AUBURNDALE, Fla. – Senior Tim Elrick (Plymouth, Mass.) and junior Andrew Elliott (Rockland, Mass.) each recorded four hits to help the Wentworth Institute of Technology baseball team pick up its first two wins of the season as the Leopards defeated SUNY Poly, 5-3, and 5-1, at the Lake Myrtle Sports Park.
GAME ONE: Wentworth 5, SUNY Poly 3
Wentworth jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the top of the first inning as freshman Aidan French (Chicago, Ill.) hit a one-out single. With two outs, Elliott walked to move French up to second and Elrick plated French with a RBI single which moved Elliott to third. Junior Ross Golebiewski singled to score Elliott and senior Bryon Kucharski (East Haven, Conn.) walked to load the bases. Freshman Cole Fritz (Peoria, Ariz.) scored Elrick and Golebiewski with a two-run single. In the bottom of the inning, SUNY Poly had runner as first and third with two outs, however, freshman Nate McDonald (Durham, Conn.) got a fly out to end the threat.
The Leopards added a run in the top of the fourth inning to make it 5-0. French hit a one-out single and a single from Elliott placed runners at first and second with two outs. Elrick drove in French with an RBI single to provide the Wentworth run. In the bottom of the inning, the Wildcats scored three times to pull with a pair at 5-3. Junior Nate Palmer (Marcy, N.Y.) drew a one-out walk and went to third on a junior Noah Vandebeck (Saugerties, N.Y.) single. Sophomore Nick LaBella (Utica, N.Y.) was hit by a pitch to load the bases before sophomore Dean Natalizio (Greenville, N.Y.) put SUNY Poly on the board with an RBI single. Junior Dalton Earl (Woodhull, N.Y.) plated both Vanderbeck and LaBella with a two-run single, which ended McDonald's day. Junior Ben Rexford (Lancaster, N.H.) came in and recorded a strikeout and a ground out to end the inning.
SUNY Poly had a runner at third with two outs in the fifth inning, however, Rexford stranded him there with one of his six strikeouts. Wentworth nearly added to its lead in the top of the seventh but left a pair of runners on before Rexford set the side down in order in the bottom of the seventh to end the game.
Elrick finished 3-for-3 with two RBI while French had a pair of hits and Fritz drove in two. Rexford picked up the win in relief (1-0) as, in addition to his six strikeouts, he allowed zero runs on one hit in 3.2 innings. McDonald pitched the first 3.1 innings, allowing three runs on four hits and struck out two.
GAME TWO: Wentworth 5, SUNY Poly 1
After SUNY Poly left a pair of runners on in the top of the first, sophomore Owen Swanson (New Milford, Conn.) gave Wentworth a 1-0 lead as he hit his first career home run on the first pitch he saw in the home half of the inning. Swanson's home run started a four-run first for the Leopards as French walked and senior Tyler Weninger (Chandler, Ariz.), setting up Elliott to drive in French, making it 2-0. Elrick drove in Weninger with a single which moved Elliott to second. After a strikeout, Kucharski reached on a fielder's choice, erasing Elrick. Wentworth's fourth run came when Kucharski got caught in a rundown long enough for Elliott to score from third base.
The Wildcats made it 4-1 in the third inning as Earl drew a one-out walk and went to second when senior Connor Manderson (New Hartford, N.Y.) was hit by a pitch with two outs. Palmer followed with an RBI single which plated Earl. However, that would be the lone run the Wildcats would get as a fielder's choice ended the inning.
Wentworth increased its lead to 5-1 as Weninger and Elliott opened the home half of the inning with back-to-back doubles and nearly added to its lead in the fifth inning, however, would leave the bases loaded. Palmer led off the top of the sixth with a single and went to second when Vanderbeck walked. LaBella followed with a single to load the bases, however, freshman Brendan Winch (Bow, N.H.) got an inning-ending double play to stop the threat.
With runner on first and second and one out in the top of the seventh, sophomore Caleb Eaton (East Hampstead, N.H.) came on in relief of Winch and picked up the save by getting a fly out and a ground out to end the game.
Winch earned his first collegiate win (1-0) as he allowed one run on seven hits and struck out three in 6.1 innings of work. Eaton's first career save came when he retired the only two batters he faced. Elliott was 3-for-3 with two RBI while Weninger scored a pair of runs.
The Leopards (2-4) conclude their spring trip tomorrow with a doubleheader against Anna Maria.
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