SPRINGFIELD —The Springfield College baseball team fought hard in a ten-inning, 9-7 loss on Friday evening to the Coast Guard Academy Bears. As the game went on, what started as light snowfall soon turned into hail and freezing rain, making for less than ideal baseball conditions.
The Pride took an early lead in the first inning, when Noah Bleakley tripled with the bases loaded, scoring Mark Joao, Jack Cooney and Brandon Russo. After the fourth inning, fans of the Pride got some mid-game entertainment when, as part of D3 Week, Springfield College president Mary-Beth Cooper had a pie thrown in her face by freshman infielder Max Pape. The Pride held a 5-0 lead going into the top of the fifth, before trouble struck.
With one out and men on second and third, starting pitcher Brian Johnson threw a wild pitch, advancing both runners and giving the Bears their first run. Later, with two outs in the same inning, the Bears struck for six more runs, giving them a 7-5 lead.
Johnson pitched five innings, giving up seven hits and seven runs, with one run earned. He threw 105 total pitches, with 60 strikes, and did not factor in the decision.
Zach Kerr replaced Johnson on the mound and pitched four innings, giving up no runs and only two hits. In the eighth, Bleakley reached on a fielder’s choice, driving in Russo to tie the game at 7-7.
After nine innings, with snow falling, the tie had not been broken. In the top of the tenth inning, new pitcher Jacob Shpur walked two batters, and was replaced with Cole Donovan. Tom Ankers reached on a fielder’s choice and Will Stephens tripled, driving in two runs and giving the Bears the eventual victory. In the bottom of the tenth, with Stephens moving from shortstop to the pitcher’s mound, Russo and Bleakley again reached base, bringing the potential winning run to the plate. Matt Fraioli pinch hit for Conor Santoianni, and struck out swinging to end the game, with hail raining down on the field.
The Pride fall to 11-10 on the season, and duel the Bears again tomorrow in a doubleheader on the road.
Photo courtesy Jack Margaros