Pritchard Smacks Two Homers, Tech Men Thump Clark 19-14

Senior designated hitter Mike Pritchard went 4-for-6 at the plate with a pair of home runs and five RBI to lead the Clark University baseball team to a 19-14 victory over MIT in a NEWMAC slugfest Tuesday afternoon, at Granger Field. Clark (9-12, 2-3 NEWMAC) snapped a two-game conference losing skid with the win, while MIT (6-7, 3-3) endured its third straight loss after a surprising 3-0 start in league play.

Nick Tapper had four hits and drove in four runs to aid in Clark's 22-hit assault. Kyle Breidenstine and Matt Adams each finished with three hits. Gunnar Hagstrom and Breidenstine knocked in three runs apiece. Timothy Simokonis picked up his third victory, allowing seven runs on 10 hits and fanning four in 6.1 innings on the mound.

Clark took an 8-1 lead after a pair of four-run innings. Tapper hit an RBI single to right center and Pritchard's three-run bomb to left field gave the Cougars a 4-0 edge after the first. RBI hits from Breidenstine, Joe Silva, and Tapper and Rob Muollo's bases loaded walk increased their lead to seven in the second.

MIT tacked on two runs in the top of the fourth on Kevin Wheeler's sacrifice fly and a run-producing hit from Chris M. D'Annunzio '09 to slice the deficit to five. After plating a run in the bottom of the fourth, Clark exploded with a five-run fifth inning that ballooned its advantage to 14-3. Breidenstine, Tapper and Hagstrom delivered RBI hits in the frame.

The Engineers scored 11 runs over the next four innings to climb back into the tilt, but could not catch the Cougars with their sizable lead. Thomas M. Phillips '09 hit a solo home run in the sixth, followed by a run-producing single from Stewart J. Park '10 and David M. Nole's '09 two-run single in the seventh.

Muollo and Joe Pasciucco each hit RBI doubles to give Clark two runs (16-7) back, but freshman Jason M. Rome '10 answered with a two-run knock in the eighth for MIT. An MIT infield error and Pritchard's second round-tripper of the day gave the Cougars all the runs they would need in the bottom of the eighth.

The Engineers plated five runs in the ninth, but came up short. Wheeler led off with a single up the middle and came home on pinch-hitter Matt D. Loper's '09 hit to right field. With two outs and the bases loaded, Jason T. Witzberger '07 hit a three-run single and scored on an error by the Clark center-fielder to tighten the gap. However, Cougar reliever Erick DiMarco got Nole to ground out to end the game and stunt Tech's last-inning rally. Witzberger had three hits and three RBI to lead MIT. Nole and D'Annunzio each collected three hits, while Stephen C. Toth '09 (1-1) shouldered the loss for the Engineers.