Baseball opens 0–2

Alex Okinaka

Baseball (0–2) dropped the first two games of their season to Springfield College (3–0) but remained competitive throughout Saturday’s double-header. While this is the first game for the Ephs, the Spirits had already defeated Colby, Sawyer and Western New England University.

As the visiting team, Ephs batted first. Eric Pappas ’21 started the game for the Ephs and got on base with a single. Catcher David Driscoll ’22 walked two batters later to put two men on. Jakob Cohn ’23 stepped up to bat soon after, with Pappas and Driscoll still on base and two outs recorded. He knocked a double to right field which brought both teammates across home plate and put the Ephs up 2-0.

In the bottom of the second, Springfield’s Nick Fazio hit a single to left field and his teammate Adam Willametz followed suit with a single of his own to push Fazio to second. A sacrifice ground out on the following bat allowed both runners to advance a base. Springfield’s Jack Cooney delivered with a single to center field, bringing runners home and tying the score 2-2. 

The Ephs returned in the following inning to regain the lead. Pappas led off with a single, and Mike Stamas ’20 delivered a double out to right field to bring Pappas home. Driscoll connected on his second at bat of the day to send Stamas to third. Despite a pitcher change on the Springfield side, Erik Mini ’21 knocked a single to left field, which brought Stamas in and pushed Driscoll to second. Driscoll then stole third and was batted in by a sacrifice fly out from Cohn to put the Ephs up 5-2.

In the bottom of the sixth,  Chad Shade hit a single to right field that brought Ryan Smith home and set the score at 5-3.  Springfield’s Jake Gleason hit a deep shot out to left field which brought home another two runs to tie the game at 5-5. Neither team scored in the remaining regular innings, which sent the game to extras. The Ephs connected on two pitches in their at bat but were unable to translate either into an on-base position. Three batters and three outs gave Springfield the opportunity to win game one in the bottom of the tenth inning. 

After a brief break between games, game two of the double header kicked off around 3:30 p.m. With the travel logistics and prior playing time taken into consideration, the second game ran only seven innings.

In the top second, Billy Shea ’22 recorded his first significant contact of the day with a single deep into right field. Ryan Young ’22 pushed Shea to second the play with a single of his own to center field. Both batters advanced a base on a ground out in the following play. 

Philip Barnett ’21 reached base on a fielder’s choice as the next batter which gave Springfield two of their outs, resetting the position with two runners on. Pappas’ shot to left field gave Barnett and Young time to cross home and put the Ephs up 2-0. 

In the bottom of the third, Springfield cut the deficit to 2-1. By the bottom of the fifth, the Spirits took their first lead of the game at 3-2. 

In the sixth, Mini was walked as the first batter and then advanced to second on a teammate’s groundout. Shea managed to bring him home with a single into center field to tie the score 3-3. 

The next two at bats featured three batters on for each team, but no run was scored. In the bottom of the seventh, Cooney delivered a double to left field. Barrett followed suit with a deep single to the same spot which allowed Cooney to cross third and home plate. Game two went to the Spirits with a final score of 4-3. 

With the first two games of a long 2020 season under their belt, the Ephs look to put the losses behind them. They will travel to Waltham, Mass. to take on Brandeis for another double header on Sunday at 1 p.m.