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Baseball Loses Final Home Games

By Thomas Kettler
and Farhan Zaidi
Staff Reporters

The baseball team finished its home season on a somber note Saturday afternoon by losing both doubleheader games to the Suffolk University Rams, 6­2 and 4­2. These losses made the team 7­21 overall and 3­9 in the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference.

The first game started quickly as both teams scored in the first inning. The Engineers tied the score in the bottom half when right fielder Baldemar Mejia '98 led off with a single. After one out, he advanced to second on a grounder and scored on a triple by DH Rob Lepard '95.

Suffolk scored two more runs in the second. After one out, Mike DeBenedictis singled. After that, Ramon Nunez singled and both scored on Chris Anderson's triple.

Neither team scored runs until the sixth when the Rams got three insurance runs. Then, Mark Kelleher singled and advanced to second on a passed ball by Engineer catcher Edward Kohler '95. He scored on DeBenedictis' double, with DeBenedictis advancing to third on a grounder to the second basemen for the first out.

After a strikeout, MIT could have avoided any more bloodletting on Marc Swirbalus' grounder to the shortstop. But DeBenedictis scored and Swirbalus went to third when Heriberto Rivas '97 threw the ball into right field. The Engineers' second passed ball of the inning scored Swirbalus.

MIT scored its final run in the bottom half of the seventh. Second baseman Craig Zimmerman '96 opened with a walk. Pinch hitter Jason Mueller '95 followed with another walk, and Rivas singled to load the bases. Mejia's sacrifice fly scored Zimmerman, but a strikeout and a pop­up ended the game short of an MIT win.

The Rams led the Engineers in hits, 10 to six. MIT helped Suffolk by making three errors, three wild pitches and two passed balls.

"They're an outstanding hitting team," said Head Coach Fran O'Brien of the Rams. "An outstanding fastball hitting team."

Engineers fall short again

In the second match, the Engineers did not do much better as three­hit pitching by Suffolk's Steve Loud and Dennis Luti along with an inconsistent strike zone by the plate umpire hurt MIT in the 4­2 loss.

MIT got its only lead for the day in the first inning by scoring both of its runs. With one out, CF Stephen Vetere '97 singled. 3B Andrew Katz '96 then doubled, scoring Vetere. A wild pitch advanced Katz to third who then scored on Lepard's groundout.

The Rams tied the score in the fifth. Swirbalus walked to lead the inning. Chris Anderson then singled. Suffolk sacrificed both runners to second and third. After a groundout scored Swirbalus, Darwin Hernandez singled to score Anderson.

The Rams took the lead in the sixth with DeBenedictis scoring on a Swirbalus' single. Nunez later scored on a groundout by Anderson.

"I thought we did a very good job," O'Brien said. "We ended up losing the game on a bloop to right field. [MIT pitcher Dan Whitalec '97] jammed [Swirbalus] and instead of a pop up to the first baseman, it's the game­winning hit."

Win over Curry

The losses follow a hard-played win against Curry College at Briggs Field on Thursday. Behind a spectacular pitching effort by Steve Brunelli Ś96 pushed its record up to 7­18 for the season with the 6­4 win. Brunelli went the full nine innings, striking out 13 and allowing just six hits.

Curry College struck first, going up 2­0 in the top of the second inning. After Brunelli issued back­to­back walks to load the bases with one out, LF Ed Hagerty stroked a base hit, bringing in two runs. Brunelli was then able to prevent any further damage by retiring the next two batters on a strikeout and a lazy pop out to first base.

Curry College pitcher Carl Bussey seemed to be in a rhythm in the early innings, at one point retiring seven straight batters after giving up a single to Katz '95 in the first inning. But the Engineers were able to put together a three­hit, two­run rally in the fourth. Duane Stevens '98 and Nicky Botra each laced RBI singles to tie the game at 2.

After being retired in order in the fifth, MIT came back and scored three more runs in the sixth inning to take a 5­2 lead. Katz and Lepard led off the inning with back­to­back singles, putting men at first and third with no out. The next batter, Jay Grabeklis '95, fought off several pitches and battled to a full count before ripping a line drive single to left to bring in the go­ahead run. The Engineers added two more runs on an RBI single by Botra and an RBI double by Jeff Kyle.

Meanwhile, Brunelli was outstanding through the middle innings, giving up just one hit in the fourth through eighth innings. The Engineers went on to add an insurance run in the bottom of the eighth on an RBI single by Grabeklis. Curry College threatened in the top of the ninth, scoring twice on back­to­back pinch­hit triples and a sacrifice fly, but Brunelli was able to retire the visitors' clean­up hitter, Mike Maruso, to end the game.

Copyright 19,95, The Tech. All rights reserved.
This story was published on .
Volume 115, Number 24.
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