The Springfield College baseball team wrapped up its three-game set with Clark University on Saturday with a split doubleheader. The Cougars walked it off in the bottom of the ninth to take the former, while Shawn Babineau pitched a complete game to avoid the sweep and take game two.
To no surprise, Brian Johnson put together another excellent outing, but was outdueled by Clark’s Dan Shaw and received a tough no decision. The leftie went eight innings and allowed one run on eight hits while striking out eight hitters. He shaved his season ERA to a measly 1.74.
His one mistake came in the bottom of the fifth inning when he surrendered a one out triple. The next batter eventually hit his teammate in, and that was Clark’s lone run until Johnson exited after the eighth inning. Other than working out of a couple of bases loaded jams, the junior cruised in the outing.
Shaw silenced Springfield’s bats through seven innings, allowing just four hits. It was not until the eighth inning, where Teddy Downing entered, that the Pride tied up the score. Jack Cooney laced a one-out single, followed by a double from Mark Joao to score Cooney from first.
Springfield almost took the lead when Jake Gleason singled the next at-bat and Joao tried to make it home. However, Kyle Shaw fired a bullet right field to nail Joao at the plate and preserve the tie.
The Pride had another opportunity to take the lead in the top of the ninth. Pete Marsicano and Brandon Russo both reached with one out, setting up the top of the order to drive them in. However, Chad Shade and Cooney struck out to end the threat.
Jack Weinberger relieved Johnson in the bottom of the ninth looking to send the game into extra innings. After inducing a ground ball to record the first out, the senior allowed a single and hit the next batter. He sat down the next hitter, but surrendered the game-winning single in the next at-bat that allowed Clark to walk off.
Springfield salvaged the last game of the series behind a complete game effort from Shawn Babineau.
The Pride jumped on Clark starter Nick Guarino for three runs early, but was shut down in the last seven innings by Patrick Robinson.
Cam Rivest and Logan Barrett started the second inning with consecutive base hits. After Marsicano bunted them over a base, Russo drew a walk to load the bases for the top of the lineup. Shade singled to open up the scoring, while Cooney reached on a fielder’s choice to score Barrett.
With two outs, Joao singled to score Cooney and give Springfield a 3-0 lead. After tagging Guarino for three runs on six hits in just two innings, Robinson entered and held the offense to just two additional hits for the rest of the game.
However, three runs was more than enough for Babineau. His only mistake of the game came in the top of the ninth when he surrendered a home run. With that, his consecutive innings streak of zero earned runs came to an end at 38.
As for this game, the sophomore allowed seven hits and much like Johnson, ran into no bumps across nine innings of work.
With these games, Springfield sits at 18-9-2 (6-5 NEWMAC), good for fifth place in the conference. Barring a major collapse this week, the Pride should be making a trip to the postseason. Do not let the conference record be deceiving; Springfield has played some extremely close matches against the top teams in the conference. There have been several games that could have gone either way.
Chad Shade History Tracker
Shade increased his stolen base count to 25 over the weekend, putting him 11 away from tying the single season record (Joseph Cervino, 1971). With seven games and one unfinished game remaining in the regular season, the sophomore has a legitimate chance to tie and even break the record. It is definitely something to keep track of as the regular season comes to a close in a couple weeks.
Springfield returns to Archie Allen for a couple days when it hosts Elms in a non-conference matchup on Monday. First pitch is at 3:30 pm.
Featured photo courtesy of Reef Rogers.