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NEWMAC Tournament Championship Series Preview: No. 2 Baseball vs. No. 5 MIT

NEWMAC Tournament Championship Series Preview: No. 2 Baseball vs. No. 5 MIT

NEWMAC Tournament Championship Series
No. 2 Baseball vs. No. 5 MIT
Saturday, May 6—12/3 p.m. at Govoni Field
Sunday, May 7—1 p.m. at Govoni Field (if necessary)

THE SERIES
Babson and MIT will meet in a best-of-three series to determine the NEWMAC champion and the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament beginning on Saturday in Babson Park. The Beavers are 46-36-1 all-time in a matchup that dates back to 1980 and have won of their last seven against the Engineers going back to last season.

POSTSEASON HISTORY
Babson and MIT will meet in the NEWMAC Tournament for the second consecutive season starting on Saturday at Govoni Field. The Beavers are 6-7 all-time against the Engineers in the conference playoffs, which includes a pair of road wins to capture last year's best-of-three seminal series in Cambridge.

LAST MEETING
Starting on three days' rest, sophomore Michael Genaro fanned three and gave up just three runs to record his second complete game of the season as Babson defeated MIT, 8-3, in the back end of a doubleheader in Cambridge on April 15. Junior Ryan Arena, who doubled twice, and seniors Jack Halpin and Jake Weiss all finished with two hits and two runs scored in the win. Junior Kyle Kocher went 2-for-3 and drove in all three runs for the Engineers.

LAST MIT WIN
Junior Austin Filiere hit a go-ahead grand slam in the bottom of the sixth inning as the Engineers rallied to defeat Babson, 7-5, in the opening game of a doubleheader on April 15 in Cambridge. Patrick Callahan allowed three earned runs on seven hits over 7.0 innings to earn the win for MIT. Arena homered and Weiss reached base four times and scored twice for the Beavers.

SCOUTING THE ENGINEERS
Fifth-seeded MIT (21-12-1) advanced to the conference finals for the fourth time in five seasons by knocking off fourth-seeded Clark in a quarterfinal last Friday and then defeating top-seeded WPI, 2-0, in a best-of-three series on Saturday. Junior Max Lancaster homered in both games and drove in seven runs as the Engineers scored 26 runs and pounded out 30 hits in the series. First-year Matt Johnston is batting .398 with 14 doubles, five home runs and 29 RBI, junior Garrett Greenwood is hitting .373 with 17 extra-base hits and 37 runs scored, and Filiere enters the weekend with a .370 average to go along with 12 doubles, 12 homers, 40 RBI, 47 runs scored and 41 walks. Sophomore reliever Jack Murphy is 1-0 with three saves and a 1.73 ERA in 17 appearances, while sophomore Patrick Callahan is 5-1 with a 3.61 ERA and 32 strikeouts in 42.1 innings this spring.

SCOUTING THE BEAVERS
Babson (23-13), which has won 10 straight games, advanced to the NEWMAC Tournament championship series for the second year in a row after mashing seven home runs in a two-game sweep of third-seeded Wheaton last Saturday. Junior Mark Webber blasted three home runs and Arena added a pair of bombs for the Beavers, who got back-to-back quality starts from Genaro and junior Teddy Carey. Sophomore Brian McHale is batting .373 with 11 doubles, 18 RBI and 28 runs scored, Halpin is batting .351 with 11 extra-base hits and team highs of 32 RBI and 29 runs scored, and Arena checks in at .350 with 12 doubles, 11 homers, 26 runs scored and 28 RBI. Senior Ken Rotunno is 1-1 with a 1.08 ERA in 15 relief appearances, while Carey and Genaro have combined to go 10-4 with a 2.96 ERA and 99 strikeouts in 109.1 innings this spring.

HEATING UP AT THE PLATE
Halpin, who has moved into third place on the program's all-time list with 190 hits, is batting .488 with three doubles, two homers, 10 runs scored and 11 runs batted in during the Beavers' 10-game hitting streak. He has also hit safely in 12 straight outings and has recorded eight consecutive multi-hit games.

REGIONAL IMPACT
Babson, which was 11th in last week's regional rankings, moved up four spots to seventh and is ahead of conference rivals MIT (eighth), Wheaton (ninth) and WPI (10th).

LEANING ON PAST SUCCESS
Weiss is batting .473 (9-for-19) with three doubles, four RBI and nine runs scored in the last six games against MIT, while Arena hit .429 (6-for-14) with three doubles, two home runs and five RBI in April's three-game set. Rotunno also has been superb out of the bullpen against the Engineers, tossing 9.2 shutout innings and allowing just four hits going back to last year's NEWMAC playoff series.

TICKETS/PARKING
Tickets for this weekend's games are $5 for adults, $3 for seniors and $1 for students. Fans should also plan to arrive early as parking will be limited due to an event on the grounds adjacent to Govoni Field.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS
During their 10-game winning streak, the Beavers are batting .344 with 25 doubles and 13 home runs.

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