WPI Holds Off Coast Guard 11-9

Jon Pressley
Jon Pressley

NORTHBORO, Mass.  – Junior Ryan Tropeano went 4-for-4 and drove in a pair as part of a five-run seventh inning that separated WPI and Coast Guard in the Engineers 11-9 NEWMAC triumph Friday at the New England Baseball Complex.

WPI (11-15, 3-8 NEWMAC) took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first as sophomore Tyrone Patterson sent a sacrifice fly to left and senior Matt Howard followed with an RBI double.

The Bears cut the deficit in half thanks to an RBI single to left by sophomore Jon Pressley in the second.

Coast Guard (6-15, 0-10) went ahead for the first time in the third as sophomore Alex Cordes doubled in a run before scoring on a wild pitch. The Engineers reclaimed the advantage in the fourth courtesy of back-to-back run-producing singles by Tropeano and senior Evan Lacroix.

With two outs in the top of the fifth, Pressley collected two more RBI as Coast Guard went ahead 5-4. Tropeano evened the game at 5-5 with a sacrifice fly while junior Benjamin Chaffee scored on a miscue to make it 6-5 Engineers through six.

Junior Jeremy Lhotka singled in a run and Pressley sent a sacrifice fly to left for the Bears final lead in the top of the seventh.

WPI went ahead for good and built a four-run cushion with two outs in the home half of the inning. Junior Austin Lindner began with the tying RBI knock to right center. Sophomore David Larson swiped home while Tropeano drove in a two, including what proved to be the game-winning run, with a single to right. Junior Steven Gallagher finished the scoring with an RBI single to left.

Coast Guard scored two in the ninth on consecutive singles by junior Reed Jenkins and freshman Tom Ankers.

Tropeano also totaled four RBI and two runs scored while junior Josh Herlands went 2-for-3 with a triple and a run scored. Sophomore Kyle Wood pitched a hitless 1 1/3 and picked up the win for WPI.

Junior Luke Thompson and senior Alex Murdoch each went 3-for-4 as Lhotka (walk, RBI 2 runs), Pressley (4 RBI, run) and Jenkins (RBI) all collected a pair of hits for Coast Guard, which finished with 16 hits.

Freshman PJ Gravalec started for the Bears and allowed five earned runs in six innings. Sophomore Ben Webster (0-1) took the loss as he was touched for five runs in the seventh inning. Jack Brandt got the final four outs without allowing a hit.

The Bears and WPI will complete the three game series with a doubleheader in New London on Saturday at noon.