Men's Sports Sports

Jack Cooney’s walk-off double lifts Pride baseball over Amherst, 5-4

Jack Margaros
@JackMargaros

The Springfield College baseball team found itself in familiar territory on Thursday evening at Archie Allen Field. After Chad Shade lined a RBI single in the seventh inning to give the Pride a 3-2 edge, Amherst College plated two runs in the top of the ninth to gain its first lead of the game, 4-3.

“A little bit of a letdown in the ninth and we’ve been there before,” Springfield head coach Mark Simeone said.

With one out in the bottom half, Jason Bean sent a tailing line drive into the right field gap for a double. With two outs, Brandon Russo singled for his third hit of the game, setting up runners on the corners for Shade.

The sophomore slashed a grounder to the right side, through the hole between first and second to drive in Bean and tie the ball game.

“We came right back after they took a lead. Jason Bean had a big double with one out. Chad Shade brought him in so we get to play that extra inning,” Simeone said.

Bean executed an unassisted double play to get Springfield out of trouble in the tenth. Nick Leduc led off the Pride’s half with a flare single into right field.

“Left on left, Nick Leduc did a great job with two strikes to get himself on base,” Simeone said.

After Cam Rivest bunted Leduc to second base, freshman Jack Cooney stepped up to the plate with a chance to walk it off.

On the second pitch of the at-bat, Cooney unleashed a towering fly ball over the head of Rob Casey in left field that bounced off the left field fence. Leduc scored and Cooney was mobbed at second base by his teammates as Springfield picked up its 23rd win of the season in dramatic fashion over Amherst, 5-4.

That’s not the first (clutch hit) he’s had this year,” Simeone said. “I think we turned the corner today because we battled back and didn’t let that adversity beat us up.”

Noah Bleakley got the start this game and threw five scoreless innings, allowing just one hit.

“First start since he was down in Florida and he did a heck of a job for five innings to put us in a situation to be able to win the game,” Simeone said.

While he was pitching, the Pride initiated the scoring with two early runs in the first inning. Shade started the game with a single and stole second. Mark Joao hit a grounder to Amherst’s Harry Roberson at shortstop, who got the out at second.

However, first baseman Sam Ellinwood threw the ball away when Shade tried to advance to third base. Shade crossed home after the ball trickled near Springfield’s bullpen.

Jake Gleason lined a tailing single up the middle in the next at-bat, and advanced to second on a passed ball. After a grounder advanced him to third, Cooney delivered a two-out line drive single into left field to give the Pride a two-run lead.

Amherst did not put any runs on the board until the sixth inning, when Ken Manero entered to replace Bleakley. After getting the first two outs, he walked Max Steinhorn and allowed three consecutive singles after that, resulting in a tie game.

Jack Weinberger entered after that and kept the Mammoths quiet until the ninth.

Springfield regained the lead in the seventh inning. Russo was the catalyst, as he roped a single down the right field line and advanced to second on an error. Shade came up next and poked a single up the middle to score Russo.

Amherst started the ninth with a single. After a passed ball advanced Roberson to second, Kai Terada-Herzer laid down a bunt to get his teammate to third. Weinberger fielded it and opted to go to third base in attempt to get Roberson out.

However, Bean could not catch the throw, allowing Roberson to score and tie the game. Cole Donovan entered after that and allowed a single to give the Mammoths the lead.

This time, the Pride came back to defeat a team who knocked off Wheaton 16-2 in its previous game.

“A lot of contributors and we utilized our depth to get a good win against a good club,” Simeone said.

 

Featured photo courtesy of Springfield College Athletics

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