The brooms were out on Sunday in New London, CT as the Springfield College baseball team completed a series sweep of Coast Guard University. Taking a 2-0 lead into the sixth inning, the Pride rallied for nine runs through the last four innings to dominate the Bears 11-0.
Shawn Babineau got the start on the mound and put together yet another magnificent performance. The sophomore hurled seven shutout innings, allowing just three hits and striking out four. With this performance, Babineau has now unofficially thrown 30 consecutive innings without allowing an earned run.
It is unofficial because game two of the doubleheader against MIT on March 31 is technically not over yet (halted in the ninth inning). Babineau threw seven innings in that game and surrendered zero earned runs. Once the stats become official, so will his streak.
In the top of the first, Springfield plated an early run when Chad Shade (4-5, 2 R, RBI) led off with a double and Jack Cooney (1-4, 2 R) drove him in with a single. In the fifth, Brandon Russo laced a two-out triple and Shade poked a single up the middle to score his teammate.
An inning later, Mark Joao (2-4 2 R, 2 RBI) led off with a single and made it around to third base on a wild pitch. Noah Bleakley sent a fly ball out to center field in the next at-bat deep enough to score Joao and extend the Pride’s lead to three runs.
In the seventh, Springfield doubled the lead when Joao delivered a clutch bases loaded single. The initial hit scored two runs, and when Joao attempted to advance to second, Cooney hustled to cross home plate before Joao got tagged out to end the inning.
In the eighth, the Pride tacked on another run from Jake Gleason who scored off an error and extended the lead to 7-0.
As if seven runs was not enough, Springfield poured on with four more runs in the ninth. Logan Barrett laced a pinch-hit double that scored both runners on base. A couple batters later, Rivest slapped a double of his own to score Barrett. Finally, Pete Marsicano hit a single to score Rivest from second and end the scoring.
Cole Donovan came in to pitch after Babineau and threw two perfect innings to capture Springfield’s 17th win of the season. The Pride had just 15 wins in the entirety of the 2017 season.
History in the Making
Chad Shade swiped two more bags in addition to his four hits on Sunday to increase his stolen base count to a NEWMAC-leading 22 bags. In that halted game on March 31, he also had a stolen base before that was called so Shade unofficially has 23.
With 13 regular season games remaining (including the halted game), the sophomore is 13 stolen bases away from tying the Springfield baseball single season record (36), held by Joseph Cervino in 1971. A stolen base per game for the rest of the year is definitely within reach for a player with the speed of Shade.
Springfield returns to the diamond on Tuesday when it travels to Babson in a pivotal NEWMAC conference matchup. The Beavers (7-2 NEWMAC) currently sits at second place, whereas Springfield (6-2 NEWMAC) is tied with Clark for third place.
Photo courtesy of Springfield College Athletics.