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Baseball Wins Three Of First Four Games

By Ethan T. Goetz
TEAM MEMBER

MIT varsity baseball started its fall schedule on September 11 with some timely hitting, solid defense, and top-notch pitching, a recipe that will usually lead to victory.

On a beautiful Saturday morning, MIT squared off against a solid Worcester State squad. Remembering a 6-4 defeat at the hands of Worcester St. last spring, the boys were anxious to get on the board early. The Engineers took an early lead on a first inning sacrifice fly from David M. Piho ’00, scoring Ryan S. Balter ’99. Worcester St. battled for 2 runs over the first 4 innings, and the score stood at 2-1 until a two-out single to left center by Ahren M. Lembke-Windler ’00 tied the game.

Starter Jason E. Szuminski ’00 gained momentum and mowed down Worcester in the 5th and the Engineers took the lead for good in the bottom of the fifth. Balter, the quintessential lead-off man, started the inning with a single to left and quickly got into scoring position with a stolen base. A double by Ethan T. Goetz ’00 knocked in Balter, and Piho followed with an RBI single to right.

Although Worcester tried to rally, Szuminski proved too much to handle, as he finished with a complete game win, 4-3. Szuminski’s blazing fastball and the Engineers’ superb defense were key factors in the victory.

In game two of the doubleheader, Worcester jumped on the score board early, with three home runs in the first three innings. They tacked on three more and by the fourth inning, the score stood 8-2. Rob Wieker ’03 threw a scoreless 5th and 6th, and Windler finished the 7th. But the Engineers knew they had the bats to rally, and tried to do just that. Windler opened the bottom half of the 7th with a double to left-center. Two quick outs left the Engineers at the top of the order with nothing to lose. Balter drew a walk and Goetz singled up the middle, loading the bases.

Timothy J. Gilmartin ’01 then came through with a two-run single to left, and after Piho drew a 4-pitch walk, Christopher J. Albrecht ’00 doubled in two more. Worcester St. then brought in their closer to extinguish the fire, and he did just that, inducing a ground out to second base to end the game.

Engineers sweep doubleheader

One week later, on September 18th, the Engineers battled from behind again, this time against Endicott. In game one, the always-reliable Windler took the hill, but the Engineers got behind early and the situation looked dim. Endicott’s righthander was mowing down our boys, until the 5th when three consecutive singles by Albrecht, James R. McDonald ’01, and Jason A. Poff ’02 produced a run, cutting the deficit to 5-1.

Windler silenced Endicott in the top half of the 6th, and when Endicott made a pitching change, the Engineers took advantage. Brian Furgala ’02 opened the inning with a walk, and Windler followed with an infield single. Balter loaded the bases with a perfect bunt single, and Goetz knocked in two with a single up the middle, cutting the score to 5-3.

Gilmartin then tripled into the left-centerfield gap, driving in two more and tying the score. After reaching on an error, Piho then stole second and induced a poor throw, allowing Gilmartin to score from third.

McDonald (2-3 in the game) proceeded to tack on an insurance run with a single to left scoring Piho. With the game now 7-5 in favor of MIT in the top of the 7th, the momentum was in the arm of Lembke-Windler. With nine consecutive strikes, including two strikeouts, Windler finished off Endicott for a complete game victory.

Game two saw the Engineers again fall in a hole. Endicott scored two in the first on a string of bloop singles, and added one more in the second to lead 3-0 after three innings. Albrecht, who relieved Piho on the hill in the top of the 4th, opened the scoring for MIT in the 5th with a two-out two-run single to left, closing the margin to 3-2.

Windler started the bottom of the 6th with a single and two stolen bases, and Jonathan A. Coe ’02 scored him with a perfectly executed suicide squeeze. This tied the score at 3, but the Engineers weren’t done just yet. Balter then knocked in the go-ahead run with a single to left, making the score 4-3. So again the Engineers took a close lead to the top of the 7th, and again they made Encidott go quietly. Albrecht pitched a fantastic final four innings to pick up his first win of the fall.

Tourney next for Engineers

This weekend the Engineers look to continue their winning streak as they host the annual MIT Fall Classic. On Saturday, MIT will compete against UMASS-Boston at 10 a.m. and Worcester Institute of Technology at 2 p.m., and Sunday the Engineers will square off against Suffolk University at 10 a.m.