COLUMN: NCAA BASEBALL
Paul Galligan and Scott McNee each hit home runs and combined to drive in seven runs to lead WPI to a 15-5 win over Babson in the NCAA Division 3 Regional Tournament in Mansfield, Conn.
WPI (30-11) will face the winner of this morning's game between defending national champion Trinity and Southern Maine at 7:45 tonight.
The Engineers, making their first NCAA appearance in their 106-year history, defeated Suffolk, 7-6, in their NCAA debut Wednesday.
"You know, this win feels great," WPI coach Mike Callahan said. "Going 2-0 in this tournament feels great, but I told coach (Dan) Generelli before the game that it would be really nice to get to 30 wins. We gave a few games away early in the year, so we thought it would be tough. It's just nice to be 2-0. I know I'm enjoying it and the guys are enjoying every second of this."
WPI junior Nolan Murphy of Shrewsbury went 7-1/3 strong innings to earn his eighth win of the year and tie the WPI single-season record held by teammate Conor Fahey.
The Engineers had 17 hits. Galligan had four and McNee and Nick Bean each had three. WPI batted around in the fifth and sixth innings.
WPI led, 3-2, before blowing the game open with seven runs in the fifth. The Engineers sent 11 batters to the plate. Galligan hit a two-run homer to left and after Matt Moreau reached on an error, McNee sent another two-run blast over the flag atop the scoreboard. It was McNee's team-leading 12th homer of the season.
Joe Walsh, the hero of Wednesday's win, drove in a pair of runs with a double.
"Today was just an all-around great effort from all the hitters," said McNee, a senior co-captain. "We were aggressive on the fastball, almost to the point where it was too much in the first couple of innings. I think that's important that the pitcher knows that we're all...