Beavers Clinch NEWMAC Tournament Berth, Still in Contention for Share of Regular Season Title
SPRINGFIELD, Mass.—Babson College pounded out 33 hits and scored 22 runs on its way to sweeping a New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) baseball doubleheader at Springfield College on Sunday afternoon. The Beavers cruised to a 15-5 victory in the opener before edging the Pride 7-5 in game two.
Babson, which has won four straight games, clinched a spot in next week's NEWMAC Tournament by moving to 17-13 overall and 11-5 in league play. Springfield, which was eliminated for playoff contention, drops to 15-14 overall and 8-9 in the conference.
Sophomore Brian McHale (Ramsey, N.J.) went 5-for-6 with two doubles and three RBI and senior Owen Shea (Northborough, Mass.) went 3-for-4 with a double, a homer and two runs scored to pace Babson's 20-hit attack. Seven different players recorded multi-hit games and eight different players finished with an RBI, including two each from senior Jake Weiss (Irvine, Calif.) and juniors Ryan Arena (Yorktown Heights, N.Y.) and Mark Webber (Norwell, Mass.).
Junior Mark Joao (Wappingers Falls, N.Y.) had three hits, while sophomore Brandon Drabinski (Lisbon, Conn.) went 2-for-5 with two runs scored for Springfield.
McHale smacked an RBI double in the first and Shea hit a two-out homer to right in the second to give the Green and White an early 2-0 lead. The Pride pulled even in the bottom of the second, but the Beavers responded with a three-run third inning to go back in front for good.
McHale and Arena produced RBI singles in the fourth to make it 7-3, and Weiss drove in a pair of runs as part of a four-run fifth that extended the lead to 11-3. McHale came through with another RBI double in the sixth and Babson tacked on two more runs in the ninth thanks to RBI singles by sophomore Eric Jaun (Loveland, Ohio) and Webber to extend the margin to 10.
Sophomore Connor Gill (Sterling, Mass.) moved to 4-0 on the year after giving up five runs over seven innings. Senior Ken Rotunno (East Islip, N.Y.) tossed two shutout innings and has not allowed a run in seven consecutive relief appearances.
First-year Shawn Babineau (Ashland, Mass.) took the loss for Springfield after giving up 11 runs, just five of them earned, on 13 hits in 4.2 innings.
Arena went 4-for-5 with two doubles, a home run, two RBI and three runs scored to help the Beavers complete their second doubleheader sweep in as many days. Webber went 2-for-3 with a triple and two RBI, senior Jack Halpin (Glastonbury, Conn.) added two hits and first-year Sean Harrington (Walpole, Mass.) doubled and scored twice in the victory.
Joao and first-year Chad Shade (Pittsfield, Mass.) both had three hits for the Pride, which stranded eight runners on base.
Babson jumped on top 2-0 in the second as Harrington drove in Arena with a double to left and then came around to score on Webber's sacrifice fly. After trading run in the fourth, Springfield took its first lead of the day with a three-run fifth.
The Green and White bounced right back though, as first-year Jake Oliger (Newtown, Conn.) and junior David Lennon (Windermere, Fla.) both produced sacrifice flies, while Webber added an RBI single to regain a 6-4 lead in the sixth. Arena, who had homered in the fourth, tacked on another insurance run with an RBI double in the seventh.
Sophomore Michael Genaro (Greenwich, Mass.) allowed four runs in 7.0 innings to move to 4-1 on the year before sophomore Max Tannenbaum (Coral Springs, Fla.) and junior Matt Cuneo (Ashland, Mass.) came out of the bullpen to record the final six outs. Cuneo recorded his fifth save of the year and is now tied with Jason Kosow '04 as the program's all-time leader with 10 career saves.
Junior Ken Manero (Hudson, Mass.) allowed four runs on six hits over 1.2 innings to suffer the loss for the Pride.
Babson will wrap up conference play against Emerson on Monday at 7:30 p.m. in Brockton, while Springfield concludes its season on Monday at 3:30 p.m. at MCLA.
• The Beavers are now 31-20 all-time against Springfield and won each of the last eight meetings between the teams.
• Arena's eight homers this season are now just one shy of the single-season school record held by four differnet players.
• In addition to tying Kosow for the most saves in program history, Cuneo's 43 relief appearances over the last three years are also just one shy of an all-time program record.
• McHale, who's five hits in game one are a new career high, has hit safely in 10 straight games overall and 11 consecutive outings against league foes.