Keene, N.H. - March 21, 2012 - The Springfield College baseball team plated four runs in the top of the ninth but was unable to complete its rally as dropped a 7-6 decision at Keene State on Wednesday afternoon. The game marked Springfield's first game after playing the opening eight games in Phoenix, Ariz.
Keene State improved to 9-5 on the year, while Springfield lost for just the third time to drop to 6-3.
Playing in the mid-70's on a beautiful sunny day, the Owls built a 7-2 lead going into the top of the ninth inning. That's when the Pride made things interesting, scoring four runs on five hits and taking advantage of two KSC errors.
KSC took a 2-0 lead in the first inning. Kyle Morrill hit a solo shot over the fence in left center field before Erik Bergstrom followed with a single and came home on a RBI double down the right field line by Larry Longo.
The Owls added two more runs in the third inning on a ground out by Peter Burgio and a run-producing single by Longo, who was 3-4 in the game.
After Keene State added a run to go up 5-0 in the seventh, the Pride came back with two runs in the top of the eighth on a two-run home run by sophomore Frank Calabrese, who had three hits in the game.
The Owls got the two runs back in the bottom of the inning on a key RBI double by Matt Boulay and sacrifice fly by Morrill.
With one out in the ninth, Springfield used three straight singles from Shane O'Leary, Jared Hopkins, and Tom Burke to start the rally. Steve Starr would later blast a double to make it a one-run game, only to have Tim Quagliaroli got the final two outs in the ninth to pick-up his second save of the season and preserve the win for Keene State.
Eric Chase took the loss (1-1) for Springfield as the Pride had six different pitchers toe the rubber on the day. Both Starr and Mike McGowan added two hits in the loss.
Springfield will now gear up for its New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) opener on Friday when it travels to take on WPI.