EAST BOSTON – With two outs and two runners on in the bottom of the 10th with the score tied at 7-all, Kevin Higgins made the most of his lone hit of the night, as the sophomore brought in the go-ahead run to boast Suffolk baseball to a walk-off win over No. 13/18 Salve Regina at East Boston Memorial Park Monday night.
SCORE: Suffolk 8, #13/18 Salve Regina 7
RECORDS: Suffolk (22-13) | #13/18 Salve Regina (30-8)
HOW IT HAPPENED
Suffolk went through its order in the first frame to take an early 4-0 edge. Brady Chant walked, sniped second and advanced to third on a throwing error by Seahawks catcher Colton Eremian.After Sean Cameron drew a base on balls, Matt Brenner brought the first runner in with a sac fly to left.
The Rams' aggressive offense continued as Cameron stole second, Greg Spelitois walked and Luke Ronchi wore one to load the bags for Zach Grogan. The sophomore left fielder was the fourth player in blue-and-gold to reach on a walk in the inning, bringing in a runner in, to put two Suffolk marks on the scoreboard and Salve Regina made a change on the mound.
In the second stanza, Suffolk added to its lead. BJ Neil, who led off with a deep double to right center, came around on a single to center from Chant to push the Rams' advantage to five runs.
The Seahawks didn't stay quiet for long as they broke open their scoring in the top of the third to trim the margin to four, 5-1, after 2.5.
Salve Regina another run in the top of the fourth, but Suffolk turned a 643-double play and Trevor Lee held onto a fly foul to keep the visitors there.
Another multiple run frame from the Rams ensued in the bottom of the fourth. Trevor Lee, who led off with a walk, came in on a Cameron single through the left side and two hitters later and the bags full, Ronchi was hit by the pitch for the second time on the day to let another Rams runner strut in for a 7-2 cushion.
A scoreless fifth was followed by a huge top of the sixth by the Seahawks. The visitors pulled within one, with four runs, three earned and one thanks to a Rams' error.
Suffolk had multiple opportunities to regain a hefty cushion, but the Rams left all the ducks in the pond in the sixth and stranded two in the seventh as the score stood still at 7-6.
The tying run came in the top of the eighth with the Seahawks using a sac fly from John Militano to lock the contest at 7-all.
Salve Regina left one on in the top half of the night, while Suffolk stranded two to send the game into extras. After Charles Batchelder retired the side, the Seahawks quickly sat down two Rams. In the next at bat, Ronchi barreled a shot to right field and Salve Regina's Zack Smith bobbled it allowing the senior right fielder to storm into scoring position on third. Pinch hitter Connor Troio reached on a freebie to put runners in the corners and Higgins single to left field scored Ronchi to lift the Rams to victory.
- Lee and Neil put together nearly identical stat lines of 2-for-3 with one double, one run and two walks apiece with Lee also bringing in one run.
- Brenner and Chant each put together a 2-for-5 effort. Chant had one walk, one RBI and one run, while Brenner brought in one run. Chant added one stolen base to his stat line.
- Higgins contributed two RBI with Cameron adding one hit, one RBI, one run, two walks and one stolen base.
- Batchelder picked up his first victory of the season in relief effort. The sophomore allowed just one run on two hits with two strikeouts in 4.0 innings.
- In his first start of the season, Wyatt Stanley went 6.0 frames, letting up six runs (four earned) on 12 hits and sat down two hitters.
- Three different arms took the hill for the Seahawks. Zach Dionne suffered the setback despite fanning eight batters. In the final 4.1 innings, he let up the game-deciding run on three hits.
- The victory marks the Rams' fourth walk-off victory of the season and 11th game decided by one-run for the blue-and-gold in 2017, nine of which Suffolk won.
- Suffolk took down its fourth ranked opponent of the season.
Suffolk, who is the second seed, awaits the decision of tomorrow's single-elimination game between #3 Lasell/#6 Albertus Magnus to find out its opponent for its first GNAC Tournament tilt set for Thursday, May 4 at East Boston Memorial Park. Game time is set for 7 p.m.