Wentworth Splits With Endicott to Wrap Up CCC Play

BEVERLY, Mass. – Junior Jake Mailman's (Medway, Mass.) fourth inning home run proved to be the difference as the Wentworth Institute of Technology baseball team salvaged a split in a Commonwealth Coast Conference doubleheader at Endicott. The Leopards' 2-1 win in the nightcap came after the Gulls had taken a 5-0 win in the first game.

Wentworth concludes CCC play with a 7-9 mark (14-15) and presently holds the number six slot in the CCC standings with Nichols and Eastern Nazarene needing to both win out in order to overtake the Leopards for the final spot in the CCC Tournament. The Leopards are at Bridgewater State on Wednesday. Endicott sits at 19-9 (10-2) and hosts Husson in a non-league doubleheader on Saturday.

In game one, sophomore JJ Branch (Milford, Mass.) pitched a complete-game shutout, allowing just three hits while not allowing a runner to reach second base. Branch struck out three batters and saw his record improve to 4-1, including three straight conference victories.

All five of Endicott's runs came on RBI hits including a two-run single down the right field line by sophomore Josh Drew (Intervale, N.H.) to make it a 3-0 game in the bottom of the fourth. In the previous inning, the Gulls had taken a 1-0 lead after sophomore Steve Morganelli (Milford, Mass.) singled, stole second, reached third on a sacrifice bunt, and scored on a groundout to first by Matthew Paola (Middlebury, Conn.).

Endicott tacked on runs later in the game on a RBI single from junior Harry Oringer (Dartmouth, Mass.) in the fifth and a line drive to the right centerfield gap by senior EJ Martinez (Brooklyn, N.Y.) that scored Tad Gold (Martha's Vineyard, Mass.) for the second time in the game.

Wentworth senior shortstop Jon Spitz (Hanover, Mass.) had a 2-for-3 day at the plate and in the process became just the third player in Leopards baseball history to record 150 career hits. Spitz hit singles through the infield in both the fourth and sixth innings.

On the hill for the Leopards, senior Ben Lewis (Middletown, R.I.) took the loss (2-4) by going six innings and allowing five earned runs on eight hits and a walk while striking out four.

The nightcap saw the Leopards take a 1-0 lead in their first at bat when junior Anthony Matera (Trumbull, Conn.) singled and went to second on an error. He came in to score on a single by Mailman.

In the fourth inning Wentworth doubled its lead when Mailman sent a towering fly over the right field wall. Endicott responded in the bottom half of the inning as sophomore Cody Hall (Rutland, Mass.) singled home Martinez to make it a 2-1 game, but the combined efforts of Wentworth pitchers Aaron Denis (Dover, N.H.) and Zach Bernier (North Dartmouth, Mass.) kept the Gulls off the scoreboard the rest of the game.

Denis (5-2) earned the win going 5.1 innings, scattering eight hits and walking one while allowing the one earned run. Bernier came on to earn his first collegiate save, stranding the game-tying run in the bottom of the sixth and going 1-2-3 in the bottom of the seventh to help Wentworth earn the split.

Mailman reached base on all four trips the plate, going 2-for-2 with two intentional walks while driving in two in a RBI single in the first and his solo blast in the fourth. Matera had three hits for the Leopards.

Two of Oringer's three hits in game two were for extra bases, a triple in the third that ended in a rundown out as Oringer attempted the inside-the-park homerun and a leadoff double down the left field line in the fifth. Oringer would reach third base in the fifth inning with just one out but Denis escaped the jam by forcing a lineout and an infield popup.

Freshman Luke Morse (Westford, Mass.) took the loss (3-3) as he allowed two runs (one earned) on six hits and struck out one. Senior Tyler Hill (Las Vegas, Nev.) pitched the final 2.2 innings, allowing one hit, walking three, and striking out three.