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Baseball team wins fourth consecutive game

By Shawn Mastrian

The varsity baseball team extended its winning streak to four games with victories over Clark University and Bates College last weekend. The wins improved the Engineers' record to 12-5, 6-1 over their last seven games.

The victory over Clark was primarily a defensive struggle, as the 3-2 score would indicate. Fran Patterson '89 pitched the first eight innings for MIT, allowing only two unearned runs while striking out eight. Ed Eisner '91 came on to pitch the ninth and held Clark scoreless to pick up the save.

The game was scoreless through the first five innings, thanks to clutch pitching by Patterson and his Clark counterpart. In the second inning, Clark had runners on second and third with nobody out, but Patterson forced the next batter to groundout. He then struck out the next two men to end the threat. In the fifth, Clark loaded the bases with two outs, but once again, Patterson came through and forced another weak groundout.

The Engineers squandered some quality scoring opportunities of their own during this time. They put runners in scoring position in three of these five innings, yet failed to score each time. The best opportunity came in the fourth, when a Scott Williams '91 double to left put runners on second and third with two outs. A strikeout ended this rally.

Clark broke the ice in the top of the sixth when they scored two tainted runs. The first run was scored by a Clark batter aboard on an error, and the second trotted home on a wild pitch. This lead would not stand up for long, as MIT responded in the bottom half of the inning with two runs of its own to knot the score.

Mike Griffin '90 pulled a single into right field to start out the inning for the Engineers. Tim Day '89 drove home Griffin with a double down the left field line, and after Mike Murray '90 singled up the middle, MIT had runners on the corners with no outs. This obviously unnerved the Clark pitcher as he balked, forcing home Day. With the pressure of preserving the lead off, the Clark pitcher settled down to retire the next three batters in order and squelch the uprising.

The Engineers grabbed the lead in the next inning, courtesy of the Clark pitcher. Dave Cote '89 led off the inning by walking. After a sacrifice, the next two batters also walked, to load the bases. Day then drove in Cote by, yes, you guessed it, walking. The Clark manager at this point decided that the Engineers were well enough exercised and changed pitchers. The new pitcher retired the two batters he faced and saved some measure of respect for Clark.

Meanwhile, Patterson went through the Clark lineup without any trouble in the seventh and eighth. The minimum six men came to the plate, with not one of them ever seeing first base. Three of them struck out.

As Patterson had thrown 126 pitches, manager Fran O'Brien brought in Eisner to close out the game. Eisner responded to the call by shutting out Clark in the ninth to preserve the victory for MIT.

The next day, the Engineers used their big bats in the eighth inning to defeat Bates, 5-3.

True to form, MIT staked their opponent to an early lead, falling behind 2-0 after five innings. The Engineers came back in the sixth to knot the score, and pounded out three key runs in the eighth. Griffin was the winning pitcher, going the distance, as MIT continued its dominance on its home field.