NORTHBOROUGH, Mass. – Thanks to some heavy hitting and big innings, the Suffolk baseball team secured a series sweep of Anna Maria Sunday night at NE Baseball Complex. The Rams (26-9, 10-2) belted out 12 runs on 18 hits to overcome the AMCATS (8-26, 4-8 GNAC) in two games, 6-1 and 6-3.
Five Rams hit better .500 or better on the day versus Anna Maria, led by Luke Ronchi, who was electric with a .667 average (2-for-3, 2RBI, 1R). Senior Jon Lapolla had perhaps the best day at the plate for Suffolk; in clean up, the first baseman went 2-for-4, tacked on three RBI himself, one of two Rams to do so on the day, and one run scored with a double on the day.
On the mound, Kevin Sinatra was lights out in Game 1, dealing during a complete-game performance. The freshman struck out two, allowing just one run on three hits, while issuing just one walk to show his command and earn the win with his meager 1.29 ERA. In Game 2, Ryan Pordes took the hill, allowing three runs on 11 hits with a career-high nine strikeouts, and one issued walk in the complete-game effort to earn the victory.
GAME 1 | SUFFOLK 6 ANNA MARIA 1
Before Sinatra caught fire on the mound, the teams played an even first inning. The quick 1-0 Suffolk lead that came on Lapolla's RBI single up the middle that scored Rob Marks, was quickly erased in the bottom of the inning when Matthew Leahey sent a deep ball to center field for a two-out homer. The Rams' hurler settled in quickly to induce a ground out to Drew Carter to end the inning.
In the third inning, the Rams opened things up with their only multi-hit inning of the contests. Lapolla cleared Marks and Seth Coiley off the bases with a double to left center to make it 3-1 Suffolk. Marks was hit by the pitch to lead off the inning and Coiley drew a walk to get on.
An inning later, the Rams made it 4-1 on the bat of Brady Chant. The sophomore center fiedler drove in Sean Cameron, who walked, with his NCAA Division III leading ninth triple of the season, a sharp shot to right center.
Suffolk would add its final run in the top of the fifth, facing a new arm, Brandon Matthews. With one out, Jake Frasca got things going with a single through the left side and was moved over on a walk by Carter. Two batters later, Matt Brenner plated Frasca on a single to right to push the visitor's edge to 6-1.
From there, Sinatra continued to deal, giving up just one hit the rest of the way as Suffolk ran to a 6-1 victory in the first end of the doubleheader.
GAME 2 | SUFFOLK 6 ANNA MARIA 3
After a quiet four innings, Suffolk put its foot on the bass peda, erupting for all six of its runs in the top of the fifth inning, all off home runs. bats exploded once again for six runs in the top of the fifth inning, all off home runs. A solo bomb by Carter got things going. Luke Ronchi one-upped Carter's second homer of the season, with a two RBI out-of-the-park ball that scored Frasca. Ronchi's shot was upstaged by Coiley who knocked a two-out, three RBI bomb to left center for the fourth, fifth and sixth runs. Cameron and BJ Neil, who were placed on base thanks to a walk and hit-by-pitch, respectively, came in on the sophomore's third long ball of the year.
Though in the bottom of the fifth, Anna Maria added one to erase the shutout. The AMCATS attempted their second rally of the day, scoring two runs on three hits in the bottom of the seventh. Anna Maria put runners on first and second with a single and a walk and advanced to second and third on a balk. A fielder's choice brought in one after the first out, a strike out swinging, and a James Mercello single up the middle score another. But with the AMCATS would strand the loaded bases, as Pordes struck out Leahey and induced a game-ending grounder from Tanner Jakola to end the scare and preserve the sweep.
Suffolk returns to the diamond tomorrow as it travels to Salve Regina for a non-conference contest set to begin at 3:30 p.m.