Springfield, Mass. - April 27, 2014 - The Springfield College baseball team split with MIT on Sunday in the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Semifinals on Berry-Allen Field.
The second-seeded Pride won game one, 3-1 before falling to the third-seeded Engineers, 3-2 in game two of the doubleheader. With the split, the two teams will meet again on Monday for game three of the semifinal series. The winner of Monday's 3:30 p.m. game will advance to the NEWMAC Championship to take on the winner of No. 1 Wheaton and No. 4 Babson.
Springfield 3, MIT 1:
The Pride took advantage of MIT errors in the seventh, scoring all three runs in the inning. Travis Lane (Canton, Conn.) earned the win, pitching a strong start for the Pride. The senior went 7.2 innings, allowing just five hits and one run, while striking out two. Peter Baranski (Hamden, Conn.) picked up his sixth save of the season, pitching 1.1 innings of hitless relief.
Lane retired the side in order in the first inning and picked up two quick outs in the second, before K.J. Parent (Knoxville, Tenn.) knocked one out of the park over the left field fence to give the Engineers an early 1-0 lead after two. Lane picked up his first strikeout of the game to end the inning.
Springfield had a chance in the first inning, as Steve Starr (Lebanon, Conn.) put the first pitch he saw into left field. After a fly ball to left field, Starr stole second, but the Engineers picked up the second out of the inning on another fly ball to the outfield. Sean Smith (Broken Arrow, Okla.) reached on an error by the third baseman, but Starr was thrown out at the plate to end the inning. In the second, the Pride picked up two quick infield hits and with one out in the inning, Corey Wilcox (Montville, Conn.) perfectly executed a sacrifice bunt down the third base line to move the runners to second and third. MIT got out of the jam though, as Nick Locascio (Naples, Fla.) picked up a strikeout to end the inning with a 1-0 lead.
Lane didn't allow another hit until the fifth inning, when Parent beat out a bunt single down the third base line. Lane collected two-straight outs before walking Jon Rea (Palo Alto, Calif.) to put runners on first and second. In the next at bat, Lane got John Drago (Peoria, Ariz.) to fly out to left to end the inning.
The Pride's defense was solid in the sixth as Frank Calabrese (East Longmeadow, Mass.) made a diving play at third base and threw the runner out at first for the first out of the inning. Brent Poulin (Atascadero, Calif.) took an easy grounder to first by himself for the second out. After a single by Hayden Cornwell (Newport Beach, Calif.) to right center, the Pride ended the inning on a fly ball to center field.
MIT threatened in the seventh, but Lane got out of the jam, leaving three runners on base. After a strikeout to start the inning, a walk and a single put runners on first and second. The Pride picked up the second out on a fielders choice, but the Engineers loaded the bases up on a single to shortstop. Lane got Parker Tew (Chapel Hill, N.C.) to pop out to shortstop to end the inning, unscathed.
The Springfield bats finally got on the board in the bottom of the seventh, taking a 3-1 lead. The Pride got two base runners on back-to-back errors and loaded the bases after Starr reached on a bunt single. Shane O'Leary (Kings Park, N.Y.) drove in the tying run, grounding out to third base to score Wilcox. Smith drove in the go-ahead run on a single to right field and the Pride took a two-run advantage after CJ Monroe (Wolcott, Conn.) hit a line drive up the middle that went off the pitcher, but allowed Starr to score for a 3-1 lead.
Baranski's 1.1 innings of hitless relief secured the win for the Pride. Starr and Smith each tallied a pair of hits to lead Springfield offensively. MIT was led by Parent, who went 2-for-4 with one run scored and one driven in.
MIT 3, Springfield 2:
Max Ockner (Chesterfield, Mo.) was solid on the mound for the Engineers, fanning 13 over nine innings of work to earn the win (1-3). Ockner allowed just four hits and one earned run, throwing the complete game. Oliver Collette (Spencer, Mass.) pitched well for Springfield, despite taking the loss (1-5). Collette went seven innings, allowing four hits and three runs, one earned. Dan Green (Oakland, N.J.) pitched two innings of relief, giving up just one hit.
With one out in the first inning, the Engineers had runners on second and third, after Tew reached on an error and Mangrum doubled to left center. MIT got on the board when Collette was called for a balk, allowing Tew to score for a 1-0 lead.
Springfield tied it up, 1-1 in the bottom of the fourth. Billy Peterson (Wareham, Mass.) and Calabrese put together back-to-back infield singles and Smith moved them both on a sacrifice bunt. Monroe took a walk to load the bases and Dan Bergami (Schenectady, N.Y.) delivered the game-tying run on an RBI single to right field, scoring Peterson. MIT got out of the jam with a strikeout and a ground ball to shortstop.
MIT picked up a run in each of the fifth and sixth innings to take a two-run advantage. With two outs in the fifth, Drago reached on an error, stole second and was hit home by Tew on a ball to deep left center. In the sixth, Cornwell and Nate Rodman (Corvallis, Ore.) had back-to-back singles to start the inning. Cornwell stole third base and Parent delivered a sacrifice fly to left, scoring Cornwell for a 3-1 lead.
Springfield got one back in the sixth, as Monroe doubled to right center with one out in the inning. O'Leary hit a ball out to left field that was dropped, allowing Monroe to score for a 3-2 game.
Ockner was just as good at the end of the game as he was in the beginning, striking out six batters in the final three innings to secure the win.
MIT was led by Cornwell, who tallied a pair of hits and one run scored. Tew and Parent each picked up an RBI. For the Pride, Bergami and O'Leary each drove in a run.
The Engineers and the Pride will meet on Monday at 3:30 p.m. for game three of the series to decide which team advances to the NEWMAC Championship.