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Baseball Goes 1-1 Against Norwich

By Thomas Kettler
Staff Reporter

The baseball team opened league action Saturday at Briggs Field against the Norwich University Cadets in a doubleheader. The Cadets won the first by a score of 3-1, but the Engineers took the second game 1-0. Now the baseball team is 6-4 overall and 1-1 in the Constitution Athletic Conference.

MIT scored their only run in the first game in the first inning. Jon Gass '94 reached first on a error by Norwich's shortstop, stole second base, and scored on a single by John Mueller '94.

The Engineers missed a chance to score more runs in the second inning. Rob Lepard '95 had a leadoff double. With one out, Brian Pendleton '94 was hit by a pitch and gave the team runners at the corners. However, the Cadets stopped that threat by striking out the next two batters.

Norwich finally scored in the fourth inning. With two out, Shane Morgan doubled and then scored on a double by Jaime Sylvia. MIT had another chance in the fifth. With two out, Gass singled. Brian Christensen '94 walked and both advanced on a passed ball by Norwich. However, a strikeout ended the inning without anyone scoring.

In the sixth, the Cadets scored what ended up being the decisive runs. Mark Ellis singled to lead off, and Steve Walker doubled to give Norwich runners in scoring position with no out. After an excellent play to get Ellis out in a rundown on Jaime Gniadek's batted ball, two successive wild pitches enabled Walker and Gniadek to score.

The second game was even a bigger pitchers' duel than the first. In fact, Norwich's Matt Lilibridge allowed only four baserunners as his sidearm motion and three-quarters delivery had MIT's batters baffled.

The first three innings went by smoothly for both teams' pitchers, Aaron Loutsch '96 and Lilibridge. In the fourth, Norwich had a threat as Ellis reached on a leadoff walk and stole second. With one out, Gniadek reached on an error by the second basemen with Ellis taking third. However, a double play by Morgan snuffed the threat.

In the sixth, the only run of the game scored. Pendleton got a leadoff walk. After a strikeout, Pendleton stole second and took third when the catcher's throw sailed into the outfield. Jeff Olson '94 then was able to lay down a bunt to make the suicide squeeze call work perfectly so Pendleton scored. Norwich went quietly in the seventh to end the game.

Head coach Fran O'Brien commented, "We played very well. These were two of the better pitchers we faced all year. We could have gotten two wins, but were very happy to get the one."