BOSTON – Suffolk baseball found its way into the winner's bracket thanks to an all–around, well–balanced performance in a 4–0 victory in the NCAA New England regional opener versus third–seed, #22/18 St. John Fisher anchored by senior Chuck Gibson on the mound. The sixth–seeded Rams are now set for a Friday, May 19 tilt versus second–seed, #25/RV Arcadia under the lights at Whitehouse Field. at 8 p.m.
The Knights reached the winner's bracket with a walk–off in a 12–inning win over seventh–seeded Worcester State.
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NCAA NEW ENGLAND REGIONAL SCHEDULE
THURSDAY, MAY 18
GAME 1: #5 Babson defeated #4 Salve Regina, 14-3 Video
GAME 2: #1 UMass Boston defeated #8 Penn State Berks, 9-8 (10) Video
GAME 3: #6 Suffolk defeated #3 St. John Fisher, 4-0 Video
GAME 4: #2 Arcadia defeated #7 Worcester State, 4-3 (12) Video
FRIDAY, MAY 19
GAME 5: #4 Salve Regina vs. #8 Penn State Berks - Live Stats - Live Video
GAME 6: #3 St. John Fisher vs. #7 Worcester State - Live Stats - Live Video
GAME 7: #1 UMass Boston vs. #5 Babson - Live Stats - Live Video
GAME 8: #2 Arcadia vs. #6 Suffolk - Live Stats - Live Video
SATURDAY, MAY 20
GAME 9: Winner Game #6 vs. Loser Game #7 - 9:30 a.m.
GAME 10: Loser Game #8 vs. Winner Game #5 - 1:00 p.m.
GAME 11: Winner Game #7 vs. Winner Game #8 - 4:30 p.m.
GAME 12: Winner Game #10 vs. Winner Game #9 - 8:00 p.m.
SUNDAY, MAY 21
GAME 13: Winner Game #12 vs. Loser Game #11 - 12:00 p.m.
GAME 14: Winner game #11 vs. Winner Game #13 - 4:00 p.m.
MONDAY, MAY 22 - IF NECESSARY
GAME 15: Winner Game #14 vs. Loser Game #14 - 11:00 a.m.
|-/RV BABSON (26-13)
|#17/19 UMASS BOSTON (34-10)
|PENN STATE BERKS(20-20)
|#22/18 ST. JOHN FISHER (31-10)
|#20/22 SALVE REGINA (34-11)
|WORCESTER STATE (20-21)
For the first time in its seven trips, Suffolk found its way into the winner's bracket with its 4–0 shutout over third–seed, #22/18 St. John Fisher. The win marked multiple Rams' firsts including the first NCAA Tournament win under three–year head coach Anthony Del Prete, the first Suffolk NCAA win since 2005 and the first–ever Suffolk shutout in the Big Dance.
Suffolk looks for its second win at the big dance Friday, to mark the second-time the Rams marked two tallies in the win column as the blue-and-gold accomplished the feat in its first trip to the NCAAs in 2000.
The Rams upperclassmen buoy Suffolk's offense, which sees seven everyday starters produce averages over .300. Brady Chant is the most potent threat at the plate with the junior leading the way in just about every offensive category. The centerfielder hits .372, slugs .644 with 67 hits, 29 of which went for extra bases, to drive in 35 runs. Chant has scored 46 times and sniped 16 bags. Matt Brenner has brought in a team–high 36 runs thanks to a .340 average for 50 hits and 37 runs scored. Kevin Belskie is second on the squad, hitting .346 for 36 RBI on 47 hits to go along with 25 runs.
On the hill, Suffolk is propelled by the quartet of arms in Mark Fusco, Chuck Gibson, Ryan Pordes and Worth Walrod. Fusco's 1.38 ERA leads the way as the junior right–handed pitcher owns a 4–3 record in nine appearances, three starts, with 32.2 innings of work and 22 Ks. Gibson also comes in sub-2.00 at 1.77. The senior has shoved a team-high 71.1 frames, fanning 51 hitters for an 8-1 record in 12 appearances and nine starts. Pordes has worked 67.0 innings on the bump for a 3.63 ERA and 51 strikeouts. Walrod rounds out the foursome with an ERA of 3.77 in 43.0 frames sitting down 34 batters.
The New England regional features familiar faces for the Rams as Suffolk has taken the diamond against four of seven teams vying for the single ticket to the NCAA Championship in Appleton, Wisconsin. Against the foes, Suffolk is 3–2 with wins over St. John Fisher, Salve Regina and a split with UMass Boston. Worcester State is the lone team to own a winning record versus Suffolk's 2017 line–up.
THAT'S A FIRST
Suffolk took the diamond against a pair fresh competition this season and will do so again Friday when it faces Arcadia at the NCAA Regionals.
RANK AND FILE
On the verge of its third consecutive and seventh overall NCAA Regional appearance, Suffolk made its way into the New England Intercollegiate Baseball Association (NEIBA) poll for the first time this season as the No. 8 team in New England.
|NEIBA COACHES POLL WEEK 8|
1. UMass Boston (5)
2. Salve Regina
3. Southern Maine
T8. St. Joseph's (Maine)
MORE READING: Baseball Emerges in NEIBA Coaches Poll
Suffolk has kept its fans on the edge of their seats this season as 14 of the Rams' contests have been decided by one–run. The blue–and–gold have come out on the winning side of the thrillers 10 times, four in walk–off fashion and twice in extra innings.
Suffolk has gone into extra innings four times this season, splitting those contests down the middle, 2–2. Under Anthony Del Prete's guidance, the Rams are 6–3 when playing in extra sessions.
LAST TIME OUT
For the first time in over a decade the Suffolk baseball team found itself in the win column at the NCAA regional bracket as the sixth-seeded Rams shutout third-seed, #22/18 St. John Fisher in the first round of the New England Regional Thursday night at Whitehouse Field to advance into the winner's bracket for the first time in its seven regional trips.
Brady Chant rewrote the Rams' record books on Patriots Day as the junior knocked his 10th triple of the season bringing his career total to 20 to sit atop Suffolk's single season all-time triple marks.
MORE READING: Chant Sets Suffolk's Triple Record
After securing the program's third consecutive GNAC Championship and earning the program's third straight trip to the NCAA Tournament, the Suffolk baseball team has been rewarded with nine All-GNAC selections, including pitcher of the year honors for Chuck Gibson.
D3 TEAM OF THE WEEK
After a shutdown performance in Sunday's GNAC Championship 1-0 win over Johnson & Wales, senior righty Chuck Gibson was named to the D3Baseball.com Team of the Week.
The weekly accolade is the first of the GNAC Tournament MVP's storied career and marks the first time a Ram has been featured on the national weekly team since it began in 2012.
MORE READING: Gibson Named to D3Baseball.com Team of the Week
NOT ALL HEROES WEAR CAPES
Brady Chant and Chuck Gibson added more accolades to their growing resumes as the junior and senior won their respectively weekly national polls conducted by HeroSports.com to be named HERO of the Week.
Chant picked up the nod after his three triple performance in a 30-2 win over Anna Maria April15, while Gibson grabbed the recognition thanks to his two–hit, eight–strikeout, complete–game shutout showing on the mound in the conference championship versus the Wildcats of JWU.
Matt Brenner was recognized for his efforts in the classroom as the senior was named to the CoSIDA Academic All–District team for the 2017 season. Brenner is one of 11 NCAA Division III players in the New England region honored for combined excellence academically and athletics with first–team District 1 recognition. The Finance and Global Business major is the fifth Ram to ever pick up the honor and the first since Jake Cintolo did so in 2014.
MORE READING: Brenner Named to CoSIDA Academic All-District Team
Since 1968, Suffolk has taken the field again 164 opponents. The Rams have not dropped a game to 44 of their all–time competition to hold an unbeaten record against 0.268 percent of their all–time foes. Heading into the regionals, Suffolk looked to remain undefeated against St. John Fisher and the Rams accomplished the feat, moving to 3-0 versus the Cardinals since the first meeting in 2015.
ON THE BENCH
Anthony Del Prete was named the sixth head coach in Suffolk baseball history in 2015 and is in the midst of his third season as the Rams' head coach. In his three seasons as skipper, Del Prete has guided Suffolk to GNAC glory three times and three consecutive NCAA Division III Regional Tournament appearances.
Arcadia (33-11) played well into Friday morning in a marathon contest with seventh-seed Worcester State before Mike Boulanger picked the perfect time for his first career hit as he drove a one-out, 2-2 pitch to center field fence in the bottom of the 12th to lift the Knights over the Lancers and into the winner's bracket.
Bryan Gillen is a force at the dish, hitting .426 with 69 hits, 25 RBI and 44 runs scored. Luke Hohenstein and Justin Chasmar round out the top three bats for Arcadia. The former holds a .371 with 59 hits, 36 RBI and 35 runs, while the latter boasts a .353 average with 53 hits, 34 runs and 39 runs scored.
On the bump, Joseph Warren worked the first game regional for the Knight. The hurler has seen the most action for Arcadia with 49.1 frames for a 4.01 ERA with 65 Ks. The Rams will most likely face Jake Lloyd's arm that boasts a 3.74 ERA in 11 appearances, eight starts, with 43.1 innings of work and 50 strikeouts.
The victor of the Suffolk/Knights showdown advances to the 4:30 p.m. game on Saturday, while the loser looks to stay alive in the do-or-die contest versus the winner of Salve Regina/Penn State Berk on May 20 at 1 p.m.