NEW LONDON, Conn.-The Coast Guard baseball team rallied from a 6-0 deficit, capped off by a three-run eighth, to defeat Springfield College 8-6 to win the first of a three-game New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference series on Friday afternoon at Nitchman Field.
Catcher Lukas Laplante (1-3, 2 RBI, 3 runs) delivered a two-out bases-loaded single to right field to plate a pair of runs to give Coast Guard their first lead of the game in bottom of the eighth. First baseman Cory Sonnega (3-4, 2 RBI) followed that up with a base knock to left to plate pinch-runner Kyle Jackson to give the Bears some insurance one batter later and right-handed closer Justin Rebholz worked a perfect ninth for his first save of the season.
Springfield did all their scoring in the third inning tallying six runs on one hit, four walks, and a trio of hit batters to chase Coast Guard starter Luke Snaitkowski. Righty Sean Barry (2-1) worked 5.2 scoreless innings, surrendering just four hits while striking out three, to pick up the victory for the Bears.
The Bears would get on the board in the bottom of the fourth inning when Sonnega delivered the first of his three run-scoring singles through the left side to score second baseman Matt Hanks (1-3, run) and cut the deficit to 6-1. The next batter, right fielder Brendan McNeil (1-5, 3 RBI) would single to right to plate two more runs to get Coast Guard back into the game.
Coast Guard would add a run in each the sixth and seventh with the help of an RBI-single by Sonnega and a fielder's choice by McNeil.
Designated Hitter Dave Wolinski was 2-for-5 with a run scored for the Bears, joining Sonnega with a multi-hit game.
Shortstop Dan Bergami (3-3, RBI0 and right fielder Corey Wilcox (2-5, RBI, run) each recorded multi-hit games for the Pride who were held to just six hits as a team on the afternoon.
Junior righty Oliver Collette worked the first 5.2 innings for Springfield, allowing four runs – only one earned – on five hits and three walks while striking out four Coast Guard batters. Right-hander Mitchell Goldman (0-1) took the loss in relief for Springfield, going 2.1 innings and allowing four runs on four hits and three walks while registering a trio of strikeouts.
With the victory Coast Guard improves to 8-12 on the season while moving to within a game of .500 in NEWMAC play at 3-4. Springfield drops below .500 for the first time all season with the loss and now sits at 7-8 (2-5 NEWMAC).
Coast Guard returns to action tomorrow when they travel to take on this same Springfield team for a 12:00 pm NEWMAC double-header.