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Baeball wins several over long weekend

By Shawn Mastrian

The varsity baseball team moved to 9-5 with victories over Boston University, Eastern Nazarene, and Wentworth Institute, and a loss to Boston College over the long weekend.

In the Boston University game, played on Friday afternoon, MIT rallied from a three-run deficit in the bottom of the ninth to tie the score. Tim Day '89 then drove home Steve Stoller '89 with the winning run in the tenth inning to give MIT a 10-9 victory.

The Terriers fetched an early 4-0 lead in the top of the first inning, fueled by a three-run homer. The Engineers structured a comeback of their own in the bottom of the first, scoring three runs.

Stoller, Pillan Thirumalaisamy '90, and Mike Griffin '90 all singled right away to load the bases. Day then roped a hit to left which scored Stoller and Thirumalaisamy and moved Griffin to second. After a groundout moved both runners over, Mike Purucker '92 plated Griffin with a single to center. The runners were stranded, however, as the next two batters flied out to right.

BU scored another run in the top of the second on a single, stolen base, error, and sacrifice fly. Griffin, however, pitched well enough to muzzle the Terriers for the next five innings, holding them scoreless over that span. He got some help from his defense, too, as three runners were caught stealing and two were picked off base.

In the fifth, MIT's Stoller walked and stole second. A fly ball moved him over to third, and Griffin drove him in with a single to right to reduce BU's lead to 5-4.

With two outs in the seventh, Thirumalaisamy and Griffin walked. Day then singled to center to score Thirumalaisamy and send Griffin to second. Mike Murray '90 then belted a sharp grounder to third, which he legged out for a single. The third baseman's throw to first was way off, however, allowing Griffin to score from third.

The Terriers bit back in the eighth. A double scored the tying run, and a single through the drawn-in infield allowed two more runs to score. Ed Eisner '91 came in to pitch and got the next two batters out, ending the inning.

BU's scored once more in the ninth, giving them a 9-6 lead. Thirumalaisamy led off the bottom half of the inning with a walk. After a strikeout, Day then singled to left, putting runners on first and second. Murray then pulled a double down the left field line, which cleared the bases and reduced the deficit to one run. Purucker ripped a triple to left-center field which easily scored Murray and tied the game. But MIT was unable to drive him home, forcing the game into extra innings.

BU nearly stole the game in the top of the tenth. The leadoff batter reached first as the pitcher dropped his line drive. A bunt single put another runner on base, and a sacrifice moved the runners over. Eisner then struck out the next batter, leaving runners on second and third with two outs. When a pitch momentarily got away from catcher Day, the runner on third broke for home. Day, however, recovered in time to tag out the runner to end the top half of the inning. When the runner started making a racket about being called out, he was thrown out of the game, and BU needed to find a new third baseman for the bottom of the inning.

Stoller led off with a double to left. He moved to third as Thirumalaisamy sacrificed. BU then pitched around Griffin, who walked as a result. Day then ended the game with a long drive which dropped in over the left fielder for his fourth hit of the day.

MIT continued its winning ways when it rapped Eastern Nazarene 9-8 on Monday. As a perennial power, the Crusaders proved to be a stiff test for the Engineers, but again, MIT pulled out a close victory.

In the loss to Boston College, the Engineers once again gave the visitors an early lead and rallied in the final innings. This time, questionable umpiring thwarted the late surge and resulted in a 6-5 BC victory.

BC had all the scoring in the first 31/2 innings to take the 5-0 lead. MIT got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the fourth as Griffin walked, stole second and scored on Day's single, just ahead of the throw home. Griffin later belted a 370-foot homer to left-center in the bottom of the sixth to close the gap by one more.

The Engineers whittled down this lead with single runs in the next two innings. Eric Oliver '90 scored as the third baseman threw the ball away on a Stoller hit. In the eighth, Day singled, took third on a Murray base hit, and scored on a one-bagger by Tim Collins '89. This made the score 5-4 BC.

The controversy started in the top of the ninth as an Eagle runner on third attempted to steal home on a pick-off try at first. Though the throw home was clearly in time, and the tag made, the runner was called safe with the run which would prove to be the margin of victory.

Another questionable call in the bottom half of the inning may have cost the Engineers a chance at tying the game. Stoller led off the inning with a solid single to left, and then Thirumalaisamy appeared to beat out an infield hit. Unfortunately, he was called out at first, leaving MIT with only one runner and one out. Day drove in Stoller, but the inning ended with the next batter, and MIT lost 6-5.

The Engineers rebounded with a victory over Wentworth on Wednesday. The game was close for the first 51/2 innings, but MIT blew the game open in the bottom of the sixth with four runs. This proved to be all the offensive firepower that MIT needed as Eric Hopkins '92 pitched well, allowing only two Wentworth runs. The final score was 5-2, MIT.