Springfield, Mass. - March 27, 2019 - Behind an impressive pitching performance from freshman Brendan Kirck (Hamden, Conn.) and a historic home run off the bat of Jake Gleason (South Dennis, Mass.), the Springfield College baseball team defeated Dean College, 3-2, on Wednesday afternoon at Archie Allen Field. The victory boosts the Pride's record to 7-7 and drops the Bulldogs to 3-11 on the year.
Kirck got the call for the Pride as he started for the second time in his first season with the Pride. The first year got off to a hot start on the bump as he struck out the first two batters of the game en route to a perfect first frame. The right-hander was able to turn in a very efficient start for the Pride as he struck out six Bulldogs on just under 75 pitches. Kirck proceeded to baffle the Dean hitters as he held to Bulldogs to just one hit over six strong innings of work, delivering a quality start and ensuring a win for the Pride. Duncan Satterlee (Albany, N.Y.) came in an earned his first-career save, as he allowed just three hits over 3.0 innings while striking out one.
At the plate, Mark Joao (Wappingers Fall, N.Y.) went 2-for-4, including a triple that sparked the rally in the bottom of the eighth. The graduate student also scored two runs to lead the Pride. Gleason will be credited with the first-ever collegiate home run at Archie Allen Field, which was completed in the fall of 2017, as his home run proved to be the difference in the victory for the Pride. Sophomore Eduardo Martinez (Southwick, Mass.) also had an RBI on the day.
The game remained quiet until the fourth inning when Joao poked a single over the shortstop and was able to swipe two bases, placing him on third base with just one out. Soon after, Martinez took the second pitch of the at bat down the right-field line for a run-scoring double, allowing the Pride to break through for the first run of the ballgame.
A hit-by-pitch would allow Springfield to threaten to break the game open, but solid pitching and defense by the Bulldogs kept the score to 1-0 after five. Joao would get into scoring position again as he roped a triple to deep right center field to start off the bottom of the eighth, before Gleason launched a 3-1 fastball over the right-field fence for a two-run homerun to increase the Pride's lead to 3-0 with one out in the inning.
Dean made a late-inning push against the Pride as they were able to push across a pair of runs on three hits in the top of the final frame. Andrew Dirito (Plymouth, Mass.) was able to triple and drive home two runs for the Bulldogs before Satterlee was able to shut the door and corral his first save of the season.
The Pride return to New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) action on Archie Allen when the Pride hosts the Engineers of MIT in a doubleheader at 12 p.m. and 3 p.m. on Saturday, March 30.
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