Jay M. Turner ’08 delivered his best start of the spring as MIT’s offense complimented his effort with a strong performance in the first round of the New England Women’s and Men’s Conference Baseball Tournament on Wednesday. The Engineers cruised past Springfield College 11-2. The third-seeded MIT remained in the winner’s bracket of the double-elimination tournament after the win, and travelled to face No. 2 Wheaton College yesterday afternoon.
MIT scored one run in each of the first two innings as Brian P. Doyle ’11 worked the basepaths for the Engineers’ initial score. Doyle advanced to third base on a balk, and then scored on a wild pitch. David M. Nole ’09 also displayed tremendous base-running skill in the second inning, stealing second base en route to scoring the game’s second run.
Springfield leveled the score with a pair of runs in the top of the third. Tim Romeo ignited the spark with a single to center before scoring on John Schmaltz’s single to left. Two batters later, Luke Gabordi doubled down the right-field line to drive in another run. MIT worked out of the jam as Gabordi was caught stealing trying to take third base on a wild pitch.
MIT took back control in the bottom of the third with two runs of its own. Kevin Wheeler doubled to left center to drive home Benjamin T. Bersanti ’10 for the first run of the frame, and Thomas M. Phillips ’09 followed with a single to left field to score Wheeler.
The Engineers added another run in the bottom of the sixth while Turner continued to cruise on the hill. In the seventh, the Engineers expanded their lead behind the base-running prowess of Stewart J. Park ’10. After drawing a lead-off walk, Park swiped second and one batter later, stole third. William L. Blackman ’11 brought Park home with a single to left center while Steven M. Nunez ’09 drove in another run with a base-hit to left.
Ahead 7-2 in the bottom of the eighth, MIT sealed the opening-round victory with four more runs. Blackman drove in two runs with a single to left while Nole got an RBI with a line-drive to center.
After giving up a lead-off walk in the top of the ninth, Turner quickly secured the final three outs, including a swinging strikeout in the game’s final at bat.
Turner scattered seven hits and two walks while striking out five over his complete game. Michael Cole took the loss for the Pride after giving up four earned runs in five innings. Travis Turgeon relieved Cole in the sixth and finished out the game.
Nole and Nunez each had three hits on the day while Blackman drove in a game-best three runs. The Engineers were also 5-for-5 in steals, with Park and Nole each getting credit for two steals.
Why Game of the Week?
MIT opened the tournament on a high note against an opponent it lost to last Saturday. Turner had his best start of the year, and MIT’s speed on the basepath helped open up the game.