Auburndale, Fla. - The Springfield College baseball team surrendered nine runs through the first three innings and was unable to recover, as the Pride fell to nationally-ranked Southern Maine, 11-5, at the Lake Myrtle Sports Complex on Thursday afternoon.
With the loss, the Pride has now dropped three-consecutive contests and is 3-5 on the year, while the Huskies, which were ranked No. 8 in the latest American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) and No. 10 in the latest d3baseball.com national rankings, improves to 7-2.
Freshman Brendan Kirck (Hamden, Conn.) was credited with the loss, as he pitched the first 2.0 frames, before Kenny Walton (New Providence, Pa.) came on and threw 5.0 frames, holding Southern Maine to just three hits and one earned run while fanning seven. The Pride used a combination of Ryan Lawrence (Colchester, Conn.) and Jack Simonetty (Wappingers Falls, N.Y.) to pitch the final 2.0 innings.
The Huskies jumped out to an early 4-0 lead in the first two innings, as Andrew Olszak (Danvers, Mass.) scored on a wild pitch, before Jake Dexter (Oakland, Maine) ripped a three-run home run to give Southern Maine a four-run cushion.
Springfield College cut its deficit in half in the bottom of the second when Cam Rivest (Agawam, Mass.) reached on an error at second base, allowing Noah Bleakley (Granby, Mass.) to score, before Russo drew a walk that plated Rivest from third later in the inning.
Southern Maine used a five-run top of the third to blow open a 9-2 lead, but Joao's third home run of the season thus far made it 9-3 after three innings. Joao would then double in the bottom of the fifth to score Jack Cooney (Pittsfield, Mass.), making it 9-4, but the Huskies were able to defuse the rally with runs in the sixth inning and eighth inning to take an 11-4 lead over the Pride.
In the bottom of the ninth, Santoianni grounded out to short, scoring Rivest, who led off the inning with a double, but the Pride's rally fell short, resulting in the 11-5 loss.
Up next, Springfield College will wrap up its Spring Break trip on Friday, March 22 when it takes on No. 6/14 Rowan University at 3:30 p.m.
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