Suffolk vs. Newbury
BOSTON – After being sidelined this weekend due to inclement weather this weekend, the Suffolk baseball team returns to action this weekend when it travels to Endicott and entertains Newbury. The Rams will visit the Gulls Tuesday, April 5 at 3:30 p.m., before welcoming the Nighthawks to East Boston for Suffolk's home opener Thursday, April 7 at 6:30 p.m.
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LAST TIME OUT
The Suffolk baseball team used a two-run ninth inning to secure an 8-6 victory at Curry Thursday afternoon.
After the Colonels jumped out to a 2-0 lead after the first inning, Suffolk stayed in the game thanks to four home runs one each from Jake Frasca, Matt Brenner, Seth Coiley and Drew Carter. Carter's monster hit that cleared the center field fence gave the Rams a 5-4 lead heading into eighth, but Curry responded with a run on a passed ball.
In the ninth inning, Suffolk capitalized on the same mistake that just cost them a run, to bally one itself and retake the lead, 6-5 and went on to score two more for the final 8-6 triumph.
MORE READING: Two-Run Ninth Inning Pushes Baseball Past Curry
RUN DOWN ON THE RAMS
Sitting at 13-4 after its Spring Break trip and six road non-conference contests in New England, the Rams are prepped for GNAC ball.
A trio of Rams have started in the field all 17 games this season, each of whom bring a fair amount of production at the plate as well Drew Carter (.439/.614/.543) at third, Jon Lapolla (.394/.535/.408) at first and behind the plate and Brady Chant (.375/.556/.432) in center have all seen every game for Suffolk.
Carter paces the Rams with the second-best batting average in the league .439, off 25 hits, seven of which are doubles, adding 16 RBI and 11 runs score. Co-captain Lapolla is batting the eighth-best in the conference (.394), and has plated a team-high 19 RBI and has scored a team-best 17 times himself. Seeing every game at second and starting 15 is Jake Frasca, who is hitting .406, which ranks fifth in the conference and second on the team. The freshman has brought in 15 runs on his 26 hits, seven of which were doubles.
On the bump, the Rams feature a deadly six starters in Worth Walrod (3-0, 1.35 ERA), Chuck Gibson (2-0, 1.64 ERA), Kevin Sinatra (3-0, 2.12 ERA), Tim Conroy (2-0, 4.50 ERA), Kyle Turner (1-2, 4.97 ERA) and Ryan Pordes (0-2, 5.79 ERA). Turner and Gibson are one-two in strikeouts this season for the Rams' hurlers, punching out 24 and 22 batters, respectively. Cal Carroll has seen action in seven games, picking up one win and three saves with seven Ks.
FOUR HOMERS AND THREE YEARS AGO
Four different Rams combined to hit four balls out of the park at Curry, the most home runs by a Suffolk squad since matching that number in a 14-0 victory over Rivier April 7, 2013.
HERO OF THE WEEK
Jon Lapolla continues to have a superior senior season as the Providence, Rhode Island native won this past week's national poll conducted by HeroSports.com as the National Offensive HERO of the Week in Division III baseball.
Lapolla was nominated for the honor last week on the heels of a 6-2 second Spring Break leg for the Rams and his first GNAC Corvias Player of the Week accolade of his storied career. The 6-foor-2 infielder beat out his competition, grabbing 87 percent of the votes, more than 130 than the second-place finisher with 146 of the near 200 submitted.
Last season Suffolk stole 54 bases all year, but in just its first 17 games this season, the Rams have successfully stolen 39 bags, the most in the GNAC and have been caught in the act just 10 times. On the flip side, Suffolk opponents have just 17 steals in 22 attempts.
Jon Lapolla's team-best eight steals are good for third amongst GNAC players with Brady Chant's six coming in fourth in the conference. Seth Coiley and Rob Marks are also in the league's top ten stealers, grabbing four each to tie for seventh.
THE .300 CLUB
Nearing the midpoint of the season, five Rams' batters are swinging the bat well, hitting .350 or better in 2.5 dish appearances per game: Drew Carter (.439), Brady Chant (.375), Jake Frasca (.406), Jon Lapolla (.394) and Rob Marks (.364).
The three top hitters for Suffolk – Carter, Frasca and Lapolla – rank amongst the GNAC's best bats in batting average. Carter is second (.439), Frasca is tied for fifth (.406) and Lapolla is eighth (.394).
TEN HITS AND COUNTING
The Rams have put together double-digit hits in 76.4 percent (13-17) of their games this season, including seven straight contests with double figure hits from March 16 through March 26. Suffolk is averaging 11.8 hits per game, the most in the GNAC, this season. The Rams' produced a season-best 23 in an 18-4 win against Clarkson March 13, the most by the blue-and-gold since it tallied 26 over Norwich three years ago (April 24, 2013).
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|HITS DURING STREAK
CORVIAS ECAC DIII ROOKIE OF THE WEEK
After turning in a five-run, four-RBI performance over the course of Suffolk baseball's three wins last week, the ECAC recognized Jake Frasca as Division III New England Rookie of the Week.
For the past three weeks a Suffolk baseball player has been recognized for their efforts by the GNAC with the Rams earning 41.6 percent (5-for-12) of the conference's weekly awards so far this season. Worth Walrod's two pitcher of the week accolades lead the way with Jon Lapolla earning a player of the week nod March 21. Jake Frasca and Kevin Sinatra each picked up their first weekly award of their collegiate careers with Frasca being named the best rookie over a seven day stretch and Sinatra being tabbed the best hurler March 28.
Senior co-captain Jon Lapolla's two-out, RBI double in the bottom of the ninth inning lifted Suffolk past Montclair State, 4-3 in a walk-off win. The Rams had two walk-off victories in 2015, with the most important coming in the 13th inning over Johnson & Wales in the GNAC Championship game.
GET TO KNOW THE GULLS
Endicott's last three games have been determined by one-run. The Gulls landed on the wrong side at Bates, dropping an 12-11 contest, before defeating Southern Maine, 4-3, and MIT, 5-4, to improve to 9-5 on the year.
Michael DeDonato's bat leads the way for Endicott. The sophomore produces team-best marks in hits (25), runs (14), RBI (13), batting average (.431), slugging percentage (.655), homers (3) and matches a team-high in doubles (4).
JJ Branch owns the best winning percentage on the hills. The senior right-hander has started four games, winning three, allowing 21 hits, nine runs and striking out 14 for a 3.38 ERA.
FLYING WITH THE NIGHTHAWKS
Newbury started the year off hot, but has since lost five of the last six to move to 9-12 on the season. The Nighthawks' last win came in the nightcap of a doubleheader at Lesley (7-6).
Ryan Zahornasky and Ian Hruniak are one-two at the plate for Newbury. Zahornasky is first on the team in hits (27), RBI (22) and on-base percentage (.465). Hruniak on the other hand has produced 26 hits, 10 RBI and has scored 18 himself.
Craig Barnett has seen the most action for the Nighthawks, throwing 32.2 innings with a 1-3 record. The senior has allowed 29 hits, 11 runs, 17 walks and struck out 25 for a 1.65 ERA.
Suffolk opens GNAC play Saturday, April 9 when the Rams entertain Saint Joseph's (Maine) in a doubleheader in Eastie set to begin at noon.