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Baseball Falls, 7-4, In NEWMAC Semifinals

BABSON PARK, Mass. -- Two days after stunning second-seeded Babson College in the quarterfinals, seventh-seeded Clark University continued their improbable postseason run with a 7-4 upset of third-seeded Springfield College in the semifinals of the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Baseball Tournament.

Clark (17-16) will now take on top-seeded Wheaton College in the winner's bracket of the double-elimination portion of the tourney at Wheaton, while Springfield (17-14) will face fifth-seeded Coast Guard in an elimination game at Babson. Both of those contests have been moved to Sunday morning at 11 a.m. due to rain.

Springfield appeared to have the momentum early on, putting runners in scoring position in three of the first five innings. However, Clark senior starter Eamonn McDonough was able to escape unscathed thanks to some timely plays by the Clark defense, which cut down a pair of runners at the plate. Junior Scott Archibald threw out Springfield junior Scott Samolewicz (Florence, Mass.) on a fielder's choice grounder to third for the second out of the third inning, and Nicholas Tapper gunned down junior Chris McCarthy (Longmeadow, Mass.) when he tried to score all the way from second on an infield single for the final out of the fifth inning.

Meanwhile, SC junior starter Jon Davis (Ludlow, Mass.) cruised through the first five innings, allowing just one baserunner on a walk while taking a no-hitter into the sixth. However, the sixth inning would turn out to be disastrous for the Pride, as Clark scored all seven of its runs on six hits and three Springfield errors. Clark's Kyle Breidenstine, Todd Mathewson and Tapper recorded three straight RBI-singles to give the Cougars a 3-0 edge, and, after the Pride's third error of the inning, Jeffrey Gagnon hit a two-run single that gave Clark a 5-0 cushion. Joseph Silva then capped the inning with a two-run triple to left center, chasing Davis from the game.

Springfield got two runs back in the bottom of the sixth, as Clark committed back-to-back errors to start the inning. Junior Matt Basteri (Melrose, Mass.) then drove in the Pride's first run with a single to center, and senior Mike Judge (Chathan, N.J.) plated the second with an RBI-groundout to third.

The score remained 7-2 until the bottom of the ninth, when Springfield loaded the bases with one out. Clark's Miles Whitlock then came on in relief of McDonough and issued a run-scoring walk to senior Mike Burns (Wyanstkill, N.Y.), and junior Steve Hunt (West Hartford, Conn.) came home moments later on a fielder's choice to third by senior Anthony Gorneault (Springfield, Mass.). However, Whitlock would get junior Derek Yvon (East Longmeadow, Mass.) to line out to center, clinching the 7-4 victory.

McDonough (3-4) allowed just two earned runs on eight hits in 8 1/3 innings, while Whitlock recorded the final two outs to earn his first save. Davis (4-4) allowed a total of seven runs - only two of which were earned - on six hits in 5 1/3 innings, while junior Carl Longo (Manchester, N.H.) pitched 3 2/3 innings of scoreless relief.
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Head Coach Mark Simeone Former Springfield College standout Mark Simeone will enter his 18th season as the head baseball coach at his alma mater in 2014. The 2012 NEWMAC Coach of the Year, Simeone will lead a veteran squad this spring. Read more.

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