Worcester, Mass. - March 9, 2019 - The Springfield College baseball jumped out to an early lead but was unable to hang on as the Pride dropped its season-opening contest, 3-2, to cross-town rival Western New England on Saturday evening at the New England Sports Complex.
The Pride fall to 0-1 with the loss, while the Golden Bears, which went 32-15 overall and earned a spot in the NCAA Regional Championship Tournament a year ago, improves to 1-1 on the year.
Senior Brian Johnson (East Haddam, Conn.) got the nod and struck out 10 batters in 4.2 innings of work, only allowing two hits and one earned run, while Cole Donovan (Holderness, N.H.) pitched the final 3.2 frames and took the loss, striking out five while allowing just three hits and two earned runs.
Western New England started Bob Hamel (Southwick, Mass.), who gave the Golden Bears 7.0 innings of work, giving up just six hits while fanning six Pride batters. Sean Halligan (North Branford, Conn.) earned the win, pitching 0.2 innings and striking out one.
After two innings of scoreless play, Springfield College broke through in the top of the third inning when Mark Joao (Wappingers Falls, N.Y.) singled to left, scoring Jack Cooney (Pittsfield, Mass.), before Noah Bleakley (Granby, Mass.) doubled to left center, sending Joao home to make it 2-0.
In the bottom of the fifth, Western New England cut its deficit in half when Joe Cassella (Wallingford, Conn.) got hit by a pitch, plating Sebby Grignano (Meriden, Conn.) from third to make it 2-1, Springfield College.
The Golden Bears would pull even when Donovan walked Erik Lacaire (Worcester, Mass.) to send home Zac Nussbaum (Bridgewater, Mass.), evening the score at two apiece, before Cassella singled up the middle to plate Jamie Schofield (Darien, Conn.), giving Western New England the 3-2 win.
Up next, Springfield College will take on Rutgers-Camden in Auburndale, Fla. on Sunday, March 17, beginning at 12 p.m.
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