Springfield, Mass. - March 30, 2017 - Behind six runs in the bottom of the eighth inning, the Springfield College baseball team erased a five-run deficit and picked up an 8-7 win over Dean College at Berry-Allen Field on Thursday afternoon.
Thursday's contest marked the last home opener on the current Berry-Allen Field, as the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation has partnered with Springfield College to design and build a one-of-a-kind intercollegiate and adaptive baseball park, set to be complete by September 1, 2017.
With the win, Springfield College is now 6-4 overall, while the Bulldogs fall to 3-10 on the year.
The Pride used six pitchers to pick up the victory, as Zach Kerr (Niskayuna, N.Y.) earned his first-collegiate win, gooing for 2.0 innings and striking out one. Nick Naples (Berlin, Conn.) also picked up his first-career save as the freshman picked up the final three outs in the top of the ninth inning.
Sophomore Brandon Russo (Lisbon, Conn.) continued his strong play at the plate, as he went 3-for-5 and picked up the game-winning RBI, a single to right that scored Colin King (Berlin, Conn.) from third to complete the comeback. King, along with Marcelino Diaz (Hartford, Conn.) each picked up a pair of RBI in the win.
Dean did a majority of its scoring in the top of the first inning, as the Bulldogs scored six to take a 6-0 lead over the Pride. In the bottom of the second, the Pride got two runs back when Diaz drilled a ball to center, which was caught, but JP Peters (Guilford, Conn.) was able to tag up and score to make it 6-1, Dean. Later in the inning, King singled to left, scoring Alex Denoyelle (Woonsocket, R.I.) to cut Springfield College's deficit to four.
After Dean got a seventh run in the top of the third, the Pride's bats were quiet until the bottom of the eighth, as a triple from Matt Fraioli (Stamford, Conn.) scored Mike Jamieson (New Fairfield, Conn.), sparking the comeback. From there, Diaz singled to center, plating Fraioli, before Shade reached on an error, allowing Diaz and Denoyelle to score to make it a one-run game. Next up, King doubled to left center, scoring Shade, before Russo came through in the clutch with a single to right to score King from third.
Naples took the mound in the top of the ninth and forced a strike out, followed by Denoyelle firing a ball to second to catch pinch-runner Kyle Wynn (Dedham, Mass.) to finish off the game.
Next up, Springfield College will hit the road on Saturday, April 1 when it takes on Wheaton College at 12 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.