Men's Sports Sports

Springfield baseball defeats Coast Guard behind four-run seventh

By Chris Gionta

Springfield relief pitcher Jack DeGirolamo had not gone more than three innings this season coming into Friday’s game against Coast Guard. Yet, there was no hesitation from head coach Mark Simeone nor DeGirolamo to get his ninth, 10th, and 11th outs to seal the victory in the final inning.

“[There was no hesitation] because of the way [DeGirolamo] was pitching and how tough of a competitor he is,” Simeone said.

The sidearmer came into the ninth having retired eight of the nine hitters he had faced with six strikeouts. With the Pride up 5-2, he recorded the final three outs without allowing a run.

“I’m always excited to throw,” DeGirolamo said. “I love having the ball in my hand. I’m a big proponent of ‘If I can throw, I will.’ And when you’re up there and you’re in a rhythm, it just comes naturally.”

DeGirolamo has developed a unique style of pitching﹣delivering the ball at an unorthodox angle, and throwing a fastball that runs in on right-handers and slider that has large break away from them.

“It’s really just [about] tunneling my slider and my two-seam [fastball] up and in,” DeGirolamo said. “Getting them off the plate a little bit﹣high and tight two-seamers to righties, and then following that up with a slider that starts at their front hip, just enough to back them off the plate and make them a little uncomfortable, then throwing breaking balls that finish in the zone.”

He began his outing in the top of the sixth with men on second and third and one out with Springfield already down 2-1. DeGirolamo escaped the jam unscathed with a strikeout and an inning-ending groundout. After he executed another scoreless frame, the Pride put together a necessary rally.

Joe Traversa and Michael Barrett opened the bottom of the seventh up with a pair of singles to right field to put runners on the corners. On the ninth pitch of an intense plate appearance for Cadin Maynard, he took ball four, which went to the backstop and allowed Traversa to score.

Next, Ryan Sorgi reached first base on a misplay by Coast Guard’s shortstop, which allowed Barrett to score and give Springfield the lead.

With the bases loaded and one out, Noah Diamond hit into a fielder’s choice and beat out a potential double play to extend the advantage to 4-2. Andrew Sweet followed that up with an RBI single on a line drive into left field.

“We put pressure on [Coast Guard],” Simeone said. “In that inning, we had good at-bats﹣we weren’t chasing bad pitches.”

Keeping Springfield in the game while runs were at a premium was starting pitcher Blake Roberge. He threw 5.1 innings with two runs allowed, five strikeouts and only one walk.

“Roberge did a heck of a job to start the game and keep [the Bears] on their heels, attack the strike zone and compete like he’s capable of,” Simeone said.

With the victory, Springfield moved to 6-9 in the conference and heightened postseason hopes in a tight race for a spot in the NEWMAC Tournament.

“It’s win or go home, and we want to battle,” DeGirolamo said. “We want to play a couple more ball games﹣I know I do. With such a big class of seniors, we’ve got a lot to play for.”

The Pride will play Coast Guard for a doubleheader on Saturday that starts at 10:30 a.m. Springfield will be back at Archie Allen Field for its final regular season home game against Nichols on Monday.

Photo: Springfield College Athletics

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