SPRINGFIELD, Mass., April 27, 2006 – Springfield College junior right-hander Derek Hodder (Hamden, Conn.) hurled eight complete innings, allowing just one run on four hits to go along with three strikeouts as the #2 Pride rallied past #7 Clark University, 2-1, in the first round of the 2006 New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Baseball Tournament this afternoon at Berry-Allen Field.
With the win, SC (16-16) advances to the double-elimination portion of the NEWMAC Tournament this weekend, held on Saturday and Sunday, April 29th and 30th, hosted by Wheaton College. The Pride will next face sixth-seeded WPI on Saturday morning in an 11:00 a.m. start at Babson College, which will be the secondary site for the weekend. WPI upset #3 Babson this afternoon, 4-3.
Clark (9-24) got on the board early in this first-round tilt, as senior third baseman Scott Archibald singled up the middle to bring home sophomore catcher Joseph Silva, giving the Cougars an early 1-0 edge. Hodder shut the door after the first, however, allowing just two more hits for the remainder of his start to stifle the Clark bats.
Clark freshman right-hander Matthew Tillo was equal to the task, shutting down SC throughout the first six innings of play, as the Cougars held on to their 1-0 edge. In the bottom of the seventh, however, with one out in the inning, sophomore first baseman Ryan Hingston (Windsor, Vt.) started the Pride rally with a single to left center. Junior left fielder Chris Stack (Loudonville, N.Y.) then singled through the right side of the infield on a perfect hit-and-run play to put runners on the corners with still only one down.
After a wild pitch in which Stack advanced to second, senior second baseman Steve Hunt (West Hartford, Conn.) hit an RBI single to center field with the infield in, giving SC the 2-1 lead.
Hodder then came back out for the top half of the eighth inning with the lead and was able to protect it. Clark junior right fielder Robert Muollo, Jr. (Quincy, Mass.) hit a double down the left field line with just one out, but Hodder then induced two-straight groundouts to get out of the frame unscathed.
In the top half of the ninth, senior right-hander Jon Davis (Ludlow, Mass.) pitched a perfect one-two-three inning to record his fifth save of the season as the Pride advances to double-elimination play this weekend in the NEWMAC Tourney.
Hodder, who pitched an outstanding eight complete innings for SC, improves his record to 4-3 on the season. Cougar freshman Matthew Tillo was the hard-luck loser in this one, pitching seven solid inning as he falls to 2-3 overall on the year for Clark.