EAST BOSTON – The second-seed Suffolk baseball handled the third-seed Lasers of Lasell, 15-8, Thursday night at East Boston Memorial Park in the second round of the 2017 GNAC Tournament.
SCORE: Suffolk 15, Lasell 8
RECORDS: Suffolk (24-13) | Lasell (15-15)
HOW IT HAPPENED
Lasell opened the scoring in the first frame before the Rams responded in the home half of the inning. With one out, Sean Cameron walked, and stole second before Seth Coiley drew a base on balls. Suffolk's runners advanced to second and third thanks to a balk and Matt Brenner scored Cameron with a single through the left side to level the playing field.
Suffolk made up more ground and then some in the bottom of the second. This time the Rams struck with two outs. Thanks to a Lasers error Kevin Higgins took first and sniped second to get in scoring position. The sophomore third baseman came around on Brady Chant's single to center to start the scoring rally. Chant stole the third base of the night to reach second and deep double from Cameron to right brought in the junior center fielder. Coiley drew his second walk of the night and Brenner collected his second RBI with a single to right to make it a 4-1 Suffolk score.
The margin was trimmed to two runs in the top of fourth with the Lasers bringing a run around with a single to center field by Robert Cutone that plate David Marshall.
As the Lasers brought in fresh arm Matt Haskell the Rams took advantage, ringing the senior for three runs to rebuild a hefty lead. Chant led off with a single short and worked his way around the bases with back-to-back passed balls. After Cameron walked, Coiley tallied his first hit of the night, a single, to bring in Chant. A double steal preceded Brenner perfect place double to right center than stretched Suffolk's edge to 7-2.
Lasell cut the deficit to three with one run in the sixth and made its fourth change on the mound on the night with Mike Tacinelli taking over the reins. The Lasers' hurler held the Rams and Ryan Pordes threw a stunner seventh fanning three Lasell bats, two swinging. The visitors were able to punch one run through, however, as Brandon Valentin barreled Brenner over at the plate on Andre Marchessault's single to change the score to 7-4, after 6.5
Suffolk put on a show in the bottom of the seventh. After Kevin Higgins recorded an RBI with a single to left, Chant pulled his usual triple trick out of his pocket. The centerfield's standup triple scored three runs, before he came in a 63 ground out by Cameron. The Rams runs continued to come in as Brenner blasted a triple to deep to plate Coiley, who walked for the third time on the night. Greg Speliotis and Luke Ronchi lifted the Rams to 15-4 with back-to-back doubles.
Two Lasell's runs came in in the eight to cut the deficit back to single digits, 15-6. Behind Tyler Zell on the hill, the Lasers walked in a pair of runs, but the sophomore fanned two hitters and an 31 out at first sealed the Rams 15-7 winning fate.
- Brenner had a day. The senior catcher went 4-for-5 at the plate with one double and one triple for five RBI and one run scored.
- Chant, who went 3-for-6, tallied one triple to register four RBI and go with three runs scored.
- Coiley put together a 2-for-3 effort at the plate with three walks for one RBI and two runs scored.
- BJ Neil (3-5) and Cameron had multiple hit days. The former scored once, while the latter crossed home three times and brought in one run.
- Pordes grabbed the win with a four-run, 12-hit, four-walk, five-strikeout effort in 7.0 innings.
- Zell worked the final three frames. The relief arm gave up four runs (three earned) on four hits, four walks and sat down four hitters.
- Frank Zammarelli went the first three innings and allowed four runs (one earned) on six hits and four walks with two strikeouts.
- Haskell saw just four batters, allowing three runs on three hits.
- Patrick Colvin threw 2.0 scoreless innings, giving up just one hit.
- Tacinelli saw one inning on the hill with Lorenzo Davis coming out of the pen in the seventh.
- Suffolk advances in the winner's bracket for the third straight season.
- Chant tallied his 12th triple of the season. He is now two shy of the NCAA DIII single-season record.
Suffolk advances to the winner's bracket and will face Johnson & Wales, the tournament's fourth seed, Saturday, May 6 at 3 p.m. at Fraser's Field in Lynn.