Springfield, Mass. - April 20, 2017 - Despite a late rally and showing its resiliency throughout the contest, the Springfield College baseball team fell to Wheaton, 8-7, in New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) play on Thursday afternoon at Berry-Allen Field.
In what proved to be a competitive season series between Springfield College and Wheaton, the Lyons were able to take both via walk-off hits, as they improved to 21-8 on the year with a league record of 11-3. With the loss, Springfield College falls to 13-11 overall, with a 6-6 record against conference opponents. Coming into Thursday's contest, Wheaton was receiving votes in the latest American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) National Rankings.
With the bases loaded and one out in the bottom of the ninth inning, Wheaton's Josh LaJoie (Somers, Conn.) roped the game-winning RBI into the right-center field gap, scoring Tyler Walsh (Cumberland, R.I.) to lift the Lyons over Springfield College.
For Springfield College, Joe Gamache (Lebanon, Conn.) got the nod and pitched 5.2 innings, giving up just six hits while striking out one. Sophomore lefty Fletcher Comment (Westbrook, Conn.) came on in relief, and pitched 2.2 frames while striking out a pair.
Wheaton freshman Trevor Marques (Lincoln, R.I.) started for the Lyons and pitched 5.0 innings, giving up just three hits while striking out eight, before Joe Bongiovanni (Johnston, R.I.) came on to pitch 2.2 innings of four-hit ball. Zach Pipa (Rumford, R.I.) and Paul McGeehan (Winchester, Mass.) combined to pitch the final 1.1 innings, as McGeehan came away with the win.
The Pride received great offensive efforts from Mike Jamieson (New Fairfield, Conn.), who went 2-for-4 with a pair of runs scored, while Kyle Allen (Westerly, R.I.) and Colin King (Berlin, Conn.) both hit home runs. Chad Shade (Pittsfield, Mass.) and Allen both led Springfield College with two RBI.
Wheaton got on the board first in the bottom of the second inning when Joey Santigate (Staten Island, N.Y.) drove a ball deep to center, which was caught by Shade, but Zach Goodwin-Boyd (Florence, Mass.) tagged at third and crossed home to give the Lyons an early 1-0 lead.
Wheaton doubled its lead in the bottom of the fourth when Santigate took one deep to left, but the Pride responded with a pair of its own in the top of the fifth when Jamieson and Peter Marsicano (Allentown, N.J.) reached base, before Shade roped a two-run double to right center to even the game at two apiece.
The Lyons regained the lead in the bottom of the sixth, when Walsh hit a solo home run to left, giving Wheaton a 3-2 lead over the Pride. In the bottom of the sixth, Ty Calabro (Cumberland, R.I.) poked a pinch-hit single to right, scoring Chris Ruocco (Lexington, Mass.) to push the Lyons' lead back to a pair.
The Pride responded with two runs of its own in the top of the seventh when Brandon Russo (Lisbon, Conn.) laced one to left field, which was caught, but Jamieson tagged at third and came home to cut Springfield College's deficit to one. Later in the inning, Allen scored on a wild pitch to even the game's score at four apiece.
The Pride kept its momentum going in the top of the eighth inning when Logan Barrett (Petersham, Mass.) reached on a single up the middle, setting up a two-run shot off the bat of Allen to make it 6-4, Springfield College.
Wheaton rallied once again for three runs in the bottom of the eighth, benefitting from a string of defensive mishaps from the Pride to take a 7-6 lead heading into the ninth. With one out, King pulled one over the left-field fence to knot the game back up at seven apiece, before LaJoie's late-game heroics led the Lyons to victory.
Next up, Springfield College will travel to the Northborough Baseball Complex and will take on WPI on Friday, April 21 at 3:30 p.m.