Northborough, Mass. - April 21, 2017 - Led by a career-best nine strikeouts from sophomore pitcher Brian Johnson (East Haddam, Conn.) and a pair of home runs from standout freshman Chad Shade (Pittsfield, Mass.), the Springfield College baseball team defeated WPI, 14-6, in a New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) West Division series opener at the New England Sports Complex.
With the win, the Pride is now 14-11 overall and 7-6 in league play, while the Engineers fall to 23-9 on the year with an 8-7 record against conference opponents.
Following another 5.2 strong innings from the young-lefty Johnson who registered his second win of the year, Ken Manero (Hudson, Mass.) came on for 3.1 frames, as the junior picked up a pair of strikeouts to earn his third save of the year.
Shade finished the day going 2-for-3 at the plate with four RBI, while junior Mark Joao (Wappingers Falls, N.Y) was 3-for-6 with four RBI and a run scored. Colin King (Berlin, Conn.) also enjoyed his day at the plate, going 3-for-5 with two RBI and two runs scored.
Springfield College got to work early in the top of the first inning when the Pride tacked on two runs, benefitting from RBI singles off the bats of Shade and King. Springfield College tacked on three more in the second, as King drove in his second of the game before Joao doubled to center, scoring King and Peter Marsicano (Allentown, N.J.).
After two runs from WPI in the bottom of the third, Shade and Joao both cleared the fence with no runners on to push the Pride's lead back to five in the top of the fourth. WPI would cut its lead to four in the bottom of the frame, but Springfield College notched two more runs in the top of the sixth on an RBI single from Joao and a sacrifice fly from Logan Barrett (Petersham, Mass.) to score Shade, making it 9-3, Pride.
WPI chipped one run of Springfield College's lead in the bottom of the seventh, but the Pride answered with another run, an RBI single from Marsicano to make it 12-4. The Engineers would score two in the bottom of the eighth, before Brandon Drabinski (Lisbon, Conn.) scored Shade on a sacrifice fly to finish off WPI.
Up next, Springfield College will return to Berry-Allen Field on Saturday, April 22 where it will play a two-game set with WPI at 12 p.m. and 3:00 p.m.