Baseball season has come to an end at Springfield College after the Pride lost both games of their doubleheader against Babson, Springfield needed at least one win to have a chance to get themselves a spot in the NEWMAC tournament with the help of tiebreakers.
Even while missing out on a playoff birth, the team has improved. Winning percentage wise, the Pride improved from .368 in 2016 to .517 this year. This means they were playing more competitive baseball throughout the season and playing meaningful games down the stretch, which gives more experience to developing players.
The largest improvement the Pride have shown this year has been their hitting. Springfield has scored approximately seven runs per game this year, and hit at a .301 clip, which should be enough to win league games. As oppose to last year, Springfield scored just under five runs and hit only .260. Consistent hitting from veterans Mark Joao (.388) and Colin King (.336) led the team while first-year players Brandon Russo (.340) and Chad Shade (.311) will look to build upon great years.
Pitching and defense was the weakness that held this team back all year. Springfield surrendered 69 more runs than earned runs, which is inexcusable for a college team to be successful. That’s over two unearned runs per game. Errors in the field kill a pitcher’s momentum, and even if your offense is scoring for you, defense wins late in ballgames.
Regarding the staff, junior Joey Gamache put the performance in simple terms.
“I think we can be a lot better next year. We’re only losing one senior and all of our pitchers had a ton of innings. The sky is the limit – Lil Wayne.”
The good news is, the Pride are only losing one senior pitcher, Tyler Kelly. A more experienced staff next year will be beneficial for the team and a strong young core will have another year to develop. As for position players, Springfield will be losing Colin King, Mike Jameison, Patrick Coan, and JP Peters. King, who started at shortstop for the majority of the year, will most likely be taken over by transfer Brandon Russo, who will easily fill his shoes. Jameison will leave the designated hitter spot open for junior Logan Barrett, who hit well when given consistent at-bats and provides some power.
Springfield is trending upward, and don’t be surprised to see the team in the NEWMAC’s next year. Junior Kenny Manero reflected on the season and did a good job rounding up the effort.
“I was proud of the way we competed this year as a whole and it’s nice to come away with a winning record. I wish we could have ended on a better note but we are going to work hard over the offseason. We have a lot of depth for next year and we will have a competitive team next year.”