A historic season of baseball at Springfield College came to an end Thursday as the Pride fell to MIT in the NEWMAC quarterfinals on Thursday, 5-0.
After tallying four hits in the first two innings, Springfield failed to muster another hit for the rest of the game, as Mark Joao and Noah Bleakley were the only two baserunners for the rest of the contest.
MIT’s Zachary Kopstein retired 14 of his last 15 hitters as before being taken out after seven shutout innings. From there, Casey Bussone and Jared Tramontano combined to strike retire the last six batters in order, four of the outs coming via strikeout.
On the other side, junior Brian Johnson got the ball for the Pride and pitched his way into the eighth inning. After issuing a one-out walk to Ethan Rolland, Garrett Greenwood ripped a double. Rolland rounded third and was sent home. Joao caught the throw from the outfield and fired it to Pete Marsicano at the plate.
Marsicano caught the ball, but it flew out of his glove upon applying the tag to Rolland and dribbled to the backstop. Greenwood, who had already advanced to third on Joao’s throw, headed for the plate and crossed with ease to give MIT a 5-0 lead.
After that, head coach Mark Simeone took the ball from Johnson and Jack Weinberger got the last two outs of the game. Johnson finished allowing four earned runs on six hits while striking out five. He finishes the season with a 2.35 ERA in 53.2 innings pitched.
MIT plated its first three runs in the third and fourth innings. Rolland began the third with a single, and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt. Greenwood then singled, setting up first and third with one out for the Engineers. Johnson balked on the mound to bring Rolland home.
In the same at-bat Greenwood stole third. In the ensuing at-bat, he stole home to give MIT a 2-0 lead. In the fourth, Johnson issued a one-out walk. With two outs, Kyler Kocher delivered a double that scored Thomas Allison from first.
Springfield created its chances to score in the first two innings. With one out in the first inning, Jack Cooney and Joao each singled to give Jake Gleason a chance to plate a run early. Gleason and Bleakley both went down swinging to end that threat.
In the second, Cam Rivest led off with a single and stole second. Although, he got tagged out in a pickle with one out when Marsicano hit a dribbler back to the pitcher. With two outs, Brandon Russo bunted a single to give Chad Shade runners on first and second with two outs. However, he hit a towering pop fly to David Heller at third base to end the inning.
The game marks the end of an exciting season for Springfield College baseball. Looking ahead to next season, the Pride will lose just two players from it’s starting lineup (Mark Joao, Pete Marsicano), two starting pitchers (Nick Naples, Joe Gamache) and two relievers (Ken Manero, Jack Weinberger). There is a lot to look forward to in the future.
Featured photo courtesy of Springfield College Athletics