Springfield, Mass. - March 4, 2018 - The Springfield College baseball team beat Western New England University, 4-0, in the first-ever regular season game played on Archie Allen Field on Sunday afternoon.
Competing on the one-of-a-kind intercollegiate and adaptive Archie Allen Field, which was dedicated in October thanks to the partnership between Springfield College and the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation, Springfield improved to 1-0 as it bested the Golden Bears for the first time since 2003.
Highlighting the Pride's offensive efforts was junior infielder Brandon Russo (Lisbon, Conn.), who went 2-for-3 on the day including a clutch three-run double to go with a single and a stolen base. senior outfielder Kyle Allen (Westerly, R.I.) also had a solid day at the dish with a RBI and a run as he drove in the first run ever on Archie Allen Field.
Left handed junior Brian Johnson (East Haddam, Conn.) got the nod on the bump for the season opener and did not disappoint, going four strong innings while striking out six and allowing just one lone hit. Fletcher Comment (Westbrook, Conn.) was the first out of the bullpen for Springfield as he went 3 2/3 impressive innings on the mound striking out four without letting up a hit en route to getting the win. Cole Donovan (Holderness, N.H.) shut the door for the Pride as he threw 1 1/3 strong innings, striking out two and not allowing a baserunner. For the Golden Bears, Paul Wetmore started the game and gave the team five good innings, striking out eight batters while giving up two hits and walking four. Andrew Foley was handed the loss as he was charged with two earned runs while facing two batters in the bottom of the six.
In the first-ever at bat in the new facility, Johnson delivered a strikeout for Springfield in a three-up, three-down first inning. Springfield threatened in the bottom of the second, loading the bases with two outs, only to have Wetmore produce his fifth strikeout.
Johnson ran into some trouble in the bottom of the fourth letting up a hit to start the inning and then a walk to put two men on with only one out. A swinging strikeout from Ben Lacroix followed up two batters later by a swinging strikeout from Brian Valeriano got the Pride out of the jam and closed the book on Johnson's first outing of the year.
Springfield threatened in the bottom of the fifth with two hits, but a great throw from centerfield caught Russo at the plate to end the inning. The Pride came out hot to start the sixth with a leadoff walk from senior infielder Mark Joao (Wappingers Falls, N.Y.) followed by a well placed bunt single by sophomore right fielder Jake Gleason (South Dennis, Mass.). After a pitching change, Brandon Drabinski (Lisbon, Conn.) walked to load the bases to bring up the DH Logan Barrett (Petersham, Mass,). Barrett grounded into a fielders choice to home to keep the bases loaded and bring Allen to the plate. A hard hit ball to the left side by Allen scored Gleason for the first run of the game, and following a strikeout, Russo ripped a double down the left field line to score three runs giving the Pride a 4-0 advantage. Great pitching by Comment and Donovan shut the door on the Golden Bears by not allowing another baserunner for the rest of the game.
The Pride's next home game will be played on Monday, March 5 when it hosts Westfield State at 3:30 pm