By Joe Arruda
Fans bundled up at Archie Allen Field for Springfield baseball’s matchup against the Colby-Sawyer Chargers on a brisk Thursday afternoon. 23 mph winds howled in from center field, even blowing over the fence in left-center.
The weather seemed not to have much of an impact on the Pride squad, but for the Chargers it was a different story.
In the bottom of the first inning, Springfield’s Jake Gleason lined a fly ball to Jack Cahill in center field for Colby-Sawyer. Cahill appeared to have trouble tracking the ball as it drifted towards right field, bouncing off his glove. Gleason cruised into third and Jack Cooney was able to score from first giving the Pride a 1-0 lead.
Freshman starting pitcher Brendan Kirck retired 13 Charger’s hitters to start the game and continued his dominance through 6 one-hit innings with the wind at his back.
In the bottom of the third inning Cooney hit a ball hard on the ground past the diving Colby-Sawyer third baseman. Brandon Russo was able to score from third after his leadoff triple which was carried by the wind over the head of Ryan Cummiskey in right field.
The wind did not let up throughout the entire game, not only affecting the players, but also brand new Archie Allen Field. In the middle of the sixth inning the fence in left center field had enough of the wind. It slowly fell to the turf, and the maintenance crew (the Springfield bench) sprinted out into the field to carry it off.
When the bottom of the eighth inning approached, the Springfield offense was searching for any insurance they could add onto their 3-0 lead. Three straight full count walks with two outs gave the Pride their opportunity. A passed ball allowed sophomore Conor Santoianni to race home from third, increasing the lead to four.
John Daley entered the game in the seventh inning to relieve Kirck after his stellar performance. Daley kept the Chargers bats frozen, also holding them to one hit in the remaining 3 innings, earning his second save on the season.
Springfield’s record improved to 11-9 on the season, while Colby-Sawyer fell to 3-15. The Pride will play three games against Coast Guard in the next two days. Tomorrow Archie Allen Field will play host to the matchup at 3:30 p.m., and on Saturday the Pride will travel to Connecticut for a double header against the Bears.