AUBURNDALE, Fla. – The No. 24 Suffolk baseball team scored early – one run in the first and second inning, respectively – and held off Rochester Institute of Technology down the stretch to return to the win column, 2-1, Tuesday afternoon at Henley Field apart of the RussMatt Central Florida Invitational.
SCORE: #24 Suffolk 2, RIT 1
RECORDS: #24 Suffolk (4-1) | RIT (2-3)
HOW IT HAPPENED
Both of Suffolk's runs came with two outs on the board in the top two innings. Matt Brenner, who reached on a fielder's choice and advanced to second on a wild pitch came in on a Kevin Belskie single to start things off.
RIT was retired in order in the home half of the first with Ryan Pordes sitting down two Tigers, both swinging. The Rams kept their momentum to lead off the second with Luke Ronchi knocking a double to left field. The senior was pushed to third on a sac bunt from Kevin Higgins and crossed home thanks to BJ Neil's RBI single to stretch the margin to 2-0.
The Tigers trimmed the deficit to one in the bottom of the third. Navada Waterman opened things up with a double, stole third and scored on a Jason Schulz' ground out to Rams' shortstop Higgins. RIT stranded the tying and go-ahead run on base as Suffolk's defense settled the Tigers and Pordes capping off the inning with a strikeout, his third of the day.
As Suffolk's bats quieted down, their defense stepped up to hold on for the 2-1 triumph over the Tigers.
- Seven different Rams accounted for the blue-and-gold's seven hits.
- Trevor Lee went 1-for-2 at the plate and drew a walk.
- Brenner and Ronchi, who each went 1-for-4, scored the runs for Suffolk, with Belskie (1-4) and Neil (1-3) recording one RBI apiece.
- In the field first baseman Belskie had nine putouts with catcher Brenner making six.
- Pordes went the complete nine to grab his first win of the season. The junior hurler gave up one run on six hits and sat down six batters.
- Stevie Branche allowed two runs on six hits and notched 11 Ks in the setback for the Tigers.
- In relief, Brett Bouchard limited the Rams to just one hit in the final 2.0 innings.
- Suffolk is off to a 4-1 start for the second-straight season.
- Pordes threw his second complete-game as a Ram and is the first Suffolk hurler to toss a 9.0 innings in one outing since Kyle Turner did in a 10-0 victory over St. Joseph's (Maine) in the GNAC Semifinals May 7, 2016.
Suffolk takes on New England native Gordon Wednesday, March 15 at 4 p.m.