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Baseball Upends WPI in Home NEWMAC Contest, 9-6

SPRINGFIELD, Mass., April 20, 2006 - Jeff Hewes and Adam Tarquini had three hits apiece in leading the Springfield College baseball team to a 9-6 victory over the Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) in a New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) contest this afternoon at Berry-Allen Field.

With the win, Springfield is now 13-15 overall and 6-4 in the NEWMAC. WPI is 11-17 overall and 3-7 within the conference. With the victory, SC has clinched a first-round home game in the NEWMAC post-season tourney, which begins Thursday (April 27). Springfield will be the #2, #3, or #4 seed in the tourney, depending what happens this weekend.

Today’s game was a see-saw affair. SC jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second when Hewes, a junior catcher from Groton, Conn., hit a sacrifice fly to straightaway center, scoring sophomore first baseman Ryan Hingston (Windsor, Vt.). Hingston had walked and was doubled to third by Tarquini, a senior DH from Fishkill, N.Y.

WPI immediately tallied twice in the top of the third. Freshman infielder Scott McNee (Falmouth, Mass.), who went 3-for-5 with 2 RBI’s, singled in one run. He scored moments later on a double to left by senior outfielder Ryan Rand (Gray, Maine).

Springfield countered with three runs in the fourth to take a 4-2 lead. With two outs and a man on first, Tarquini doubled to knock in one run. Hewes then tripled to score the second run of the inning. Junior leftfielder Chris Stack (Loudonville, N.Y.) then singled through the left side to score the third.

WPI then tied it with two runs in the top of the fifth. Again, McNee singled home the first run with a hard ground ball through the left side. Sophomore DH Ryan Rainone (Oakville, Conn.) doubled in another to tie it at four-all.

In the bottom of the sixth, SC retook the advantage, 6-4. Hingston doubled to right center. Hewes singled, knocking in a run, and went third on a two-base error by the rightfielder. Hewes scored on a wild pitch a few moments later.

But WPI refused to die, tying it up once again with two runs in the top of the eighth. The first run scored on a wild pitch, the second on an infield hit by junior catcher Matt Fiore (Wakefield, Mass.). Fiore went 3-for-5 on the day, scoring two runs, and knocking in one more.

SC then came right back with three more in the bottom of the eighth. The go-ahead run came across when the WPI second baseman was charged with an error on a hard-hit ball right at him with the bases loaded and the infield in. Senior shortstop Chris McCarthy (East Longmeadow, Mass.) immediately followed with a single to knock in two more.

Senior closer Jon Davis (Ludlow, Mass.) was credited with the victory (he is now 1-0), although he was also credited with a blown save, allowing the tying run to score in the eighth. Davis, however, came back with a 1-2-3 ninth inning. Junior righthander Derek Hodder (Naugatuck, Conn.) pitched seven-plus innings, giving up five runs (all earned) and 10 hits, striking out eight while walking none.

For WPI, sophomore Ryan Smalanskas (Shrewsbury, Mass.) took the loss (0-4). In seven and one-thirds innings, he gave up 12 hits and all nine runs (seven earned), while striking out seven and walking one. Senior Craig Shevlin (South Hadley, Mass.) recorded the last two outs, giving up a hit and striking out one.

Springfield will next travel to MIT Saturday for a doubleheader at 12 noon. At this moment, SC and MIT are tied for second in the conference with 6-4 marks. WPI will play at Salve Regina in Newport, R.I., tomorrow (Friday, April 21) at 3:30 p.m., before hosting Coast Guard Saturday (Apr. 22) in a doubleheader at 12 noon.

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