Following a pair of four-run innings to start the game, Springfield College Pride baseball dug themselves a hole they could not dig themselves out of, falling to crosstown rival Western New England 11-2 Wednesday evening at Berry-Allen Field.
The Golden Bears (9-1) entered the game with a roster chock full of juniors and seniors, complete with a 21st overall in the nation label attached to their name, while the Pride (6-3-1), a more heterogeneous group, is still finagling the lineup and working through growing pains in the early going of the season.
These factors were quite apparent as the Pride, though not showing tremendous pitching or defensive prowess, did not do themselves many favors on offense. The team had a mere three hits with nine strikeouts.
“We dug ourselves a hole early,” said designated hitter Mike Jamieson. “The pitcher on the mound was a good pitcher, a solid pitcher, one of the better one’s we’ll see this year. But as a team it was just an off day, we’ll bounce back and we’ll be fine moving forward.”
Corey Wilcox had a pair of hits with an RBI and Billy Peterson added the other Springfield hit with a base knock to leadoff the bottom of the first inning.
Western New England starter Andrew Mulvey, padded with a comfortable lead early, had no reservations attacking batters, and ultimately found himself periodically in pitcher’s counts, and surrendered just one run through five innings.
Jack Weinberger was chased early for Springfield after giving up eight runs and seven hits through 1 2/3 innings.
“He’s got to throw strikes and he’s got to get after hitters and get out front and be able to make his pitches,” said Springfield head coach Mark Simeone. “If you don’t against a good team they’re going to capitalize just like they did. But he’s a competitor, he’s a tough kid and he’ll bounce back.”
Pride pitchers walked 9 batters and hit an additional seven. Four of the five pitchers for the Pride hit at least one batter, with Weinberger and Tristan Suedmeier hitting a pair each.
“If you take guys off the bases that we gave to them, we still don’t win but it’s a heck of a lot closer and you’ve got some rallying cries there,” said Simeone.
Things were bleak, but manageable entering the second inning for the Pride, but after Eduardo Colmenares’ RBI single to left field for the Golden Bears, the floodgates came wide open.
Daniel Morin stepped up for Western New England and drove a home run well beyond the 330-foot left field fence and into the parking lot across Wilbraham Road for a deflating 3-run home run. The drive put Western New England up 8-0 and sent Springfield into the bullpen early.
The underlying theme for Springfield following the game was recovering. Simeone stated a bad taste was left in his team’s mouth, and that’s the way it should be following their outing. But the essential part of the defeat is finding a way to rally and recover.
Fortunately for Springfield, their next opportunity comes tomorrow, as they’ll travel to Westfield State for an afternoon tilt against the Owls.