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Tufts 12, Springfield 10
Tufts 12, Springfield 4

At Springfield, MA
Saturday, May 1, 2010

Game 1 Box Score

Game 2 Box Score

Nate Bankoff's game-one home run capped Tufts' comeback from down 7-0

SPRINGFIELD -- An eight-run fifth inning led the Tufts University baseball team to a come-from-behind 12-10 victory over Springfield College in game #1 of a doubleheader this afternoon at SC's Berry-Allen Field. The Jumbos trailed 7-0 after four innings, before they made two comebacks in this contest. Then an eight-run fourth inning proved key in game #2, as Tufts went on to victory, 12-4.

Tufts upped its overall mark to 25-5. The Jumbos will host the NESCAC Tournament next weekend and play Wesleyan in the first round on Friday at 3 pm. The losses closed Springfield's season with a record of 12-22.

Overall in game one, Tufts finished with 12 runs on 12 hits with two errors. Springfield finished with 10 runs on 13 hits and two errors. Springfield was able to jump on the board first with one run in the bottom of the first inning. Joe Kropa led off the frame with a single up the middle and later stole second base. Two batters later, John Schmaltz took the two-one offering and lined a single to left field, plating Kropa.

The Pride added two more runs in the bottom of the second, increasing the lead to 3-0. Mike Micik led off with a walk and was followed by Mike Robilotto reaching on an error by the second baseman. Lou Nucci successfully advanced both runners into scoring position with a sacrifice bunt. Pete Calandra brought Micik in as he grounded out deep in the hole to second base. Kropa then hit a chopper to the shortstop and was able to beat the throw, plating Robilotto from third.

The Jumbos threatened to score with runners on second and third with just one out in the top of the fourth inning. Junior CF David Orlowitz (Wakefield, MA) hit a fly to medium-deep center, where Kropa made the catch and threw a perfect strike at home to nail the runner.

Springfield kept the offense rolling in the bottom of the fourth. Robilotto lined a double down the left field line to lead off the inning and advanced to third on a wild pitch. Nucci brought the run in hitting a deep fly ball to right-field allowing Robilottto to tag from third and just barely beating the throw to home. Calandra followed Nucci with a single to left field and advanced to third on two wild pitches. Kropa successfully reached base for the third time in the game by walking on four straight pitches. After Kropa successfully stole second, Calandra was able to score from third as the catcher's throw was air-mailed into centerfield. Mike Corletta singled to center field, setting runners on the corners with just one out. Schmaltz grounded out to the second basemen for the second out, but Kropa scored on the play. Brian Harris broke through with his first hit in the afternoon, scoring Corletta and increasing the Pride's lead to 7-0.

But the Tufts offense came to life in the top of the fifth as they were able to take the lead, pushing eight runs across. Senior 1B Nate Bankoff (Lynnfield, MA) led of the inning for the Jumbos, lining a single to right field. Senior DH Corey Pontes (Milton, MA) followed with a single of his own to left-center field. Junior 2B Frank Petroskey (Dallas, TX) then lined a single up the middle to plate Bankoff for their first run. Springfield pitcher Ryan White seemed to lose control after this and walked the next two batters, plating Pontes and ending his afternoon on the mound. Chris Collard came in to pitch for the Pride and immediately gave up a two-run double to sophomore 3B Sam Sager (Cranston, RI), cutting SC's lead to 7-4. The big blow came off the bat of Bankoff with two outs as he crushed the go-ahead two-run home run over the right-center field fence. The score after four and a half was 8-7, Tufts.

The Pride retook the lead in the bottom of the fifth, scoring three runs on two hits and two walks. Robilotto and Calandra reached base on walks and Kropa continued his strong day at the plate, lining a double into right-center field, plating Robilotto. Corletta lined out to center field, plating the go-ahead run in Calandra. Schmaltz followed, lining a single to right field, plating the 10th run for Springfield and giving the Pride a 10-8 lead.

The Jumbos added four runs in the top of the sixth, as they batted around for the second consecutive inning, making the score 12-10 in favor of Tufts. Junior LF Ian Goldberg (Lake Forest, IL) and Sager highlighted the inning for the Jumbos with an rbi triple and double, respectively. Mike Cole came in to pitch for the Pride and held the Jumbos in check for the remainder of the frame.

The winning pitcher for Tufts was freshman right-hander Dan Eisenberg (North Andover, MA) in relief, improving to 2-0. Recording the save, his eighth, was sophomore Chris DeGoti (Miami, FL) with a scoreless seventh inning. That ties the 22-year old single-season saves record at Tufts held by Jeff Bloom from 1988. For Springfield, sophomore lefthander Adam DeFelice was the losing pitcher (0-3).

In the second game of this doubleheader, the Jumbos struck first. Sager led off the second inning with a double in the right-center field gap. Two batters later, Orlowitz hit a one-out single to put runners on the corners. As Orlowitz successfully stole second, the catcher's throw went into center field, allowing Sager to score the first run of the game.

Tufts doubled their lead in the top of the third. Goldberg lined a triple into the right-centerfield gap with one out. He later scored on a wild pitch.

The Jumbos broke the game open in the fourth with their second eight-run inning of the doubleheader. Sager led off the inning with a single down the left field line. Sophomore 1B Matt Collins (Hopkinton, MA) followed with a monster home run to left field. Orlowitz continued the inning with a single to left field, and advanced to second when senior catcher Alex Perry (Danvers, MA) reached base after getting hit by a pitch. Senior 3B Alex Gryzmala (East Setauket, NY) laid down a successful sacrifice bunt, but reached base when the first baseman air-mailed the throw into right field, allowing Orlowitz to score. The Jumbos strung together a few more base hits in the inning, including a pair of singles from junior SS David LeResche (St. Louis, MO) and junior DH Ben Walkley (Trumbull, CT), as well as a double from Goldberg. At the end of three and a half innings, it was 10-0, Tufts.

Springfield scored its first run in the bottom of the fourth. John Schmaltz started the two-out rally with a single into center field. Designated hitter Karl Quist doubled off the fence in right-centerfield, scoring Schmaltz all the way from first.

Mike Robilotto tried to get things going for the Pride in the bottom of the fifth. He led off the frame, lacing a double into right-center field. He later moved to third on a wild pitch, and scored on another wild pitch that rolled to the backstop.

Tufts added two more in the top of the sixth. Bankoff hit a one-out, pinch-hit single to center. That was followed by a towering 400-foot home run off the bat of Orlowitz.

Springfield scored one run in the bottom of the sixth on three hits.

Tufts finished with 18 hits to back up its 12 runs. The starters were the pitchers of decision for each team. Junior Pat O'Donnell (Worcester, MA) was credited with the win for Tufts He is now 4-2. For SC, junior Mark Grant took the loss. He finished 1-4.

Game release courtesy of Springfield College.