Auburndale, Fla. - March 14, 2018 - Behind an outstanding pitching performance from senior Kyle Naples (Kensington, Conn.), the Springfield College baseball team earned a 3-0 win over Eastern Connecticut on Wednesday afternoon at the Lake Myrtle Sports Complex. This marks the fourth win for the Pride in Florida, as the maroon and white is now 5-2-1 overall. The loss drops Eastern Connecticut to 2-2 on the year.
Naples tossed 8.0 innings of three-hit ball, giving up no runs while striking out three to pick up his first win of the year, before sophomore Cole Donovan (Holderness, N.H.) came on to get the final three outs, earning his first-career save.
Leading the Pride offensively was senior infielder Mark Joao (Wappinger Falls, N.Y.), who finished with a pair of RBI, while Noah Bleakley (Granby, Mass.) continued his impressive play of late, going 1-for-3 with an RBI. Additionally, Chad Shade (Pittsfield, Mass.) was outstanding on the base paths, picking up three stolen bases and scoring two runs.
Shade got things going in the first inning with a lead-off hit, before using his speed to get himself into scoring position. After Peter Marsicano (Allentown, N.J.) grounded out to second, moving Shade to third, Joao also grounded out, but Shade came home to give the Pride an early 1-0 lead.
From there, Naples went to work, as he retired the first six batters, including a pair of strikeouts. In the third inning, Jack Rich (Meriden, Conn.) got on with a lead-off single down the left-field line, but was caught stealing by Marsicano, before Naples forced two more outs to end the frame. The senior would then pick off Alexander White (West Hartford, Conn.) to end the fourth, before sitting down six of the next seven Eastern Connecticut battters. The Warriors got another lead-off hit in the seventh from Anthony Stigler (Mansfield, Conn.), but the Pride would pick up two quick outs on a 6-4-3 double play, which featured a great bare-handed grab and throw from Joao at second to successfully complete the play.
The Pride tacked on two runs in the top of the eighth inning in very similar fashion to the first as Shade led off with a walk, before taking second with his third stolen base of the contest. From there, Marsicano would push him to third with a ground out, before Joao drove him in with a force out at second. Next up, Gleason would make it to second after White dropped a routine fly ball in center, before Bleakley roped a single to right field, scoring the junior from second and giving the Pride a 3-0 advantage.
From there, the duo of Naples and Donovan were able to shut the door on the Warriors, keeping them off the scoreboard and sealing the 3-0 victory.
Up next, the Pride will return to action on Thursday, March 15 when the Pride takes on Cazenovia at 9:45 a.m.