Springfield College starting catcher Sean Smith came up to bat in the second inning of a scoreless game against Wheaton at Berry-Allen Field on Tuesday with the same thought he always has: to get on base.
Smith did just that, singling to left to start the inning, but before he got his hit, the sophomore gave students in Babson Library a reason to stop studying and pay attention to the game.
“I believe it was an 0-1 count, and the pitcher threw a high fastball. I swung at it, and fouled it straight back and then I heard a bunch of student fans just go crazy and cheer, and I was like, ‘Oh, I must have hit a car or something,’” Smith said. “About three innings later someone showed up with the ball in the dugout and said, ‘You broke a window.’ And I looked up and sure enough, there’s a big hole in the third floor [window of Babson Library].”
Smith was so zoned in to the game that he did not hear his friends in the stands shouting to him about the unusual foul ball that shot off of his bat and gave students on the third floor of Babson a wake-up call.
“I’m not sure how many times that’s been done, so I figured, ‘You know what, might as well keep this one,’” Smith said.
Smith’s souvenir was one of the few positives from the team’s two consecutive games against Wheaton on Tuesday and Wednesday. Wheaton took both games in convincing fashion, winning at SC 16-0 on Tuesday and 8-4 at home on Wednesday.
“They out-hit, out-pitched and out-fielded us, and the team that usually does that wins the game,” Smith said. “We didn’t play to our full potential either day.”
The Pride will look to rebound as they take on last-place MIT Friday and Saturday in three games. The Pride could dampen the Engineers’ chances of qualifying for the NEWMAC Conference Tournament with a strong performance. To do that, the team must regroup quickly and put the last two games behind them.
“I really think we’ll respond well,” Smith said. “It’s been one of our focus points this year to make this NEWMAC Conference Tournament, and this is a big telling weekend to see if that is actually going to happen.”
The Pride are currently 4-4 in conference play (10-9 overall) and sit in fourth place in the NEWMAC. They will have to at the very least hold onto that spot to be one of the top four teams to qualify for postseason play, a feat the baseball team has not accomplished since 2009.
They have been playing much better ball this year, and are only one game away from tying their win total from last year (11 wins) with 13 games remaining.
Joe Brown may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org