By Chris Gionta
In the fourth inning on Wednesday afternoon, the Springfield College baseball team found themselves down by six runs, but came back by the end of the fifth inning.
However, in the sixth inning, the Pride found themselves down by six runs again, but it did not stop them from executing another large comeback and earning a hard-fought 15-14 victory over Elms.
“I think we had good energy,” said Springfield head coach Mark Simeone. “I didn’t want to be down six twice, but we did keep the energy and realized that’s a team we should beat.”
The Pride saw contributions from some more unfamiliar faces on Wednesday at Archie Allen Field. With this matchup being their fourth game in four days, some regular starters were given the day off.
First baseman Cole Crynock made his second career collegiate start and did not disappoint. He reached base safely four times and drove five runs in, with three of them coming off a go-ahead home run.
First-year infielder Cole Zalegowski contributed three hits along with three RBI, and first-year outfielder Luke DiMauro added two hits and two RBI.
“I think we have talent,” Simeone said. “We’ve got depth, and some of that revealed itself on guys that aren’t in the lineup every day but are valuable members of our team that help us win a game like this, and they’re ready in case we need them in other games.”
Springfield also put nine pitchers on the mound, as Simeone scheduled it for a bullpen day, and also because of the high volume of pitches that many pitchers were throwing. This included the collegiate debut of Christian Peterson, who threw a shutout inning and earned the victory.
“(Peterson) got himself out of a jam and did a nice job, and I’m glad he earned the victory for his work,” Simeone said.
Despite what the final score may suggest, the game started without much offensive input. The first three innings were scoreless before Elms rallied in the fourth. The Blazers nickel-and-dimed their way to six runs in the frame, as they hit five singles, walked twice, and were hit by a pitch.
The Pride responded with two runs on a Jack Cooney RBI single and a Crynock sacrifice fly. Their real rally came in the fifth inning. With the bases loaded and one out, Zalegowski lined one up the middle to drive two runners in. DiMauro followed him with an opposite field RBI single, then Crynock hit his three-run home run to make it 8-6 in Springfield’s favor.
However, Elms responded quickly with another barrage of base hits in the top of the sixth inning. After six more singles, a walk, a hit-by-pitch, and an error, the Blazers ended up with eight runs for the frame, and had a 14-8 lead.
Springfield decreased the deficit to four in the bottom of the sixth with a Bleakley sacrifice fly and a Zalegowski RBI single.
The bottom of the eighth called for another Pride rally. Bleakley, Cooney, and Zalegowski all reached to start the inning and load the bases. DiMauro drove Bleakley in on a single, then Crynock drove Cooney in on a walk. After a pitching substitution, Mark Nofri hit an RBI single to cut Elms’s lead to one.
The Pride tied the game on an advancement from a wild pitch. Finally, a walk from Tony Incontro drove in the go-ahead run.
Springfield’s ninth pitcher of the game — and the pitcher who ended up having to close it out — was first-year Max Giacco. After a leadoff single, Giacco shut the door and did not allow the tying run to scratch across. He earned his first career save and allowed the Pride their 11th victory of 2022.
Springfield’s next game comes against a conference opponent in WPI on Friday at Archie Allen Field at 3:30 p.m.
Photo: Springfield College Athletics