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Cooney's Walk-Off Double Leads Baseball to Extra-Inning Victory Over Amherst, 5-4

Cooney's Walk-Off Double Leads Baseball to Extra-Inning Victory Over Amherst, 5-4

Springfield, Mass. - April 26, 2018 - With Nick Leduc (Belchertown, Mass.) on second base in the bottom of the tenth inning, freshman outfielder Jack Cooney (Pittsfield, Mass.) roped a double off the left-field wall to lift the Springfield College baseball team to a 5-4 extra-inning victory over regional-rival Amherst College at Archie Allen Field on Thursday evening. 

With the win, the Pride, which was ranked No. 13 in the first NCAA Division III Regional Rankings of the spring, improves to 23-11-2 overall, while Amherst, which was No. 14 in New England, falls to 17-9 on the year.

Sophomore Cole Donovan (Holderness, N.H.) earned the victory for the Pride as he came in an worked through 1.2 innings, giving up just one hit, while making his first-career start, freshman Noah Bleakley (Granby, Mass.) held the Mammoths to just one hit over the first 5.0 frames. Amherst reliever Zach Horwitz (Chestnut Hill, Mass.) took the loss, giving up one earned run and two hits, while the Mammoth's starter, Andrew Ferrero (San Francisco, Calif.) pitched an effective 6.0 innings, giving up six hits while striking out five.

Leading the Pride offensively was Chad Shade (Pittsfield, Mass.) and Brandon Russo (Lisbon, Conn.), as Shade went 3-for-5 with two RBI and pushed his stolen base total to 31 with a pair in the win. Russo was 3-for-4 while Cooney had two hits and two RBI.

Springfield College got on the board in the bottom of the first when Shade scored on a throwing error by the Amherst first baseman, before Cooney pushed Jake Gleason (South Dennis, Mass.) across the plate with a single up the middle to provide Springfield College with a 2-0 lead. 

Amherst got on the board in the top of the sixth when Ariel Kenney (Chula Vista, Calif.) singled through the left side to score Max Steinhorn (Washington, D.C.), before Nick Nardone (Fairfield, Conn.) singled to left, plating Joseph Palmo (Austin, Texas) to pull the Mammoth even at two apiece. 

Shade gave the Pride the go-ahead run in the bottom of the seventh when he was able to score Russo from second base with a single up the middle, but in the top of the ninth, Amherst tacked on a pair to take a 4-3 lead over Springfield College. In the bottom of the inning, Shade went at it again, singling to right to score Jason Bean (Middleboro, Mass.), before Cooney's heroics in the bottom of the tenth sealed Springfield's 23rd win of the year.

Springfield College will now travel to Cambridge, Mass. to finish a halted game with MIT from Saturday, March 31.