AMHERST, Mass. – Despite coming back from a 3-0 hole to take a 4-3 lead, Amherst College suffered a 7-5 defeat to visiting Springfield College in non-conference baseball action on Thursday afternoon at Memorial Field.
Sophomores Stephen Burke and Kevin Schroeder had three hits apiece, and Schroeder drove in three runs. For the Pride, Jack Cooney had three hits and Ryan Smith drove in two runs with a double to left field in the sixth that gave Springfield a 5-4 lead that they would protect until the final out.
The Pride jumped out to an early lead in the top of the first after Brandon Russo walked before a hit-and-run with Jack Cooney at bat placed runners on first and third with no outs. Noah Bleakley laced an RBI single to left field, plating Russo. Jake Gleason recorded Springfield's second run of the inning with a ground out to second base before Nick Fazio reached first on a throwing error that scored Bleakley.
The Mammoths tied the game in the fourth with three runs on four hits. Joseph Palmo '21 and Burke notched a pair of singles in the first two at bats and Severino Simeone '20 drove in the first run for the Purple & White by lacing a shot to centerfield. With two outs and the bases loaded, Schroeder singled to center to chase home two runs and even the game at three.
In addition to a 1-3 day with two RBI, Simeone made several spectacular defensive plays in left field, throwing out a runner at home in the sixth and making great diving catches in the fifth and sixth innings.
Amherst took the lead in the bottom of the fifth after Palmo reached on catcher's interference and Burke followed up with a double down the left field line. Chase Henley '19 walked to load the bases with one out and Simeone's sacrifice fly to centerfield marked the first lead on the afternoon for the Mammoths.
However, the Pride answered in the top of the sixth, regaining the lead off of Smith's two run double to left field. Cooney topped off Springfield's scoring with an RBI single to centerfield.
After a hitless seventh inning between the two sides, Springfield added one more run to their lead in the top of the eighth with a fielding error that allowed Bleakley to score from third. The Mammoths were able to rebut in the bottom half of the inning off of Schroeder's RBI single to left center, pulling the Purple & White to within two heading into their final at bat, but they could not rally against Springfield reliever Zach Kerr.
Kerr (2-1) threw five and a third innings of relief and allowed just one earned run while striking out three. Starter Brendan Kirck lasted 3.2 innings and also struck out three while giving up just on earned run.
Amherst starter Wilson Taylor '19 (1-1) allowed five earned runs on six hits, though he struck out seven over five and a third innings.
Sachin Nambiar '22 threw a perfect ninth inning with one strikeout for the Mammoths.
Amherst (14-12) heads to Bowdoin for three games this weekend, beginning on Saturday with a doubleheader starting at 1:00 PM.
Springfield (19-15) hosts WPI Saturday in NEWMAC twinbill starting at noon.