and 300th career victories. The Engineers downed the Lions 11-8 in game one behind a seven-run third inning and were able to eke out a 4-3 win in game two when centerfielder DJ Brooks (Danvers, MA) connected with catcher Kyle DeRoma (Dracut, MA) to throw out the potential tying run at the plate to end the game and hand his manager the milestone win.
Callahan is in his 17th season at the helm of the Engineers (8-5) and has amassed a 300-254-1 record during his time in Worcester.
GAME ONE | Box Score
A three-run homer from Kyle Johns (Milltown, NJ), and a 3-for-4 effort from Joe Salvon (Longmeadow, MA) helped the Engineers to an 11-8 game one victory over Eastern Nazarene. The foursome of Dylan Connors (Westboro, MA), Owen Radcliffe (Holliston, MA), Jack Gomes (Newport, RI), and Carter Bach (Albany, NY) combined for the victory with Radcliffe picking up the win and Bach closing out the game.
The Lions (11-9) got on the board first with a pair of runs in the top of the first, but the three-run shot in the bottom half of the inning from Johns put the Engineers on top. A five-run second, highlighted by a two-run single from Steven Pesce (Harrison, NY), an RBI double to centerfield from Shane McNamara (Londonderry, NH) and a two-RBI single to center from Hernhy Lara (Boston, MA) to make it a 7-3 game.
But the Engineers replied with a huge seven-run third inning to gain an advantage they would never relent. Behind five hits (and four errors from Eastern Nazarene), WPI gained a 10-7 lead. Salvon started the scoring off with a single to left field that drove home two, later scoring as Michael Fraser (Mashpee, MA) forced an errant throw while stealing second. Following that, Andrew Cash (Marlboro, MA) blasted a two-run shot, another steal brought home another run on an errant throw and a Gavin George (Salem, NH), single rounded out the inning.
WPI added another run in the fifth, and the Lions responded in the sixth, but it wasn't enough.
GAME TWO | Box Score
Jacob Hand (Niskayuna, NY) was perfect from the plate with a 3-for-3 effort, scoring two of the Engineers' four runs as WPI earned a 4-3 win over the Lions as Callahan picked up his 300th career win.
Brooks started things off for WPI in the bottom of the first with a double to right field, later coming home on a groundout to second base by Connors to make it a 1-0 game, but Eastern Nazarene would tie things up in the third inning.
The fourth brought a two-run inning from WPI as a Fraser shot to shortstop resulted in an errant throw to first, and Hand coming around to score. A Kyle DeRoma (Dracut, MA) single through the right side made it a 3-1 game.
Eastern Nazarene got one back on a sac fly in the sixth, but a Frank D'Alessio (Morganville, NJ) single to second gave the Engineers a two-run buffer, one that would be needed as the Lions were able to add one in the top of the seventh. But Noah Pins (Holden, MA) was able to work his way out of the jam to pick up the save while Andrew Dupuis (Raymond, NH), who started and pitched the first six innings of the game, earned his first win of the season, allowing just two runs on four hits while sitting down seven by way of the K.
The Engineers will look to keep their five-game win-streak going against Amherst on Wednesday, March 30, hosting the Mammoths at 3:30 pm. Eastern Nazarene will look to bounce back, also on the 30th, when they play host to Worcester State at 7pm.