CAMBRIDGE, Mass.—Junior Edward Lehr (Byram Township, N.J.) went 4-for-4 with two runs scored and classmate Connor Gill (Sterling, Mass.) allowed just one run over seven innings as visiting Babson College defeated MIT, 6-4, in the opening game of a three-game New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) baseball series on Friday afternoon at O'Brien Field.
With its 12th win in 13 games, Babson improves to 19-8 overall and takes over first place in the NEWMAC at 9-2. MIT, which dropped its second consecutive game on the heels of an eight-game winning streak, slips to 13-7 overall and 8-2 in league play.
Lehr had one double and also walked once to reach base five times on the day, while junior Eric Jaun (Loveland, Ohio) went 2-for-4 with home run for the Beavers. Senior Ryan Arena (Yorktown Heights, N.Y.) had two hits and drove in a run, sophomore Jake Oliger (Newtown, Conn.) was 1-for-2 with three walks and two RBI, and classmate Sean Harrington (Walpole, Mass.) reached base three times and added an RBI in the victory.
Gill (4-1) gave up a first-inning run and scattered six hits while striking out three over seven innings to win his third straight decision. Junior Max Tannenbaum (Coral Springs, Fla.) worked a scoreless eighth and senior Matt Cuneo (Ashland, Mass.) struck out two in the ninth for the Green and White.
Senior Max Lancaster (Attleboro, Mass.) had two hits and classmate David Heller (Fair Lawn, N.J.) hit a three-run homer to pace the Engineers' 10-hit attack. Fellow senior Garrett Greenwood (Edmond, Okla.) shouldered the loss to fall to 2-1 on the year after giving up four runs on seven hits and six walks in 4.1 innings.
Babson sent nine men to the plate in the top of the first while building a 3-0 lead. Harrington worked a bases loaded walk for the first run, sophomore Matthew Valente (Wyckoff, N.J.) hit a sacrifice fly to foul territory in right and Oliger walked to drive in another run with two outs.
MIT got on the board thanks to a two-out single by senior Kyler Kocher (Mesa, Ariz.), but the Beavers regained a three-run lead on Jaun's solo blast to left with two outs in the third. The Engineers stranded a pair of runners in the fourth and Gill retired nine of the final 10 batters he faced before leaving after the seventh.
Lehr walked and scored on Arena's one-out single to center in to make it 5-1 in the eighth, and Oliger came through with an RBI base hit to drive in Harrington, who also led off with a walk, extending the margin to 6-1 in the ninth. Heller jacked a three-run homer to left to make it a two-run game, but Cuneo got a strikeout and an infield pop-up to close out the game.
The teams will wrap up their three-game set with a doubleheader at Babson's Govoni Field beginning at 12 p.m. on Saturday.
• The Beavers are 49-36-1 all-time against MIT and have won seven of their last nine against the Engineers.
• Lehr is one of three current players to record at least four hits in a game along with Jaun and junior Brian McHale (Ramsey, N.J.), both of whom registered five-hit games last year.
• Senior Mark Webber (Norwell, Mass.) extended his hitting streak to 15 games with a first-inning single, while Oliger now has a base hit in 13 straight contests.
• Babson is 16-2 this year when out-hitting its opponents.