April 26, 2009

Baseball Claims GNAC Championship

Standish, ME - In one of the craziest weekends of baseball, the Suffolk University Rams (27-8) outlasted host St. Joseph's College (28-12) on Sunday in the final game of the Great Northeast Athletic Conference Tournament, 15-6. St. Joseph's pulled off a dramatic victory in the first game of the day erasing a 4-0 deficit to beat the Rams 6-5 and force the extra game. Both teams were involved in a slugfest on Saturday, 22-21 as the Rams were victorious to advance in the winner's bracket.  With all the controversy surrounding the new Yankee Stadium, St. Joseph's Larry Mahaney Diamond was host to five games during the weekend tournament that saw a combined 112 runs scored.  By winning the tournament the Rams now advance to the NCAA Regionals. It will be Suffolk's fourth regional appearance since 2000.

Suffolk's lineup was firing on all cylinders throughout the weekend as the Rams combined to hit .382 in the three games, scoring 42 runs in three days off Monks' pitching. Sophomre Mark Addesa (Revere, MA) was named the GNAC Tournament Most Valuable Player. Addesa hit .350 in the Rams' four game weekend, including driving in the go-ahead run in Friday's 4-2 victory over Albertus Magnus in the opening game of the tournament. Addesa finished the tournament 7-for-20 with nine runs scored, six RBI and was outstanding defensively with nine putouts and 20 assists. Three other Rams players were named to the GNAC Tournament team. Junior Rory Gentile (Gloucester, MA) had a monster weekend hitting .444 with two home runs, eight runs scored, and 11 RBI. Junior Bobby Barrett (Milton, MA) hit .411 on the weekend with eight RBI, including hitting a grand slam in Saturday's victory. Sophomore Alex Torres (Framingham, MA) picked the win up in the clincher. Torres threw a complete game, allowing four earned runs on six hits while striking out a pair.

In each of the four games, Suffolk got performances from virtually their entire roster. Suffolk opened up the Great Northeast Athletic Conference Tournament with a dramatic 4-2 victory  Friday afternoon. Senior Tim Doyle (Milton, MA) was superb on the mound giving the Rams eight innings to move his record to 6-0. Doyle, who was named to the GNAC All-Conference first team for 2009 pitched eight innings only allowing one earned run on five hits while striking out four. Sophomore Charles Kilgore (Milford, NH) picked up his first win of the season in the game Saturday in relief. Kilgore pitched 2 1/3 innings bridging the gap for Suffolk in the bullpen to get to senior Dan Delia (Boston, MA) and sophomore Jon Handy (South Burlington, VT) to help hang on to the victory. Freshman Dan Belanger (Raynham, MA) caught both ends of Sunday's double header in an emergency role after Barrett was forced to DH with a sore left knee. Belanger was solid defensively behind the dish, not allowing a passed ball and threw out a base stealer. The freshman also picked up two hits in the league clinching game, including a 2-run single in the fifth.

The Rams also got strong performance out of their regulars. Senior Anthony Iacopucci (Medford, MA) had a monster game on Saturday going 3 for 5 with four RBI. Iacopucci homered in his second at-bat of Suffolk's 11-run second inning on Saturday, after hitting a line drive off the top of the wall in his first-at bat. Senior Keith Carter (Newburyport, MA) reached base 11 out his 20 trips to the plate this weekend, including going 6-for-12 with the bat. Senior Paul Vittozzi (North Reading, MA) hit at a .414 clip throughout the weekend, while senior Mike Kenneally (Georgetown, MA) continued to stay hot going 7-for-19 with six runs scored. Sophomore Nick Travelyn (Bedford, NH) was also 6-for-11 on the weekend with the bat for the Rams. Senior Reid Jackson (Burlington, MA) was the tough luck loser on Sunday, however the senior southpaw pitched well only allowing one extra base hit. Jackson's picked up eight strikeouts in his complete game effort for the Rams.

By winning the tournament, Suffolk now earns an automatic bid to the NCAA Regional Tournament. The New England Regional Tournament will be hosted by Eastern Connecticut State University in Willimantic, CT. The regional will begin on May 13.

The Rams will now take a week off as Suffolk University enters final exam week. The Rams will be back in action on Saturday, May 2nd they host Brandeis University in a double header beginning at 1:00 pm at Adams Field. They will then take on MIT on Sunday before hosting Worcester State (5/5) and ending the season at home with Endicott College on May 6th at 7:00 pm at Adams Field.

Tournament Box Scores:

4/24 - Suffolk 4 Albertus Magnus 2

4/25 - Suffolk 22 St. Joseph's 21

4/26 - St. Joseph's 6 Suffolk 5

4/26 - Suffolk 15 St. Joseph's 5 (Championship Game)

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