The Springfield College baseball team suffered its third straight loss at Archie Allen Field on Friday when Clark University slipped by with a 6-4 victory after ten innings.
Going into extra innings at a 4-4 stalemate, the Cougars (16-8) immediately loaded the bases with nobody out. Springfield reliever Cole Donovan got himself into this jam by allowing a single, hitting the next batter, then the hitter after that reached on a fielder’s choice.
That set up a golden opportunity for Teddy Downing, one of the best hitters in the NEWMAC conference to break the tie. He delivered with a single that scored the go-ahead run. The next batter hit a sacrifice fly to give the Cougars a two-run cushion. Fortunately, Donovan escaped any more trouble by inducing a double play to retire the side
In the Pride’s half of the tenth, all three batters struck out, including two backwards K’s to give Clark a victory and a slight edge in the NEWMAC standings.
Up to that point, this was an extremely close and intense ball game. Clark got on the board first with a two-out RBI single in the second inning that scored a leadoff double.
Springfield tied and took the lead in the bottom of the third with a two-out single from Jack Cooney. Brandon Russo reached on a bunt single and Chade Shade followed up with an infield single, setting up second and third for Cooney. The freshman hit a grounder right up the middle past a diving second baseman that scored both runners to give Springfield a 2-1 lead.
That lead was held until the fifth inning when Clark nodded up the score with a hustle play with the bases loaded. With two outs, Russo went to his knees to field a ground ball up the middle. He flipped to Joao, but it was not in time to get the final out of the inning, and scored the tying run.
Russo singled to lead off Springfield’s half of the fifth and swiped second base. Shade moved him over to third, and Cooney drove his teammate in with an RBI groundout. That marked his third RBI of the contest.
The Cougars fought back and tied the game with another two-out RBI. A leadoff single came around to score with an opposite field hit to make it a 4-4 game.
In the bottom of the eighth, Cooney kicked off with a single and advanced to second on a past ball. After an infield single from Joao advanced him to third, Jake Gleason drove in his first run of the game with a RBI single to regain the lead.
However, Clark answered yet again with a two-out pinch hit single. With just one out needed to win the game and a runner on third, James Huber delivered the biggest hit of the game with a single to left field that brought in Clark’s fourth run of the game.
Springfield failed to work any walk off magic, as it went down in order in the ninth and tenth innings for the Cougars to secure the victory.
This was only game one of a three-game set, which means Springfield can go for the series win tomorrow when they play a doubleheader on the road against Clark. The Pride’s record sits at 17-8-2 (6-4 NEWMAC) and it has a chance to surpass Clark in the conference standings with a sweep on Saturday.
Photo courtesy of Springfield College Athletics