BOSTON – The Suffolk baseball team looks to keep its seven-win streak alive and secure first-place in the GNAC standings when it travels to Albertus Magnus Saturday for a doubleheader scheduled to begin at 12 p.m.
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Saint Joseph's (Maine)
Johnson & Wales
TOP OF THE FIRST
- Suffolk (27-9, 10-2 GNAC), who is receiving votes in the D3Baseball.com Top 25 and is ranked seventh in the NEIBA, swept its last three GNAC doubleheaders – Norwich, Lasell and Johnson & Wales – to enter the weekend tied for first with Saint Joseph's (Maine).
- The Rams have produced league leading numbers in nearly every major statistical category; runs (302), hits (422), home runs (25), RBI (270), extra base hits (107), total bases (592), walks (150), stolen bases (91), batting average (.335), on-base percentage (.421), slugging percentage (.470) and batting average against (.257).
- Freshman Jake Frasca has sparked the Suffolk offense, which is batting .335, with seven homers, 13 doubles, 37 RBI and 36 runs through 38 contests. Senior Drew Carter leads the league in batting average (.418) by three points above junior Kevin Belskie, who checks in at .415, while five other Rams are hitting north of .300.
- Two of the top GNAC strikeout pitchers grace the mound for the Rams, with Kyle Turner ranking first with 53 punchounts. Chuck Gibson is third in the league and second on the team with 42 Ks. In terms of ERA, Suffolk possesses the league one-two hurlers in Kevin Sinatra and Worth Walrod, both southpaws mind you. Sinatra is 1.42 with 38.0 innings of work and 21 Ks, while Warlod boasts a 1.60 ERA to go along with 34 strikeouts in 39.1 innings of action.
AROUND THE GNAC
Only two conference contests remain for each of the eight teams in the GNAC, and all will be crucial in determining the regular season winner. Suffolk enters the final weekend at 10-2, needing to pick up two games to remain in first.
LAST TIME OUT
The Suffolk baseball team concluded its non-conference slate with its longest game of the year Thursday afternoon, topping UMass Dartmouth, 3-2, in 10 innings, for its seventh straight victory. Freshman Jake Frasca delivered the game-winning home run with an opposite field blast in the top of the 10th, breaking up the 2-2 tie since the end of the eight.
Seven of the nine Rams' starters had a hit, as the blue-and-gold posted 12 knocks in the victory.
In 38 games this season the Rams have surpassed their total of 54 stolen bases from a year ago, successfully stealing 91 bags, a number good for the most in the GNAC and 19th across DIII baseball. On the flip side, Suffolk opponents have 33 steals in 45 attempts.
THE .300 CLUB
Seven Suffolk batters are swinging the bat well, hitting .300 or better in 2.5 dish appearances per game: Kevin Belskie (.415), Sean Cameron (.352), Drew Carter (.418), Brady Chant (.348), Jake Frasca (.331), Jon Lapolla (.373) and Rob Marks (.362),
As a team, the Rams are hitting .335, the best average in the league, and a percentage that lands 10th in the nation across Division III.
The four top hitters for Suffolk – Drew Carter, Kevin Belskie, Jon Lapolla, and Rob Marks - rank amongst the GNAC's best bats. Carter is first (.418), Belskie is second (.415), Lapolla is seventh (.373) and Marks is eighth (.362).
TEN HITS AND COUNTING
The Rams have put together double-digit hits in 65.8 percent (25-38) of their games this season, including seven straight contests with double figure hits from March 16 through March 26. Suffolk is averaging 11.1 hits per game, the most in the GNAC, this season. Suffolk produced a season-best 23 hits 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).
|HITTING STREAKS ATTACHED|
|HITS DURING STREAK
JAKE JACKS IT
Jake Frasca became the second Ram this season to hit two balls out of the park. The freshman knocked two balls over the fence at Curry matching Seth Coiley's one-game two-homer mark that he set at Endicott April 6. Frasca bombed a three RBI homer in the top of the ninth to pull Suffolk within one of Curry April 22. His three-run homer in the ninth came after the freshman hit one out of the park in the fifth to boost Suffolk's offense.
SETH SHATTERS IT
At Endicott April 6, Seth Coiley led off the fourth inning in style. The sophomore's second at bat extended his hit streak to two thanks to a long ball over the left field fence to break open a scoreless tie. Coiley's homer is the second of the second, in as many games and of his collegiate career. The Arlington, Massachusetts product is the first Ram to strike back-to-back home runs since the ABCA/Rawlings second-team All-American Mike Cunningham '13 did so three times in his senior campaign in 2013 with the last coming April 21-22 against Johnson & Wales and Albertus Magnus, respectively.
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.
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.
Kevin Sintara threw his way to his second weekly award this season as he was recognized as the GNAC Corvias Rookie of the Week. The freshman hurler was recognized as the conference's best hurler over a seven day stretch March 28 for his first collegiate weekly award. The recognition marks Suffolk's ninth of the season as Jake Frasca was named rookie of the week twice, Worth Walrod earned two pitcher of the week honors and Brady Chant, Drew Carter and Jon Lapolla all were tabbed player of the week.
HERO OF THE WEEK
Jon Lapolla continues to have a superior senior season as the Providence, Rhode Island native won a national poll conducted by HeroSports.com as the National Offensive HERO of the Week in Division III baseball March 29.
Lapolla was nominated for the honor 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-foot-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.
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.
GET TO KNOW THE GULLS
Endicott has split its last two series to hold a 21-11 record with its last outing being a 5-2 victory over Salve Regina.
Mick Kochiss' bat leads the way for the Gulls. The junior third baseman produces team-best marks in hits (42), RBI (28), doubles (11) and matches a team-high in homers (3) thanks to a .393 batting average.
JJ Branch, who threw against the Rams' in the team's first meeting this season, owns the best winning percentage on the hill with a 5-1 record, his lone defeat coming to Salve Regina. The senior right-hander has started nine games, winning five, allowing 20 runs on 52 hits, striking out 33 and walking 19 for a 2.50 ERA.
WE MEET AGAIN
In a match-up between two of the best teams in New England, Suffolk baseball hung on for a 5-4 victory over Endicott April 6 at the Gulls' North Field.
MORE READING: Baseball Clings to 5-4 Victory at Endicott
Albertus Magnus is in fifth place in the GNAC standings at 5-7 against conference competition and 12-19 on the season.
Justin Poirier leads the Falcons at the plate with three homers, 10 doubles, 23 RBI and 20 runs. On the mound, Christopher Rivera and Malachi Emond are Albertus Magnus' biggest threats. Rivera boasts a 4.50 ERA and 2-3 records seeing 40.0 innings of action and striking out 21, while Emond holds a 4.54 ERA, 2-4 ledger and 41 Ks.