Danvers, Mass. - March 24, 2019 - Senior pitcher Brian Johnson (East Haddam, Conn.) became the only student-athlete in the Springfield College baseball program's Division III history to throw multiple no hitters, as the Pride knocked off Emerson, 7-1, in game one, before defeating the Lions in game two, 11-5, to begin New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) play on Sunday at Pete Frates Diamond.
With the wins, Springfield College rebounds to 5-6 overall and 2-0 in league play, while Emerson is now 3-13 on the year with an 0-2 mark against conference opponents.
Johnson pitched 9.0 innings, holding Emerson hitless while picking up nine strikeouts en route to his first win of the season. Johnson was also the last Springfield College baseball student-athlete to throw a no hitter, as he did so in a 5-0 win over Colby Sawyer on March 17, 2017. Before that, the last no hitter to be thrown within the program was by Kevin Cahill '01 G'04, when he no hit cross-town rival Western New England in the 2001 season.
Springfield College will now return to Archie Allen Field for its first home contest of the season, as the Pride will host Brandeis on Monday, March 25 at 3:30 p.m.
Springfield College 7, Emerson 1 -- Game One
Behind the dominant pitching of Johnson, and three RBI off the bat of sophomore Jack Cooney (Pittsfield, Mass.), Springfield College defeated Emerson, 7-1, in the Pride's first league game of the 2019 season.
The Pride stole seven bases on the day, including two apiece from Cooney and Ryan Smith (Millis, Mass.).
Springfield College jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first when Chad Shade (Pittsfield, Mass.) grounded out to second, but Brandon Russo (Lisbon, Conn.) scored to give the Pride a one-run advantage.
After Emerson tied it up in the bottom of the third, the score was even at one apiece until the seventh inning when the Pride blew open a 6-1 lead with a five-run rally. The first run was Noah Bleakley (Granby, Mass.), who scored on a wild pitch, before Smith stole home, resulting in a 3-1 lead for the maroon and white. Russo then doubled down the left-field line, plating Cam Rivest (Agawam, Mass.), before Cooney drove in Russo and Alex Denoyelle (Woonsocket, R.I.) to make it 6-1.
Springfield College tacked on its seventh run in the top of the ninth inning, when Cooney reached first on an error, allowing Russo to come home, ensuring the 7-1 win.
Springfield College 11, Emerson 5 -- Game Two
Bleakley pitched up his second win of the year as the sophomore pitched 5.1 innings, giving up nine hits and four earned runs while fanning four Lions' batters. Fletcher Comment (Westbrook, Conn.) came on in relief and pitched 3.2 frames, holding Emerson to just one hit.
Cooney stayed hot at the plate as he went 4-for-5 with three RBI and two runs scored, while Shade and Nick Fazio (Kings Park, N.Y.) each had a pair of hits on the afternoon.
Springfield College stole eight more bases in the win, as Cooney led with four, while Shade had a pair.
After two scoreless innings, Springfield College blew open a 4-0 lead as Cooney drove in a pair on a single to right center, before Shade and Fazio each had RBI base-hits in the frame, making it 4-0, Pride. Emerson got a run back in the bottom of the fourth, but the Pride answered with five runs in the top of the fifth, including an RBI single from Cooney, an RBI ground-rule-double off the bat of Shade, a run-scoring single from Fazio, and then a two-run triple from Conor Santoianni (Stormville, N.Y.) that scored Rivest and Jason Bean (Middleboro, Mass.).
Emerson made it a four-run game in the bottom of the sixth inning with four runs, which made it 9-5, Springfield, but the Pride would tack on two insurance runs in the top of the eighth when Fazio and Shade scored on an error at third base.
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