Baseball drops slugfest with WPI, 13-12

Worcester, MA (Courtesy WPI sports info) --- Mark Dignum (Albany, NY) laced a two-run walkoff single in bottom of the ninth inning to give host WPI a 13-12 victory over Brandeis in non-conference baseball action on Wednesday afternoon. With the result, the Engineers up their record to 12-13 while the Judges slip to 10-8.

Trailing 12-11, Cody McGregor (Westfield, MA) led off the bottom of the ninth with a single to center. Brandeis hurler Pat Nicholson (East Walpole, MA) then induced a potential double play grounder but the throw to second was high and the runners advanced to second and third. Two batters later, Dignum, who last season delivered the only championship in the 105-year history of WPI baseball with a two-run walkoff single to defeat Suffolk for the ECAC New England crown, sent a gapper into left center plating McGregor and pinch runner Scott MacDonald (Gorham, ME).

The game was a wild affair throughout with each team notching at least one run in seven of the nine innings. WPI did much of its damage with the long ball as Scott McNee (Falmouth, MA) belted three homers and Mike Swanton (Foxboro, MA) smashed two. The duo combined for nine of the Crimson and Gray’s 13 RBI.

Brandeis tallied single runs in the first four innings, sandwiched by solo home runs by Drake Livada (Cape Elizabeth, ME) in the first and Tony Deshler (Pepperell, MA) in the fourth. The Judges collected 16 hits on the day, including three each from John O’Brion (Portland, ME), David Almeida (Bridgeport, CT) and Deshler.

Brian Duncan (West Suffield, CT) picked up the win for WPI, tossing 1 2/3 innings of scoreless relief to improve to 2-3. Nicholson (1-1), the last of six Brandeis pitchers, was saddled with the loss despite not allowing an earned run.

Both teams return to the action Friday at 3:30pm with non-conference contests versus MASCAC opponents. WPI entertains Westfield State while Brandeis hosts Bridgewater State.