The Springfield College baseball team won the first two games of a three-game set with Coast Guard Academy on Saturday at Archie Allen Field. The offense produced 12 runs on 13 hits in game one and the pitching staff surrendered just one run on three hits to edge the Bears in game two.
“We have more compete in us today. It’s still not where we need to be a championship team, but better,” head coach Mark Simeone said.
The offense took advantage of 10 walks and eight of nine batters in the lineup registered a hit as the Pride cruised to a 12-5 victory.
“The energy was better and more focused on competing and winning the games,” Simeone said. “I was upset the other day because I thought our energy was screwing around and childish.”
Springfield opened up the scoring with two runs in the third inning. The Pride loaded the bases with one out with a walk, single, and an error. Jake Gleason came through with a two-out single that drove in two runs.
After Coast Guard plated a run in the fifth, Springfield answered with four runs in their half. Chad Shade and Jack Cooney singled to lead off the inning. Mark Joao drove in Shade with a single in the next at-bat. After Jake Gleason walk, loading the bases, Noah Bleakely drew another walk to bring in Cooney from third.
Cam Rivest followed that up with a opposite field single through the first and second base hole, scoring two more runs. The Bears responded with two more runs in the top of the sixth when Jack Weinberger entered to relieve Brian Johnson.
In the bottom half, Springfield loaded the bases again, and Cooney drew a walk to bring in the Pride’s seventh run of the game. Joao reached on a fielder’s choice in the ensuing at-bat to score Brandon Russo from third, as well as Shade who hustled all the way from second to beat the throw to the plate.
Later in the inning, Bleakley came through again with a two-out single to round out Springfield’s four-run inning. It added two more insurance runs in the seventh with a two-RBI single from Joao, his fourth and fifth RBI of the game.
“I thought we played very good. We knew coming into this weekend that we really needed to take all three (games) to really put ourselves in the driver’s seat and I think we really showed up and played well in both games,” Joao said.
John Daley came in for the last two innings and allowed one earned run on three hits and walked three batters. Johnson picked up the win, surrendering one run on three hits with five walks. Collectively, the pitching was not at its best.
“Our pitchers for the most part in the first game struggled with command and got behind hitters and gave them a lot of baserunners via base on balls and hit batsmen,” Simeone said.
The latter of this doubleheader was much more competitive, but Springfield held on for a 2-1 win behind seven strong innings from Kyle Naples.
“In the second game we got an excellent pitching performance and manufactured some runs. [Coast Guard] is going to battle until the very end. They always do,” Simeone said.
Through the first five innings, each team had just two hits in the game. Through the last three offensive half innings, the Pride put together six hits and plated runs in the sixth and seventh innings behind situational hitting.
In the sixth, Jason Bean led off with a single, advanced to third, and was brought in from a sacrifice fly by Pete Marsicano. In the seventh, Cooney led off with a single, and came around to score on a clutch two-out single from Jake Gleason.
In the ninth inning, Fletcher Comment ran into some trouble when he hit the first batter of the inning. He was able to record the next two outs, but surrendered a double that scored the runner from first base, and put the tying run at second base.
Simeone called on Cole Donovan to record the final out, and the sophomore induced a ground ball to end the game.
“Definitely after today it gets our confidence back up. I’ve been telling the guys all year if we come out with energy and play confident than we can beat anyone,” Joao said after today’s games.
The Pride hit the road en route to Coast Guard tomorrow to try and sweep the series. According to Coach Sim, Springfield won the first two games of last year’s series with the Bears, and the pitcher that will throw for Coast Guard tomorrow is the same one who beat the Pride in the third game of the series last season. First pitch is scheduled for noon.
Featured photo courtesy of Reef Rogers.