GAME OF THE WEEK Baseball Rallies in Eleventh Inning, Splits Doubleheader Against Babson

David M. Nole ’09 supplied MIT with its second walk-off hit in as many days as the Engineers rallied to defeat Babson College, 13-12, in 13 innings, to complete a wild nightcap of a baseball doubleheader on March 22. In the opening game, Babson was dominant in a 10-1 victory over the Engineers.

In the second game, the Engineers bounced back from their sluggish offensive start in the first game by scoring in four of the first five innings. MIT jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the second behind two-run singles by Paul Groudas ’08 and Nole. In the third, Groudas picked up a third RBI, and Benjamin T. Bersanti ’10 added a run-scoring double down the left-field line to move MIT in front, 6-0.

Babson erased the sizeable advantage with six runs in the top of the fourth. Two MIT errors proved costly during the inning while Babson’s Corey Highfield, Andrew Nodine, and Steve Tahmoush provided the offense with run-scoring hits.

MIT answered with two more runs in the bottom of the fourth and added another run in the fifth off a single to left field by Stewart J. Park ’10. Park set up one of MIT’s runs in the fourth with one of his three stolen bases in the game.

Babson’s Matt Delaney homered to left center to lead off the sixth to reduce the lead to two, and the team tied the game in the seventh with a single to left field by Tahmoush.

After an explosive first nine innings, the offense disappeared on both sides for the next three frames. In the top of the 11th, Babson made a significant push to win the game. Nodine’s RBI double to left field put the Beavers ahead by one. Delaney scored Nodine with a single two batters later and Peter O’Toole doubled to left center to drive home Babson’s third run.

William L. Blackman ’11 singled down the third-base line to lead off the bottom half of the 11th for MIT. A walk and a wild pitch put the Engineers in scoring position. Daniel E. Hyatt ’11 singled to left field to reduce the deficit to 12-10, while Brian P. Doyle ’11 scored on a passed ball to trim the advantage to one. During the ensuing at-bat, fellow rookie Ryne R. Barry’s single to right field led to a miscue along the line that enabled Steven M. Nunez ’09 to race home from second and tie the game.

MIT finally secured the winning run in the bottom of the 13th. Barry singled to center with two outs despite a diving stop by Dave Ahern. Park followed with a single to right that moved Barry to third before Nole singled over the head of the Babson third baseman for the game-winning hit.

MIT utilized all of its hitters during the game while Doyle finished 5-for-6 with a walk and three runs to pace the attack. Nole finished 3-for-7 with four RBI.

Each team received an outstanding relief effort from its bullpen early in extra innings. Babson’s Matt Barton pitched 5.1 scoreless innings, scattering five hits and striking out six. MIT’s G. Mike Vasquez ’08 set an Institute record with his 43rd career appearance and made it a good one as he hurled three innings, allowing just one run and three hits. Matt D. Loper ‘09 threw the final 1.2 innings without yielding a run to gain the win for the Engineers.

Why Game of the Week?

After losing the opener 10-1 and bring down by three in the 11th, MIT stormed back to steal a win in the 13th inning from conference opponent Babson.