Springfield Stuns Baseball in NEWMAC West Weekend Series Opener

Evan Lacroix

Northboro, MA --- Freshman Chad Shade (Pittsfield, MA) belted two home runs and walked twice to account for four RBI and five runs scored in a 14-6 Springfield victory over host WPI Friday afternoon at the New England Baseball Complex.

The Pride up their record to 14-11 overall and 6-6 in NEWMAC action while the Engineers dip to 23-9 and 11-4.

Springfield dented the scoreboard twice in the first and three times in the second for the early 5-0 lead. Shade began the game with a walk. He reached third on a failed pickoff and a wild pitch before advancing home on a single up the middle by senior Colin King (Berlin, CT). Later in the frame, King scored on a hit to center by junior Logan Barrett (Petersham, MA). With two outs in the second, King added another RBI with an infield knock. Junior Mark Joao (Wappingers Falls, NY) followed with a 2-RBI double to center.

The Crimson and Gray got on the scoreboard in the third with an RBI walk by senior Nick Comei (Haverhill, MA) and a productive ground out by sophomore Steven Gallagher (Coventry, RI). The Pride took the runs back with solo shots by Shade and Joao in the top of the fourth. WPI scratched together an unearned run to make it a 7-3 ballgame after four.

After a scoreless fifth, the guests offense picked back up with two in the top of the sixth as Joao drove in one with a single and Barrett sent a sacrifice fly to left. Shade added three more in the seventh with a towering blast that wrapped around the pole in left. Freshman David Larson (Port Tobacco, MD) plated Gallagher with a double down the left field line in the bottom of the inning.

Springfield scored one behind an RBI single by junior Peter Marsicano (Allentown, NJ) before WPI won the eighth inning thanks to productive outs by Comei and Gallagher (sac fly). Sophomore Brandon Drabinski (Lisbon, CT) lifted a sacrifice fly to center in the ninth for the final run of the day.

King (3-for-5, 2 RBI, 2 runs) and Joao (3-for-6, 2B, HR, four RBI, run) led the Pride with three hits while Shade (2-for-3) and Marsicano (2-for-5, RBI, run) each had two. Barrett drove in a pair while sophomore Brandon Russo (Lisbon, CT) walked and scored twice. Drabinski and Barrett were credited with sacrifice flies.

Pride sophomore Brian Johnson (East Haddam, CT) did not allow an earned run on six hits and two walks while striking out nine in 5 2/3. Junior Ken Manero (Hudson, MA) fanned two in the final 3 1/3 for the Pride en route to his third save.

Sophomore Ryan Tropeano (Pembroke, MA) batted 3-for-5 with a run scored. Junior Matt Howard (Worcester, MA) went 2-for-3 with two walks and a run scored as Larson (double, RBI), sophomore Austin Lindner (W. Windsor, NJ) and senior Connor Kurtz (Lunenburg, MA) each had a 2-for-5 afternoon. Gallagher added a pair of RBI and a sacrifice fly to go with two runs scored by Kurtz.

Five Engineers spent time on the mound. Sophomore Doug Rives (Bethany, CT) was tagged with the setback while he worked two innings, as did freshman Matt Woods (Wilmington, MA) and sophomore Dominic Fusco (North Haven, CT). Sophomore Robert Chase (Grand Isle, VT), sophomore Tommy McCarthy (Jefferson, MD) and freshman Dillon Bordeleau (Cranston, RI) recorded three outs.

The three-game NEWMAC West series moves to Springfield tomorrow for a pair beginning at noon.