Baseball (24-11, 5-7 in the NESCAC) ended its season abruptly on Saturday, after inclement weather forced the men to cancel the second game of their doubleheader at MIT. The Engineers won the first game in the contest by a score of 6-1 in the five-inning game that was called due to rain. The loss came after the men staved off a late push from Union to win 6-4 on May 3.
MIT’s offense started Saturday’s game with a bang, knocking five runs in the first inning to jump ahead of the men. Starter Harry Marino ’12 struggled in the opening frame, giving up three hits, hitting two batters and allowing a run to score on a wild pitch. Marino recovered after the first, however, giving up just one run in his final three innings of work.
“Harry was a little excited in the first,” Head Coach Bill Barrale said. “He was a little wild out of the start, and it cost him. I stayed with him, and he went on to pitch well, but we can’t defend the base on balls.”
The men only managed to score one run in five innings of play. Stephen Maier ’12, co-captain James Allison ’11 and Cameron Susk ’12 notched back-to-back-to-back singles in the third to cut MIT’s lead to 5-1. The Engineers took one back in the third and, after rain shortened the game, remained on top 6-1.
Against Union on May 3, the men took a 6-4 victory despite scoring only one earned run in the contest. A triple from Maier put the Ephs on the board with a 1-0 advantage in the first inning. The men then jumped on Union’s starter for three runs in the second. Maier and co-captain Pat Barren ’11 both singled, and after two fielding errors and a walk, the men extended their lead to 4-0.
In the sixth, starter Wilson Barr ’11 faced a tricky situation: After pitching five scoreless innings, the righty loaded the bases after an error, a walk and a single with one out. Barr gave up an RBI single before Tommy Hester ’11 came on in relief. Hester went on to get the inning-ending double play. Two more errors from Union in the sixth helped the men reestablish their lead at 5-1.
Hester faced trouble in the seventh, however, as Union staged a late comeback. After getting the leadoff batter, Hester walked a batter, who scored on an RBI single to put Union down by three and end Hester’s night. Dan Marcet ’11 relieved Hester and gave up a triple to the first batter he faced, allowing Union to plate another run. Marcet permitted one more run after a hit batter and an RBI single, putting Union within one in a 5-4 ballgame.
Williams tacked on an insurance run in the eighth after a double from KC Murphy ’13 and another fielding error. Marcet recorded the save in the ninth, sending the heart of Union’s lineup down 1-2-3 to solidify the team’s win.
“We had some clutch plays and stranded some guys to get the win,” Barrale said. “Union came back, but we pitched well enough to get the win.”
The men will graduate five seniors this spring: Allison, Barren, Hester, Marcet and Barr all played their final collegiate game against MIT on Saturday. The team is poised to succeed despite the loss, however, with a strong class of seven rookies who all saw significant playing time down the stretch.
“Pat and James did a great job as our captains,” Barrale said. “James is a vocal leader, and Pat led by example this year. Our senior pitchers embraced their role on the team and really did a tremendous job with leadership to get us off to a good start this season.”
The men’s season finished without a NESCAC playoff run, after the Ephs had claimed the division title for four consecutive years prior to this season. “Our out of conference record was pretty good, but we didn’t show up against Middlebury or Amherst in those key series,” Barrale said. “We played the best defense we have in the past five years I’ve been here, but teams were gunning for us and we didn’t play well in the series that mattered the most.”