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Baseball Trips Up Coast Guard Twice, 8-4 and 1-0; Qualifies for the NEWMAC Tourney

Springfield, Mass. — April 18, 2009 — John Schmaltz, Luke Gabordi, and Karl Quist all had two hits to lead the Springfield College baseball team to an 8-4 victory over Coast Guard in Game #1 of a doubleheader this afternoon at SC’s Berry-Allen Field. In the second game, a Joe Kropa sacrifice fly in the bottom of the eighth proved decisive as SC completed the sweep, 1-0. With the wins, Springfield qualified to compete in the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference post-season tournament.

Springfield thus upped its record to 9-20 overall, 5-6 in the NEWMAC, while Coast Guard fell to 6-22 overall, 2-10 in the league.

The first game was tied at 4-all entering the bottom of the third, but the Pride scored two in the third and two more in the fifth to take command of this 7-inning game.

It was Coast Guard that scored first in the top of the first. With two outs, junior 3B Keith Laird (West Chester, Pa.) singled to right. The next batter, senior 1B Brian Yurovich (Marlboro, Mass.), drove Laird home with a double deep to left.

That lead did not last long. In the bottom of the first, SC’s first five batters reached safely on a double, single, single, error, single. Springfield had scored four runs before an out was recorded. Junior RF Joe Kropa (Cranford, N.J.) led off with a double to left field on an 0-2 pitch. Sophomore LF John Schmaltz (Cromwell, Conn.) then laced a single to right, knocking in the first run. Senior SS Jamie Mackie (Springfield, Mass./Central HS) then singled sharply to center. Sophomore catcher Zach Carhart (Wilbraham, Mass.) then hit a tricky ground ball to first, with the first baseman throwing it away, a run scoring, and two runners moving into scoring position. Senior 3B Luke Gabordi (Ledyard, Conn.) then lashed a single to left-center, plating both runs. It was 4-1, SC, after one inning.

In the top of the second, the Bears scored once on a walk, a single by junior LF Ryan Milligan (Shamong, N.J.), and a fielder’s choice, making it 4-2. In the third, Yurovich and freshman DH Nic Freburg (Palm Harbor, Fla.) led off with singles for CGA. Later in the inning, freshman CF Eddie Kalankiewicz (San Diego, Calif.) and Milligan had RBI singles, tying matters at 4-4.

In the bottom of the fourth, Gabordi led with a walk, followed by a single to left by senior CF Drew Michael (Longmeadow, Mass.). One out later, freshman catcher Karl Quist (New Preston, Conn.) doubled both runners home, giving SC the lead for good. In the fifth inning, Michael led with a walk, and immediately moved to second on a wild pitch. Senior 1B Ryan Tatreau (Greenfield, Mass.) then singled up the middle, making it 7-4. One out later, sophomore 2B Mike Robilotto (East Meadow, N.Y.) hit a solid single to left, knocking in the game’s final run.

Senior RHP Travis Turgeon (Norwich, Conn.) recorded the win with five innings of work. He is now 3-0 on the season. Senior RHP Mike Cole (Greenfeld, Mass.) pitched the last two innings, allowing no hits and two walks. For Coast Guard, the starter and loser was sophomore RHP Mike Ahlin (Longview, Wash.). He went the first five innings. As a team, Springfield had 11 hits in game #1.

Game #2 was a classic pitchers’ dual. For Coast Guard, sophomore Jesse Karr (Milan, Mich.) pitched a complete game. In eight innings, he allowed just the one run (it was unearned) and four hits. He struck out four and walked three. For Springfield, three pitchers combined for the shutout, although it was far from easy. Sophomore RHP Steve Forbes (Northport, N.Y.) got the start, allowing seven hits in six innings. Freshman LHP Adam DeFelice (Avon, Conn.) hurled two innings, giving up just one walk, and picking up his first collegiate win (now 1-3). Then in the ninth, in a high-wire act, sophomore RHP Darryl Smith (Patchogue, N.Y.) escaped a runners on second and third, no out situation to preserve the win and pick up the first save of his collegiate career.

The second game sailed along scoreless until the bottom of the eighth. With one out, Robilotto, playing third base in this game, singled to center. Freshman 2B Mike Corletta (Westtown, N.Y.) then hit a hard ground ball to third, a potential double play ball. But the third baseman led the second baseman a bit too far, and the ball sailed into right field for an error, with Robilotto advancing to third. Corletta then advanced to second on a wild pitch. Kropa then hit a fly ball to medium deep center field for the sacrifice fly, and SC led, 1-0.

The ninth inning was as dramatic as it gets. Smith came on to get the last three outs, but everyone at Berry-Allen Field was transfixed as to how he did it. Senior LF Bill Birch (Hamilton, N.J.) led off by being hit by a pitch. He advanced to second on a wild pitch. Kalankiewicz walked. The runners then both moved up on a passed ball, giving CGA runners on second and third with still no one out. Senior catcher Kevin Keefe then struck out on a 3-2 pitch. Milligan followed by doing the same thing. The next batter was freshman SS Joe Petry (Worcester, Mass.), who was 2-for-4 in this game as he stepped to the plate. During his at-bat, SC junior catcher Ben Stephenson (New York, N.Y.) made two spectacular stops of balls that were in the dirt. Finally, Petry hit a hard two-hopper to the third baseman, Robilotto, who was playing deep at his position. Robilotto fired across the diamond to get Petry by a step — giving SC the 1-0 win.