In a game played only through the eighth inning due to darkness, the Springfield College baseball team played Westfield State to a 9-9 tie at Archie Allen Field on Tuesday.
After the Pride brought home four runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to take a 9-6 lead, Westfield State answered with three to tie the game.
Kyle Naples pitched himself into a bases loaded, no out jam to start the eighth. He responded with a strikeout, then gave up a sacrifice fly that scored the runner from third. Springfield could have gotten out of the inning just surrendering the one run, but a high pop fly to Marcelino Diaz was misplayed, allowing the inning to continue and another runner to score. The next batter singled to tie up the game.
“When you gotta get six outs or five outs in an inning when you’re supposed to get three, that’s tough,” said head coach Mark Simeone. “We didn’t do enough to seal the victory, and hopefully we learn from it.”
Leading up to the inning, the Pride exploded offensively, with their bench players playing a big role. In his collegiate debut, freshman Jack Cooney went 1-3 with a sac fly and an RBI. During the at-bats that he did not get on base, he still made solid contact.
In his 2018 debut, Alex Denoyelle went 2-4 with 3 RBI, including a two-run double that gave the Pride a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the fourth. His other RBI was a part of Springfield’s four run seventh inning, as he singled up the middle to make it 9-6.
“You look at two guys that’s haven’t played and the kind of days they had in Cooney and Denoyelle. We got guys that come off the bench and play,” said Simeone.
Other notable offensive contributors include Mark Joao, who gave Springfield a 7-6 lead in the seventh inning with an RBI triple. He finished the day 2-4, and almost cleared the 406 sign in center field on his triple.
Despite going 0-5, Brandon Russo came up clutch in a couple of at-bats that resulted in 2 RBI. Before Joao’s bomb, Russo tied the game in the seventh with a sharp grounder that scored Chad Shade. He also tied the game at one in the third inning with an RBI groundout.
Joe Gamache got the start for the Pride, going 4.2 innings, giving up four runs, three hits and three walks while striking out three. According to Simeone, his rotator cuff has been bothersome lately, and could have contributed to the mediocre outing.
“Joe I think didn’t have his best stuff today,” said Simeone. “He didn’t have great command.”
Gamache left the game with two outs and a 5-2 lead in the fifth. Kenny Walton came in relief with two men on base, and gave up consecutive singles that resulted in three runs. After surrendering a third straight single, Zach Kerr came in for relief.
With men on first and third, still two outs, the runner on first attempted to steal second. Denoyelle threw the ball down, but Joao cut the throw off to get the runner from third out at home. The throw was too late, and Westfield plated their fourth run of the inning.
“We are gonna make mistakes, that’s part of the game…I think we are going to be able to overcome stuff like that,” said Simeone.
After Kerr, Naples came in a pitched the final two innings. Between Kerr and Naples, there were four hits allowed, zero earned runs, and five strikeouts.“Kyle went in there and did a good job,” said Simeone. “We struggled both times when we had big innings. The very next half they did as well.”
Next up, Springfield travels to Florida to play a slew of games next week for Spring Break. They start Sunday March 11th and return Saturday March 17th.