Northboro, MA --- Junior outfielder Josh Herlands (Glastonbury, CT) continued his torrid April, but a combined 4 for 6 days with 3 RBI, two doubles and two runs scored wasn't enough to power the WPI offense past Springfield College as the Pride swept the Engineers, 9-4 and 9-8 in a doubleheader on Saturday at the New England Baseball Complex.
Springfield improved to 21-11-2 and 10-6 in NEWMAC play, while WPI dropped to 11-22 and 3-14. The Engineers also fell to the Pride, 7-6, out in Springfield on Friday in the first game of the series.
WPI finishes out the season at home against New England College at 3:30 p.m. on Monday and against Becker at 4 p.m. on Thursday.
Springfield's Brian Johnson (East Haddam, CT) struck out 10 and scattered three hits over five innings to pick up the win in the opening game. The Pride led the entire way, going in front in the top of the third on a two-run home run by Chad Shade (Pittsfield, MA).
WPI cut it to a 2-1 deficit in the bottom half of the inning as Herlands hit a leadoff single and then later scored on a wild pitch.
They carried that same score into the fifth inning until Jake Gleason (South Dennis, MA) cranked Springfield's second homer of the game, this one a three-run shot to right field to give the visitors a 5-1 lead.
The Pride added two more runs in the next inning on as Shade hit an RBI triple with no outs and then scored on a Jack Cooney (Pittsfield, MA) ground out.
WPI got both those runs back in the bottom half of the sixth, though. Senior Matt Howard (Worcester, MA) drove in Steven Gallagher (Coventry, RI) with a ground-rule double to center field. Howard later came home on an infield single by Herlands to cut it to a 7-3 score.
Noah Bleakley (Granby, MA) completed Springfield's scoring for the game with two-run homer to right field in the top of the eighth, while the Engineers' Evan Lacroix (Methuen, MA) set the final score with an RBI ground out that drove in Ben Seeto (Clinton, MA) in the ninth inning.
WPI grabbed the lead in the third inning of nightcap when Tyrone Patterson (Upper Marlboro, MD) send a two-run double down the right field line and Ryan Tropeano (Pembroke, MA) and Chas DeWitt (Nashua, NH) to make it 2-0.
Mark Joao (Wappingers Falls, NY) scored on a sacrifice fly by Bleakley in the next half inning to cut it to 2-1, and then Springfield took the lead in the top of the fifth inning as Shade, Joao and Bleakley all provided RBI singles to give the visitors a 4-2 advantage at the time.
The Engineers rallied back with a four-run fifth inning of the own, starting with a two-out solo homer over the left field fence by Gallagher.
Patterson and Howard followed with singles, then Benjamin Chaffee (Franklin, MA) supplied a run-scoring base hit tied the game at 4-4. Herlands cracked a two-run double to center to hand WPI a 6-4 edge.
Senior Andrew Gelinas (Saco ME) tossed six innings, striking out four as he left the game with a lead before the Pride put together a decisive five-run inning in the top of the seventh. Cooney scored on a ground out by Gleason, and then Jason Bean (Middleboro, MA) tied the game at 6-6 with a two-out RBI single to left field.
Two batters later, David Wells (Shelton, CT) drove in the go-ahead run with another base hit to left, and then Shade reached on a throwing error with Alex Denoyelle (Woonsocket, RI) and Bean both coming in to score on the play to put Springfield's advantage up to 9-6.
Chaffee walked and then Herlands doubled to put two runners in scoring position to start the eighth inning for WPI. Pinch hitter Jordan DeDonato (Danvers, MA) doubled down the right field line to bring home both runners and make it a one-run game.
WPI's Kyle Wood (Hauppauge, NY) and David Larson (Port Tobacco, MD) combined to allow just one hit over a scoreless final 2-1/3 innings to keep it close, but Springfield likewise retired six of the final seven Engineers batters to shut the door on a potential late comeback.
WPI hosts New England College Monday at 3:30pm in its 2018 home finale. Springfield entertains Elms at 3:30pm Tuesday in a Western Mass match-up.