MIT’s offense, rendered dormant by WPI pitching last week, erupted for 22 runs in two games as the Engineers took two of three games from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy this past weekend, improving their overall record to 14-6.
After Friday’s game at Coast Guard was rained out, MIT shined on Saturday at Nitchman Field in New London, CT. Staked to an early lead, starter Kiel L. Jindra ’14 turned in an efficient six-inning effort, holding Coast Guard scoreless. Coast Guard put up six runs in the seventh and eighth innings, taking advantage of six walks allowed by the MIT bullpen, but never seriously threatened the Engineers’ lead. MIT took the game 14-6.
The Engineers turned in another dominating performance in the first game of Sunday’s doubleheader. Starter Aric J. Dama ’13 struck out the side to kick off the game, and the offense responded with five runs — all coming with two outs — in the first two innings. Although Dama struggled with his control at times, he cruised through the Coast Guard lineup, racking up seven strikeouts in six innings of work, and MIT extended its lead on a three-run, opposite-field homer to left-field by Bryan A. Macomber ’12. While the game seemed out of reach for Coast Guard at the time, the Engineers were glad to have insurance runs when Coast Guard rallied in the seventh for three runs off of Max J. Ockner ’13. Ockner extinguished the threat to clinch the series victory for the Engineers.
The second-half of the double-header got off to an inauspicious start when three errors contributed to four runs for Coast Guard off of Torre M. Swanson ’12; those four runs turned out to be all that Coast Guard needed, as the Engineers mustered just two hits against Nate Toll of Coast Guard. The loss was MIT’s first at home this season.
“It definitely looked like we ran out of gas” in the second game of the doubleheader Sunday, remarked Coach Andrew Barlow about team’s offensive struggles in the final game. The Engineers are in the midst of a stretch where they play 20 games in 22 days.
This week, the Engineers face Boston-area non-conference foes: Suffolk at home, and Brandeis away. In these games, according to Coach Barlow, the team will rest some starters and set up their pitching rotation for the more important league games. MIT will also host Springfield College on Friday afternoon, the opener of a three-game series against the Pride this weekend.