Springfield, Mass. - April 8, 2009 - Despite a great outing from starter Steve Forbes, top-ranked Eastern Connecticut State scored six runs in the eighth inning to blow open a one-run game en route to a 10-2 win in non-conference action at Berry Allen Field on a cold and windy Wednesday afternoon.
With the loss, Springfield falls to 5-16 on the year, while the Warriors improve to 19-3.
Today was the fifth time this season that the Pride has played a team ranked in D3baseball.com/NCBWA Top 25 Poll. Springfield has also played Southern Maine, Wheaton, Johns Hopkins, and defending national-champion Trinity this season.
ECSU wasted no time notching its first run of the game after manufacturing a run in the top of the first. After John Parke got on base after a Springfield fielding error, he stole second to get into scoring position. Shawn Gilblair then laced an RBI single into centerfield to plate Parke and give the Warriors a 1-0 lead.
Springfield responded in the bottom of the frame with a run of its own to even the score. Joey Kropa led off with an inning with a single to right and the Pride put a pair of runners on after Jamie Mackie was hit by a pitch. SC’s designated hitter Travis Turgeon came through as he cracked an RBI single into right field to tie the game as Kropa came around from second to score.
The Warriors regained the third in the third, using a sacrifice fly from Parke to score a run in the frame. Andrew Magliola scored from third after originally leading off the inning with a deep double to right center field.
Springfield answered right back in the third as Kropa walked to start the stanza and John Schmaltz blooped a double down the left field line. Kropa then tied the game as two after crossing the plate as a passed ball found the backstop. Despite having runners on the corners with one out, Springfield’s threat ended as Luke Gabordi grounded into an inning-ending double play.
Gilblair led off the sixth after crushing a double to shot to right center and moved over to third after Tristan Hobbes singled to centerfield. ECSU then grabbed the lead for good again after a Will Musson groundout to shortstop allowed Gilblair to score.
Back-to-back singles from Turgeon and Gabordi put a pair of runners on for SC to start the sixth frame and chase ECSU starter Andrew Morrison. However, after Ryan Tatreau walked to load the bases, Danny Schmiemann got out of the inning to preserve the Warriors one-run lead.
The Warriors added an insurance run in the 8th, when Gilblair led off the inning crushing the second pitch he saw from reliever Adam DeFelice over the right field scoreboard. With the bases loaded, Jim Schult came up and busted the game open with a bases clearing double hitting the top of the left field fence.
Turgeon finished 2-2 with an RBI, while Kropa went 1-3 with two runs scored. Forbes gave the Pride one of its best outings from a starter all year as he went seven inning, allowing three runs, two earned, off seven hits while striking out five.
Gilblair went 3-5 for the visitors with two RBI and two runs scored as the Warriors pounded out 14 hits in the game. Andrew Morrison picked up the win as he went five innings, giving up two runs, one earned, while striking out four. Schmiemann tossed four scoreless and hitless innings to preserve the victory for ECSU.
Springfield, which is scheduled to play seven games in the next days, will travel for a conference game at Babson at 3:30 pm.