Springfield, Mass. - May 30, 2018 - Following a historic 2018 season, the Springfield College baseball team had four student-athletes sign to play on summer collegiate teams, including Shawn Babineau (Ashland, Mass.), Brian Johnson (East Haddam, Conn.), Chad Shade (Pittsfield, Mass.) and Cole Donovan (Holderness, N.H.).
Babineau will spend his second-consecutive summer with the Martha's Vineyard Sharks, while Johnson and Shade will also play in the Futures Collegiate Baseball League (FCBL) as members of the Pittsfield Suns. Representing the Pride in the New England Collegiate Baseball League (NECBL) will be Donovan, who recently signed with the Winnepesaukee Muskrats.
Babineau was impressive throughout the 2018 campaign, as the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Baseball Pitcher of the Year produced an overall record of 5-2 with an earned-run average of 1.59, while also totaling 55 strikeouts, including three separate complete-game, 10-strikeout performances. Against conference opponents, Babineau was 4-0 with an ERA of 1.18, as he produced 34 of his 55 strikeouts against league foes. For his efforts, Babineau also earned American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) Division III All-Region acccolades.
Shade, a Physical Education major at Springfield College, was an instrumental part of the Pride's success during the 2018 season, as he produced a batting average of .331 in the lead-off spot and broke the Springfield College baseball program record for runs scored, as he finished with 49 on the year. Shade's mark of 49 bested the previous record of 41, which was set by Tony Vitiello during the 1994 season. A force on the base paths, Shade stole 32 bases during the season, while also driving in 23 runs on 53 hits, including eight doubles, three triples and four home runs. Along with Babineau, Shade also earned ABCA All-Region honors.
Johnson, also a Physical Education major at Springfield College, was the Pride's primary starter this season, as he finished with an overall record of 3-2 with an earned-run average of 2.18. Johnson produced 53 strikeouts in 53.2 innings pitched, as he only allowed 13 earned runs all season. Against conference teams, Johnson was 3-0 with an ERA of 1.74. Johnson garnered NEWMAC Second-Team All-Conference honors following the 2018 season.
Donovan, a sophomore Physical Therapy major at Springfield College, made 12 appearances in relief for the Pride, as the closer picked up three saves and finished with an overall record of 2-2. Pitching a total of 23.2 innings during the 2018 season, Donovan recorded 13 strikeouts and produced an earned-run average of 1.90 as he only allowed five earned runs and held opponents to a batting average of .241.
Under head coach Mark Simeone's watch, the Springfield College baseball program has had multiple student-athletes granted the opportunity to play baseball in the summer against some of the nation's top competition, including five student-athletes in the last two seasons. Last summer, Babineau, Johnson and Jack Weinberger (Sunapee, N.H.) all signed to play in summer collegiate baseball leagues.
Prior to last year, Oliver Collette '15 pitched with the Pittsfield Suns of the FCBL, while Jimmy Lisowski '09 played for the Holyoke Blue Sox, Matt Rodovick '06 for the North Adams Steeplecats, Jon Davis '06 for the Holyoke Giants, Aaron Linder '03 for the Danbury Westerners and Kevin Cahill '01 for the Eastern Tides.