By Chris Gionta
The Springfield College baseball team defeated Colby-Sawyer 17-3 at Archie Allen Field to open up their season.
The Pride will live and die this year by a three-word mantra.
“We have three words that we’re going by this year;” senior outfielder Chad Shade said. “Accountable, selfless, and relentless.”
Relentless is exactly what Springfield was on Wednesday. In each of the six innings they batted in, they scored two or more runs. All the scoring started when junior Noah Bleakley hit a curveball to the opposite field for an RBI single, driving in first-year Mike Barrett. That was immediately followed up by a Jake Gleason 2-run double to make the score 3-1. Gleason was driven by Jack Simonetty later that inning on a groundout.
The Pride proved the inning not to be a fluke, as the hits kept on coming. Bleakley added RBI No. 2 and No. 3 in the second inning on a double. Shade hit an RBI single in the third, and following that was Bleakley’s fourth RBI which came on a single.
From that point forward, Springfield was able to pounce upon every Colby-Sawyer mistake. The Chargers’ defense committed five errors. Their pitching staff walked eight batters through six innings, and also hit four batters.
“I don’t know if we’re going to score 17 runs every game,” head coach Mark Simeone said. “But yeah, we had a lot of contributors; Noah Bleakley, Jake Gleason – Adam Willametz comes in late off the bench and he gets an RBI single. We got a young guy hitting at the two-slot playing shortstop; he had a big two-run single at the end of the game after a couple tough at-bats in the middle of the game.”
The “young guy” that Simeone talked about is Mike Barrett, who went 2-for-5 with two RBI and two stolen bases. He was not the only first-year to contribute on Wednesday. The first two pitchers to take the mound are in their first year on Alden St. as well.
Blake Roberge started the game and went 3.2 innings, allowing two earned runs and striking out three. Alex Gonfrade came in relief of Roberge, and he went 2.0 innings, allowed one unearned run and also struck out three. Sophomore Ben Arnold closed it out for the Pride, as he struck out four of the five batters he faced. Simeone managed his pitches well to keep pitch counts low at the beginning of the season.
“We didn’t leave anybody out there too long,” Simeone said. “All of our pitchers – starting pitchers and relief pitchers – will be on a lower pitch count early than they will be as the season goes on. And we anticipated using the three guys we used today; two first-years – first two guys did a really nice job in their first college outing and kept their offense down.”
Absolutely everything seemed to go as planned for Springfield in all three phases of the game. They look to carry this momentum into the weekend, where they will be playing two doubleheaders at Archie Allen Field. The first of them will be on Saturday with their first game starting at 12 p.m. against Western New England University, and the second will be on Sunday against Williams.
Photo courtesy of Chris Gionta