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Hand, Cash Homers and Strong Radcliffe Outing Lead Baseball to NEWMAC Split with Babson

Babson Park, Mass. – The WPI baseball team split a doubleheader with NEWMAC rival Babson at Govoni Field on Sunday afternoon. The result moves the Engineers to 17-12-1 overall, 5-5 in the NEWMAC, while Babson moves to 17-9 overall, 7-3 in conference play.

The Engineers were the home team in the games, which were originally scheduled for a Saturday start in Worcester.

Game one

WPI held off a ninth-inning rally to close out a 4-3 win in the opener. Owen Radcliffe (Holliston, MA) threw eight innings of shutout ball, striking out six and allowing only four hits, making the score 5-2. Eric DePiero (Beverly, MA) earned the save, his third of the season, and advanced out of the game.

Jacob Hand (Niskayuna, NY) did most of the heavy lifting for the Engineers offense, driving in three runs on his team-leading 11th home run of the season. Tommy Burns (Morris Plains, NJ) added a single and an RBI in the win.

For Babson, Ike Kiely (Falmouth, ME) took a few hits while running and Walter Sadowsky (Morristown, NJ) added a double. On the bump, Greg Nieskens (Pine Brook, NJ) took the loss (2-2) in eight innings, allowing four earned runs on five hits with five strikeouts.

WPI got the scoring started in the bottom of the first, taking advantage of Hand being hit by a pitch. After a stolen base and a strikeout, Burns singled to center to score Hand, putting the Engineers up 1-0.

Babson threatened in the top of the second, loading the bases on two singles and a WPI error, but Radcliffe got the final out of the inning and held the Beavers scoreless.

Neither team scored more than one baserunner until WPI struck three more runs in the bottom of the eighth. Spencer Merrick (Abington, MA) led off the inning with a single, with a single coming out Liam Keblin (Newton, MA) puts two on. A fielder’s choice out of nowhere DJ Brooks (Danvers, MA) saw Merrick thrown out at home for the second out, but Hand fired a three-run shot to right center to put the Engineers up 4-0.

In the top of the ninth, Babson rallied with two outs and scored three. A hit pitch and a double by Sadowsky put two on base before a wild pitch made it 4-1. Kiely followed with a single to left and scored another single, while back-to-back walks loaded the bases. Another wild pitch cut the WPI lead to 4-3, but the final batter grounded out as the Engineers escaped with the win.

Game two

After both teams’ offense struggled in game one, Babson struck for 20 hits in game two and ran away with a 19-4 game to earn the split.

WPI’s violation was accelerated Andreas Cash (Marlboro, MA) who launched his eighth home run of the year, while Keblin also doubled and drove in a run in the loss. Lucas Blandino (Eden, NY) got the start and went four innings, allowing five earned runs on seven hits, finishing the season 2-3.

For Babson, Alexander Wilson (Milburn, NJ) and Johannes Nowak (Pelham, NY) both had four hits with three RBI, with Nowak completing a double in the cycle. Luke Tanner (Los Angeles, CA) had three hits, three RBI and three runs scored, while Jac Julian (Manchester, MA) had four hits and two RBI, and Kiely added two hits and two RBI. James Clark (Southborough, MA) took the win after six innings, allowing four runs on six hits with three strikeouts.

Babson struck for a run in the top of the first inning, while Nowak tripled and Tanner hit. WPI responded in the bottom of the second, tying the game on an RBI double by Keblin, who scored Matt Shea (Andover, MA).

Babson added four in the top of the third, starting with a two-RBI single from Tanner to right field. Nowak followed with another single to drive in a run, while Ryan Liss (Hollywood, FL) drove in another on a sacrifice fly to left to make it 5-1.

The Beavers made it 6-1 with a run in the top of the fourth on a Julian single and then added two in the top of the fifth on a single by Wilson to make it 8-1.

WPI cut the lead to 8-3 with two in the bottom of the fifth when Cash hit a two-run blast to right field that also scored Hand.

Each team scored a run in the sixth, with Babson getting a solo homer from Nowak and WPI scoring on a double play to make it 9-4.

Babson pushed the lead to 12-4 with three in the top of the seventh inning. Julian started the scoring with a well-placed infield single, while Tanner hit a triple to center for the second run. A double of Brant Wilde (Charlton, MA) then drove in another as the Beavers went up by eight.

Babson scored seven more in the top of the eighth inning, making the final 19-4. Kiely and Wilson got RBI singles to start the inning, while Wilson scored on a wild pitch. Owen Stevens (Glastonbury, CT) drove in a run on a fielder’s choice, Chris Basile (Miami, FL) added an RBI single, and Kiely got the final RBI on a bases-loaded walk.

The Engineers return to action on Tuesday at 3:30 p.m., playing one game at Clark. Babson also hosts Wheaton on Tuesday at 3:30 p.m.