Beavers to face Bentley
By Mike Purucker
MIT and Bentley College will square off today at 3:30 pm on Briggs Field for the championship game of the MIT Fall Classic. The game is a rematch of last fall's final ball game, won by Bentley. Rain on Monday forced the postponement of the contest until today, giving the MIT student body a chance to come out and support the undefeated (3-0) Beavers.
MIT needed a miraculous but not unprecedented comeback to defeat Babson 6-5 in the Beavers' thrilling tournament opener. Trailing 5-1 in the seventh inning, and faced with their last at bat, MIT scored four times to force extra innings. Jonathan D. Gass '94 began the rally with a walk. Immediately after, pinch-hitters Brian C. Starzec '95 and Garvin H. Davis '93 singled, loading the bases with one out.
Babson nearly took the game on the next play, but Michael C. Purucker '92 avoided hitting into a double play, narrowly beating the relay to first, and scoring Gass on the out. A walk to Brian J. Christensen '94 reloaded the bases and necessitated a change of pitchers. But to no avail -- the new Babson pitcher promptly walked in Starzec by issuing four straight balls to John L. Mueller '94.
Ian W. Somerville '93 completed the rally by singling to the left on a 3-1 pitch, driving in Purucker and Christensen, whose slide to evade the Babson catcher's tag evened the score at 5-5.
Starting pitcher Peter J. Hinteregger '93 had gone eight solid innings, and was relieved by Robert F. Lepard '95. Lepard picked up the victory after blowing away the heart of Babson's order in the top of the ninth inning.
MIT wasted no time scoring in the bottom of the ninth. Purucker drew a leadoff walk, then advanced to third on consecutive bunt singles by Christensen and Mueller. With one out, Daniel G. Sabanosh '94 hit a fly ball to center field that was just deep enough to score Purucker, whose uncharacteristically poor baserunning necessitated a lunging dive around the ever-frustrated Babson catcher's tag.
In the tournament semifinals, MIT rode the right arm of Eric J. Hopkins '92 and a solid team offense to a 5-3 victory over Brandeis University. This time, no comeback was necessary, as the Beavers took a 2-1 lead in the first inning and never looked back. Hopkins needed just 89 pitches to stymie the Brandeis batsmen.
Mike Purucker '92 is a member of the men's baseball team.