Worcester, Mass. – Garrett Greenwood had four hits from his leadoff spot and fifth-seeded MIT used a stellar performance on the mound from David Hesslink to knock off fourth-seeded Clark University, 7-4, in a New England Women's And Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) first round playoff game on Friday afternoon.
Score: MIT 7, Clark University 4
Records: MIT (18-10-1); Clark University (26-13)
Location: Granger Diamond, Worcester, Mass.
How It Happened:
The hot-hitting Engineers wasted little time getting to Clark starter Cal Slepkow (Rehoboth, Mass.) in the first inning. John Drago was able to drive in Greenwood, who started the game with a single.
To Slepkow's credit he was able to work out of bases loaded one out trouble when he induced Max Lancaster into a 5-2-3 double play to end the inning.
MIT loaded the bases again in the second, but once again Slepkow escaped when he struck out Matt Johnston to end the frame.
The Engineers struck for two in the third inning beginning with an RBI single from Lancaster and then he was able to scamper home on a wild pitch.
MIT added one in the fourth on a Johnston bomb to left and after Drago singled up the middle, Slepkow's afternoon was over.
Conor Walsh (Marstons Mills, Mass.) was able to keep the Engineers off the board, helped by an inning ending 4-6-3 twin killing in the fifth.
The Engineers did get to him in the sixth with a pair of runs, highlighted by an Austin Filiere mammoth homerun to straight away center field.
Clark finally got on the board in the seventh when Zach Kelley (Hadley, Mass.) kicked off the inning with a towering shot to left and then consecutive singles from Tyler Hutchinson (Greene, Maine) and Derek Lefebvre (Groton, Mass.) was followed by a Chris Dibble (Manchester, Conn.) sacrifice fly.
After MIT got a rare single run in the ninth off of Cougar reliever Teddy Downing (Cambridge, Mass.), Clark mounted a rally in the bottom of the frame. First Kelley struck for his third hit of the game – a single up the middle. Hutchinson then doubled home pinch runner Dylan Horn (Sterling, Conn.) and then he came home on a Lefebvre single.
Zachary Kopstein, who came on in relief to begin the ninth, went on to strike out the final three batters to close out the Cougars.
Inside The Boxscore:
Hesslink, who gave up ten hits and nine runs in his only appearance against the Scarlet and White three weeks ago, was in total control this afternoon, going seven strong innings and allowing just two runs with no walks and four strikeouts.
In addition to Greenwood's four hits, No. 9 hitter Jared Schwait had three hits, while Drago, Lancaster and Thomas Allison all had two hits.
Kelley led the way for Clark at the plate, collecting three of the team's nine hits, while Hutchinson and Lefebvre each had two.
The Engineers will now take on top-seeded WPI beginning with a doubleheader on Saturday beginning at 1:00 p.m.
Clark, meanwhile, wraps up its second season under J.P. Pyne at 26-13 – eight more wins than they had a season ago when they set the school record for wins in a season.