Worcester, Mass. - April 14, 2018 - The Springfield College baseball team forced a split in a New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) West Division doubleheader, hosted at Clark University's Granger Field on Saturday afternoon. The Cougars used a walk-off hit to defeat the Pride, 2-1, in the first game, before Springfield College came back and knocked off the hosts, 3-1, in game two.
With the split, the Pride is now 17-9-2 overall with a 6-5 record against league opponents, while Clark is now 17-8 overall with a 9-3 record in the NEWMAC.
Springfield College will now return to Archie Allen Field on Monday, April 16 as the Pride will take on Elms College in non-conference action at 3:30 p.m.
Clark 2, Springfield College 1 -- Game One
After Mark Joao (Wappingers Falls, N.Y.) evened the score at one with an RBI double in the top of the eighth inning, Kyle Bonicki (Waterbury, Conn.) came up with a single to left, plating Chris Radovic (Fairfield, Conn.) to lift the Cougars to a 2-1 victory in the first of two games on Saturday.
Junior Brian Johnson (East Haddam, Conn.) took his second loss of the season as he went 8.0 innings, giving up eight hits and one run while striking out eight. Offensively, Jake Gleason (South Dennis, Mass.) and Noah Bleakley (Granby, Mass.) had two hits apiece, while Joao had the Pride's lone RBI.
The two sides were scoreless through four and a half innings, as Clark struck first in the bottom of the fifth when Ryan Ruhlin (Portland, Maine) singled to right field, scoring Radovic to make it 1-0 Cougars. In the top of the eighth, Jack Cooney (Pittsfield, Mass.) singled to center, before coming all the way around on a double to left field from Joao, making it 1-1.
Clark initiated a rally in the bottom of the ninth when Radovic singled to center, before moving to second when Ruhlin was hit by a pitch, guaranteeing him first base. Two batters later, Bonicki singled to left, plating Radovic to lift the Cougars to victory.
Springfield College 3, Clark 1 - Game Two
Sophomore pitcher Shawn Babineau (Ashland, Mass.) had an effective outing for the Pride in game two as he pitched a complete game, giving up just seven hits while striking out 10 batters for the third time this season. Offensively, went 2-for-5 with an RBI, while Joao also went 2-for-4 with a run driven in. Brandon Russo (Lisbon, Conn.) also stole two bases in the victory.
Springfield College opened a 3-0 lead in the top of the second as Chad Shade (Pittsfield, Mass.) singled to short, plating Cam Rivest (Agawam, Mass.), before Cooney reached on a fielder's choice, allowing Logan Barrett (Petersham, Mass.) to score, making it 2-0, Pride. Next up, Joao singled to left to score Russo, resulting in a three-run inning for the maroon and white.
From there, Babineau locked in, as the lefty struck out two batters in the fifth and sixth innings, before getting to the ninth inning without a Clark base runner advancing past second base. Derek Lefebvre (Groton, Mass.) led off the bottom of the ninth with a home run to make it 3-1, but Babineau was able to force the last two outs to seal the win.