Baseball Prepares for ECAC TourneyBy Joel Morales
After wrapping up the regular season with a 20-11 record, the most regular season wins in MIT history, the varsity baseball team was rewarded with a bid to the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference tournament.
The team enters the tournament as the fifth seed and is slated to face fourth-seeded Plymouth State on Friday at Babson Field at noon. This marks MIT's first trip to the ECAC tournament since 1993, when the Engineers won the tournament.
The Engineers secured their spot by winning four of five games in the last and most crucial week of the season. The team began by convincingly defeating UMass-Boston, 10-6. Pitchers Wil Nielsen '98 and Steve Brunelli '96 kept UMass-Boston off stride the entire game. The team went on to beat Curry College, 10-7. MIT pitchers Tommy Epps '97, Chris Roy '99, and Joel Morales '99 kept the Curry hitters at bay.
The Engineers then took two wins from Suffolk University. In the first game, lefthander Steve Brunelli '96 shut out Suffolk, going all seven innings. The MIT bats finally came alive in the top of the seventh inning. After the Engineers loaded the bases, Baldemar Mejia '98 ripped an infield single to score the winning run. In the second game, Nielsen shut down Suffolk, and the Engineers breezed to victory, 12-3. Stephen Vetere '97 led the Engineers at the plate, going four for four. Mejia and Niki Batra '98 also had two hits apiece.