The Springfield College baseball team opened up their season with three games on the newly constructed Archie Allen Field. Formerly known as Berry Allen Field, the new one-of-a-kind ballpark is fully turf, and features an adaptive right field. Referred to as “The Springfield Model” no other school in the country has a field quite like this one.
“The new field is awesome to play on,” said senior Mark Joao. “Although I like playing on grass and dirt, in the New England climate turf is almost a necessity. The field really brings a lot of energy to the team.”
This unique construction allows the Pride to access their field earlier than usual, a luxury the team has not enjoyed in recent years.
“We have been on the field more than ever and earlier than ever,” said Joao.
Archie Allen has several benefits that Berry Allen did not. The universally flat surface allows for true hops on ground balls, and essentially eliminates the notorious bad hops.
“There really aren’t any bad hops,” said Joao. “The old field was great but it really needed to be fixed up and the new field went way beyond that.”
Turf also makes the ball travel faster when it hits the ground, turning simple base hits into extra bases. This can be both a benefit as well as a disadvantage.
“The field also plays faster so balls in the gap can quickly turn to triples. Hopefully this benefits us more than others,” said Joao.
The Pride through the first three games
Springfield has played their way to a 1-1-1 record to start the season. In their opener on Sunday, the team faced Western New England University. A bases loaded double from Brandon Russo and a dominant pitching performance paved the way for a 4-0 victory in the cross-town rivalry. The pitching staff combined to give up one hit in the win, as Brian Johnson got the start and Fletcher Comment earned the win.
In their last two games, the Pride hosted Westfield State. In their first game of the series on Monday, Springfield fell 4-2, highlighted by a two RBI performance from Brandon Drabinski. Shawn Babineau was on the bump, going six innings and giving up three runs in the loss.
Most recently, the Pride tied the Owls, 9-9, in a game that was played only eight innings due to darkness. Springfield went into the top of the eighth with a 9-6 lead, but costly errors resulted in the Owls plating three runs to tie the game. Alex Denoyelle finished 2-4 with 3 RBI, while freshman Jack Cooney went 1-3 with an RBI.
Now, Springfield will take their annual trip to Florida to play there for the duration of next week. When they return, the immediately host Fitchurg State on March 22nd at Archie Allen.
“The fact that we’re playing in early March on our field and have some games under our belt going down the Florida, I think should be an advantage,” said head coach Mark Simeone.
Jack Margaros can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org