By Harrison Kelly
The Pride’s season is officially in full swing, as they’ll play every day this week. On Monday, they fell 10-4 to the Owls of Westfield State. Sophomore Brian Johnson started the game in the mound, and gave up two earned runs on a pitch count limited outing.
Next came Junior Kyle Naples, who surrendered seven earned runs, including a three-run home run that opened the flood gates for Westfield. Scoring for Springfield came from Chad Shade, Mark Joao, and Brandon Drabinski, who each singled and drove in one.
A bright spot in the pitching staff has been junior Jack Weinberger. After starting off hot with a 11.1 strikeouts per nine innings in Florida, Weinberger impressively got out of a bases loaded jam in the 8th inning.
“I’m feeling confident and trying to get in a groove on the mound. It’s worked out so far this season and I’ll keep trying to pitch like I have been. I’ll do my best to help us win.” Watch for an extended role if the rest of the pitching staff can’t turn it around.
With young talent comes growing pains, which the Pride are going to have to work through. An example is Brandon Russo, despite his incredibly impressive start, getting picked off after reaching first to lead off an inning. It’s little things like that that make a winning baseball team, and Springfield is making strides towards getting wins in the NEWMAC.
Springfield played their first home game last Friday versus Dean College and picked up a win by the score of 8-7.
It was a sloppy game to say the least, totaling 5 errors for both sides, but going back to what Junior pitcher Kenny Manero said before the season started, “win however possible.”
After falling behind 7-2, the Pride received a spark from a couple first-year players Brandon Russo and Chad Shade. Each contributed with key hits in the 8th inning, propelling Springfield to the victory. Freshman Nick Naples shut the door for his first collegiate save.
Springfield will take the field every day for the rest of the week, hosting Southern Vermont on Thursday and Coast Guard on Friday.