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Baseball Goes South

By Brooks Mendell
Team Member

The varsity baseball team returned home from its annual spring trip with a disappointing 3-3 record. The trip was not without its highlights, however: Pitcher Peter Hinteregger '93 was undefeated and Ian Somerville '93, catcher and clean-up batter, went 10-21 at the plate.

Hinteregger showed the form that earned him team and league MVP awards two years ago, and the freshmen pitchers proved themselves strong additions to a team otherwise dominated by upperclassmen.

The Engineers opened the road show at Flamingo Park in Miami, Fla. with a 7-2 victory over Upsala College. After falling behind 2-0 in the top of the second, MIT came back in the third. John Gass '94 drove in designated hitter Nate Ritter '93 for the Engineers' first run. Free passes to Brian Christensen '94 and Sommerville loaded the bases. John Meuller '94 promptly cleared the base-path traffic jam with a double, putting MIT in front for good. Gass and Ritter finished with two hits apiece.

Starting pitcher Hinteregger threw all but the final frame, striking out three while allowing no walks or earned runs. Right-hander Rob Lepard '95 pitched the final inning.

Because of rain and schedule shuffling, the Engineers found themselves playing Seton Hall the next day at Florida Atlantic University. Seton Hall, a spawning ground for major leaguers like Boston's Mo Vaughn, secured a 7-0 victory. Starter Will Nielson '96 demonstrated exceptional control of four different pitches, holding Seton Hall to one earned run in four-and-a-third innings. Pitchers Steve Brunelli '96, Jeff Kyle '96, and Aaron Loutsch '96 finished out the game. On offense, the Engineers failed to capitalize on a few scoring opportunities, ending the game with four hits.

Despite outstanding pitching from Ritter, MIT lost its third game to Western Connecticut, 2-0. Ritter pitched seven-and-a-third innings with one base on balls and no earned runs allowed. For the second game in a row, the Engineers could muster only four safeties, two from Somerville, wasting several scoring chances. Right fielder Gass, at the time leading the team in hitting, injured his shoulder.

Two days later, the Engineers' bats exploded for 22 hits in a 20-11 win over Florida Memorial. Co-captains Somerville, 5-5 with a double and home run, and Brooks Mendell '93, four hits with two doubles, a triple, and five RBI, and shortstop Dan Sabanosh '94, four hits and three RBI, led the offensive assault. Brian Pendleton '94, replacing an injured Jeremy DeYoung '94 in left field, contributed two hits from the bench, including a triple. Christensen added two hits.

Starter Hinteregger notched his second win with Aaron "Nuke" Loutsch tossing the final two-and-two-thirds innings in relief. Centerfielder Jeff Olson '94 had an active day with six putouts including two over-the-shoulder catches.

MIT's next game was an 8-2 win over King's Point College at Dowdy Field in Hollywood, Fla. Nielson tossed an artful seven innings, helping himself with seven strike outs and two pick offs at firstbase. Brunelli pitched the eighth and Lepard closed the ninth with three strikeouts. First baseman Christensen led the 10-hit attack with three safeties. Somerville and Sabanosh added two hits each.

The Engineers ended their spring trip with a 9-3 loss to Bowdoin College. After jumping to a quick 2-0 lead in the first behind John Meuller's single and back-to-back doubles by Somerville and Mendell, the MIT bats left their sting in the dugout. Starting pitcher, Ritter, had a shutout through the second inning, leaving the game in the fifth down 5-2. Brunelli and Lepard pitched the final frames. Christensen and Mendell ended the game with two hits each.

The baseball team is scheduled to play its next home game today against Curry College.