Baseball and MIT Battle to 8-8 Tie Before Game Called Due to Darkness

MEDFORD - The Tufts University baseball team and visiting MIT were locked in an 8-8 battle in the top of the 10th inning on Thursday at Huskins Field when the game was called due to darkness. The official result goes down as a nine-inning tie.

Nick Falkson's home run in the third was part of back-to-back shots

MIT freshmn RF Matt Johnston walked to lead off the top of the ninth and took second on a passed ball. He scored to tie the game at 8-8 on a two-out single to left-center by sophomore catcher Alec Kushner. In the bottom of the ninth Tufts junior DH Malcolm Nachmanoff worked a one-out walk, but MIT reliever Garrett Greenwood recorded the final two outs by strikeout.

Engineer junior SS Austin Filiere had singled and advanced to second on a wild pitch in the top of the 10th before the game was called. That ended a close contest between two of New England's top teams. The tie moves the Jumbos to 16-2-1, while MIT is now 12-6-1.

Tufts had led 7-5 heading into the eighth inning when Filiere tripled to right-center scoring Kushner, who had led off the inning with a single. Filiere then scored on a base hit up the middle by Greenwood to tie the game at 7-7.

In the bottom of the eighth, Jumbo junior LF Mike McLaughlin led off with a single and scored unearned on a bases-loaded walk to Tufts junior 3B Tommy O'Hara tying the score at 8-8. An MIT error on a bunt had extended the inning.

The pitchers on both teams combined for 16 walks in the game, including 11 by MIT. The first three Jumbos to bat in the top of the first all walked and scored as Tufts took a 3-0 lead without a hit. A sacrifice fly by junior 1B Nick Falkson, an MIT error and a groundout by sophomore CF Casey Santos-Ocampo plated the runs.

MIT rallied with three in the third to tie the game 3-3. Base hits by Greenwood and Johnston scored runs and the third came across on a wild pitch. However, back-to-back home runs by O'Hara, a two-run shot, and Falkson in the bottom of the third got the lead back for the Jumbos at 6-3.

A lead-off single by freshman DH Tony Rice, a double to the right-center gap by sophomore 3B Jared Schwait and a walk to Filiere loaded the bases for MIT in the fourth. Groundouts by Greenwood and junior 1B Kyler Kocher scored runs to pull the guests within 6-5. Great defensive plays by Tufts senior 2B Tom Petry and junior SS Christian Zazzali prevented the tying run from scoring.

The Jumbos went ahead 7-5 in the fourth as sophomore catcher Harrison Frickman and Zazzali walked, followed by Petry's single to load the bases. A double-play ball scored Frickman.

O'Hara finished 1 for 2 with three rbis and two runs for Tufts, while McLaughlin had two hits and senior RF Oscar Kutch scored twice. Falkson drove home two runs. Junior Kevin Galasso pitched four strong innings of middle relief, allowing four hits and two runs with six strikeouts and a walk.

Greenwood was 3 for 5 with three rbis and a run, while Filiere finished 3 for 3 with two runs and an rbi to lead MIT. Junior LF Max Lancaster and Kusher both had two hits and Schwait scored twice. Sophomore reliever Nick Charchut went four innings and allowed two hits and a run with six strikeouts.

Tufts travels up to Colby College to start a NESCAC East Division series tomorrow at 3 p.m. The Engineers are at Babson tomorrow for the opener of a NEWMAC series beginning at 3:30 p.m.