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Baseball overpowers Wentworth in opener

By Shawn Mastrian

The MIT men's varsity baseball team successfully opened their spring home schedule on Wednesday with a convincing 13-7 victory over Wentworth. The Engineers pounded out 13 hits and were the beneficiaries of 12 walks as they jumped out to an early 10-1 lead and coasted from there.

Eric Hopkins '92 started for the Engineers and pitched six strong innings, allowing just one run on two hits, striking out three. Meanwhile, his teammates took a little extra batting practice on the Wentworth pitching staff, making the warm spring afternoon enjoyable for the home fans. Steve Stoller '89 proved to be the heart of the offense for MIT as he recorded four hits, including a double and a triple, and scored three runs.

Wentworth took their only lead of the game in the top of the first as a wild pitch allowed a runner to score. MIT quickly responded in their half of the inning as their first five batters reached base safely. Stoller singled to center to lead off the inning, but he was cut down as he tried to steal second. Pillan Thirumalaisamy '90, who also scored three runs, reached base next when Wentworth's third baseman did his impression of a croquet wicket and allowed a sharp grounder to pass between his legs.

Mike Griffin '90 then lined a single to right, putting men on first and second, and a base on balls to Tim Day '89 loaded the bases. Mike Murray '90 proceeded to collect the first of his three RBI's on the day as he walked, scoring Thirumalisamy. Unfortunately, a neat 4-6-3 double play ended the inning and left the score at 1-1.

It was obvious that the Wentworth pitcher was a like a gas can in a room full of matches at this point; he only managed to retire one of the batters he faced and he was hit hard in the process. This proved correct in the bottom of the second as the Engineers scored four runs and began to run away with the game.

Mike Purucker '92 belted a sharp single to left field to open the inning. He moved to third as Tim Collins '89 roped a shot to right, and later scored as the pitcher threw a pitch which, if not for the backstop, would be in Arlington right now. Collins moved to third as the catcher threw the ball to nobody in particular after digging out the wild pitch.

After a strikeout, Stoller belted a double to the fence in left (it would have been a triple had he not been "in his home run trot"), scoring Collins. After a long fly out, Griffin walked to put men on first and second with two outs. Day then slugged a solid double, which scored Stoller and Griffin easily. A fielder's choice got Wentworth out of the inning.

Three more runs came in the the fifth. With one out, Day walked, prompting the opposing manager to remove his starting pitcher. His replacement proved to be just as effective. Day stole second, was driven home on a single by Murray, and Ed Eisner '91 moved him to second with a single of his own. Purucker batted Murray in with the third straight single off the new pitcher, and Eisner scored on a Collins fielder's choice. At this point, the score was 8-1 and everybody was just enjoying the weather and awaiting the ninth inning.

The slaughter continued in the sixth as Stoller dropped a triple into right and Thirumalaisamy walked. Griffin drove in Stoller with a grounder to second, and was safe when the second baseman dropped the ball, moving Thirumalaisamy to second. A wild pitch moved the runners over, and then Day walked for the third time to load the bases. Murray then walked in his second run of the game, but a fly out and two merciful called strike-outs ended the inning.

Wentworth was relieved to see that Hopkins was on the bench to start the seventh; they responded by scoring five runs. Matt Gimre '92 came in and stopped the rally for MIT. The Engineers responded in the bottom of the seventh with two more runs, just to keep the margin comfortable. Stoller drew a walk, moved to second after an overthrow on a pickoff attempt, and then scored on two wild pitches. Thirumalaisamy then walked, stole second, and scored on a sharp double down the right field line by Griffin.

One final MIT run scored in the eighth as Kevin Tow '89 singled to short right field, moved to second as Scott Toussaint '91 walked, and scored as Stoller singled. Meanwhile, Gimre held Wentworth to only one run in the ninth as MIT prevailed 13-7.