Springfield, Mass. - April 17, 2019 - Behind a pair of home runs from Noah Bleakley (Granby, Mass.) and Jake Gleason (South Dennis, Mass.), the Springfield College baseball team defeated Rhode Island College, 9-5 in non-conference action at Archie Allen Field on Wednesday afternoon.
With the win the Pride improve to 17-13 on the season, while the Anchormen, which were receiving votes in this week's New England Intercollegiate Baseball Association (NEIBA) Division III Regional Rankings, fall to 21-9 overall.
Senior Brandon Russo (Lisbon, Conn.) had an impressive day at the plate as he went 4-for-4 on the day with three extra base hits. Russo's second-inning triple marks his seventh of the year, tying the single season record for Springfield College, which is held by both Edward Bilik, who had seven in 1955, and Wayne Wilson, who produced seven triples in 1958. Additionally, Bleakley and Gleason's home runs push the Pride's total to 13 this season, the most Springfield College has had since the 2005 season.
Freshman pitcher Mitch Wright (Clifton Park, N.Y.) took the ball on the mound for the Pride and gave up three earned runs over five innings of work while striking out a pair of Anchormen. Classmate Ben Arnold (Deerfield, Mass.), Duncan Satterlee (Albany, N.Y.), Cole Donovan (Holderness, N.H.) and Kenny Walton (New Providence, Pa.) would combine for four innings of one-hit ball in relief to ensure Wright would receive his first-career win with the Pride.
Springfield College was able to start off the game after three-straight walks made way for Bleakley to lift a sacrifice fly to center field, plating the Pride's first run of the game. A pair of hit batsmen and a single up the middle from Alex Denoyelle (Woonsocket, R.I.) brought the second and third runs home, before a great throw from center field was able to cut down a potential run for the maroon and white, ending the inning 3-0 Pride.
Russo would help keep the Pride moving as he laced a triple to the wall in right center which brought Conor Santoianni (Stormville, N.Y.) home to give Springfield a four-run lead with the heart of the order coming to the plate. Eduardo Martinez (Southwick, Mass.) would step to the plate and hit a single to center, scoring a run, before Bleakley took a big swing at the first pitch he saw and got every stitch of it when he mashed the ball over the 412' sign in center field, bringing home a trio of Pride hitters and ballooning Springfield College's lead to 8-0 after two.
The Pride surrendered a pair of runs in the top of the fourth but was able to earn one back when Gleason smacked a fastball to deep right center that would clear the wall and give Springfield College another run making the lead 9-2.
The Anchormen would pull to within four in the top of the fifth, but from there, the Pride's relief pitchers kept the visitors quiet, sealing the 9-5 win for the Pride.
Springfield College will start its final New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) West Division regular season series on Friday, April 19 when it travels to Worcester, Mass. to face WPI at 3:30 p.m.
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