Springfield, Mass. - April 20, 2018 - Behind the pitching of three seniors in Kyle Naples (Kensington, Conn.), Ken Manero (Hudson, Mass.) and Jack Weinberger (Sunapee, N.H.), the Springfield College baseball team won the first of three games against WPI on Friday afternoon at Archie Allen Field, as the two sides began a three-game New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) West Division series.
With the win, the Pride improve to 19-11-2 overall with an 8-6 record in NEWMAC play, while WPI falls to 11-20 on the year with a 3-12 mark against league foes.
Naples got the nod on senior day, and pitched 6.0 innings, giving up five hits and four earned runs while striking out six. Manero would then come on for 2.0 innings, holding the Engineers to just two hits en route to his first win of the season, before Weinberger picked up his first save of the year, fanning all three WPI batters in the top of the ninth.
WPI starter Doug Rives (Bethany, Conn.) went for 5.0 frames and gave up 11 hits with five earned runs, while Matt Woods (Wilmington, Mass.) took the loss, pitching 1.0 innings. Dominic Fusco (North Haven, Conn.) came on for the final 2.0 frames and held the Pride hitless while picking up three strikeouts.
Offensively, the Pride was led by freshman Noah Bleakley (Granby, Mass.), who was 2-for-3 with an RBI and three runs scored, while Kyle Allen (Westerly, R.I.) was 2-for-2 with one RBI and one run scored on senior day. Cam Rivest (Agawam, Mass.) and Brandon Russo (Lisbon, Conn.) also had two hits apiece in the win.
WPI picked up two runs in the top of the first, but those runs were quickly erased as Springfield College scored three in the bottom of the second, including RBI from Russo, Chad Shade (Pittsfield, Mass.) and Nick Leduc (Belchertown, Mass.). Leduc took a single to right to score Allen to give the Pride the go-ahead run.
WPI would take a 4-3 lead in the top of the third on RBI from Josh Herlands (Glastonbury, Conn.) and Benjamin Chaffee (Franklin, Mass.), but once again, the Pride wrestled back the lead on an RBI double from Bleakley, scoring Logan Barrett (Petersham, Mass.) from third base, before Allen drove in Bleakley with a sacrifice fly to center field.
A David Larson (Port Tobacco, Md.) triple to right center would score Chaffee in the top of the sixth to make it 5-5, but Springfield College answered in the bottom half of the frame when Mark Joao (Wappingers Falls, N.Y.) reached on an error, allowing Russo to score to make it 6-5, Pride. WPI tied it up once again in the top of the seventh when Tyrone Patterson (Upper Marlboro, Mass.) drove in Steven Gallagher (Coventry, R.I.) with a sacrifice fly to left, sending it into the bottom of the seventh tied 6-6.
With the bases loaded, Peter Marsicano (Allentown, N.J.) was hit by a pitch, scoring Bleakley from third to give the hosts a 7-6 lead, which the Pride were able to maintain through the final innings, sealed by three outs from Weinberger.
Springfield College will now head to the New England Baseball Complex in Northborough, Mass. to complete the series, as the two sides will play a doubleheader beginning on Saturday, April 21 at 12 p.m.