Springfield, Mass. - April 19, 2009 - Despite a 4-for-4 performance at the plate by Travis Turgeon, the Springfield College baseball team dropped its New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) regular-season finale to Clark, 8-5, at Berry-Allen Field on Sunday afternoon.
The loss drops the Pride to 9-21 on the year, and a final record of 5-7 in league play, while the Cougars improve to 13-19, 4-8 in conference action.
With the loss, Springfield will enter the NEWMAC Tournament as the fifth-seed. SC will travel to take on second-seeded Wheaton on Wednesday at 3:30 pm.
Clark jumped out to an early 3-0 lead in the top of the first inning. Scott Hollingsworth led off the game with a line drive single, and after a Stephen DeMartino walk, Mitchell DeLorenzo had a base hit to right, allowing Hollingsworth to score. Matthew Tillo followed with a two-RBI single, scoring both DeMartino and DeLorenzo.
The Pride answered back with two of their own in the bottom half of the first. Joe Kropa led off by reaching on a wild pitch after striking out swinging. Jamie Mackie later doubled down the left field line, setting up Springfield with runners on second and third with only one out. Luke Gabordi plated Kropa after grounding out to the pitcher, and Turgeon followed with a single scoring Mackie from third.
Clark went on to score a run in both the second and third innings as it opened up a 5-2 lead. In the second, Shawn Lamothe singled with one out and scored later on in the inning after an RBI single came off the bat of Phillip DiMarco. Tillo continued to swing the bat well, leading off the top of the third with a single. After a sacrifice bunt by Kevin Kopec, James Wilson laced an RBI single up the middle to give Clark a three-run advantage.
Another run in the fifth, after catcher Joseph Krahe singled in Tillo, extended Clark's lead to four.
After a two-out walk by Gabordi and a single by Turgeon, the Pride had runners on first and second in the bottom of the fifth. Drew Michael came to the plate and lined a double down the left field line, scoring both runners on the play to make it a 6-4 ball game. But that is as close as SC would get.
Clark put the game out of reach as it scored runs in the eighth and ninth to pull away. Lamothe lined a one-out single and was pinch run for by Matthew Bohl. The very next batter, Hollingsworth, crushed a double on a hit-and-run situation to score Bohl. Krahe singled in DeLorenzo from third base as the Cougars went into the bottom of the ninth up 8-4.
Gabordi hit a sacrifice fly to score Kropa, who had led off the inning with a double, to make it interesting in the ninth. However, David Gagnon closed the door as he got Michael to fly out to right for the final out.
Gregory Long earned the win on the mound for Clark as he went seven innings, giving up four runs on 10 hits, while striking out three. Hollingsworth finished with three hits, while DiMarco, DeLorenzo, and Lamothe each had two hits. Tillo tallied two RBI, as did Krahe.
Ryan White took the loss for the Pride as he gave up six runs on 10 hits in five innings of work. He struck out six batters on the day. Besides Turgeon's four hits, Kropa, Michael, and Zach Carhart each tacked on two hits in the loss.