MIT Shaky in Seven Game StretchBy Ahren Lembke-Windler
The MIT baseball team experienced its share of ups and downs, as the season went into full swing the week beginning April 5. A grueling schedule had them playing seven games in six days, and pitted them against some stiff competition.
The week began with a matchup against the Wentworth Institute of Technology. Jeff Colton ’02 pitched admirably in his starting debut, but the Engineers performed hideously in the field. The team committed eleven errors in allowing eleven unearned runs in the 12-4 defeat.
A different and more focused team showed up on Tuesday for a game against traditional conference rival Babson. Jeff Billing ’01 pitched brilliantly for eight innings, and Kevin McKenney ’00 added a home run and went 3-4 as the game came down to the wire. Unfortunately, the gritty Babson squad pushed across four runs in the ninth and stole the victory 6-2.
However, redemption arrived on Wednesday as Albertus Magnus College cruised into town and took quite a beating. Dave Piho ’00 and captain Joel Morales ’99 both homered in the 14 run offensive. Tyler Pope ’99 held down the opponents’ bats, and Brian Furgala ’02 appeared virtually unhittable in relief. Short relief specialist C.J. Albrecht ’00 came in to mow down the hitters in the ninth, and preserve the 14-6 victory.
Apparently, the MIT nine didn’t use up all their hits against Albertus Magnus, because once again, the offense sparkled against Worcester Polytechnic Institute on Thursday. A barrage of home runs gave the Engineers a late inning lead, but they weren’t able to hold on as WPI rallied to win 11-9.
Boston baseball legend Luis Tiant was in town the following day, as coach of MIT’s opponent the Savannah College of Art and Design. The formidable Bees scratched their way to an early 4-0 lead, but the MIT offense came to life late and rallied to cut the deficit to one run. Sadly, they were unable to muster anymore runs, and ended up losing 5-3.
Another conference foe, Springfield College, awaited MIT on Saturday for a doubleheader. In the first game, Zach Jenkins ’01, named New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Player of the Week the previous week, pushed his record to 4-0 by pitched brilliantly in the 8-6 victory. The Engineers floundered late in game two, losing 14-8 and splitting the doubleheader.