Suffolk at Worcester State
BOSTON – With its third straight and seventh overall trip to the NCAA Championship on the calendar, Suffolk baseball will use non-conference contests at Bates and Worcester State to gear up for the Big Dance. The Rams trek to the Bobcats Thursday, May 11 for a twin bill that starts at 2 p.m., before heading to the Lancers Friday, May 12 for nine innings with a 12 p.m. start.
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LAST TIME OUT
The second-seeded Suffolk baseball team claimed its third straight conference crown Sunday night at Fraser Field as the Rams shutout the fourth-seeded Wildcats of Johnson & Wales, 1-0.
MORE READING: GNAC CHAMPS! Baseball Threepeats with 1-0 Win over JWU
Suffolk looks to add marks in its win column before NCAAs get underway as the Rams take a 25-13 record into the week.
The Rams' upperclassmen continue to buoy Suffolk's offense, which sees even everyday starters produce averages over .300. Brady Chant is the most potent threat as the junior leads the way in just about every offense category with the centerfielder hitting .345, slugging .612 producing 57 hits, 41 runs and 12 stolen bases to go along with 32 RBI. Matt Brenner sits second squad in multiple categories with a .344 average for 45 hits, 35 runs and a team-high 33 RBI. Kevin Belskie has also driven in 33 runs with 42 hits on a .339 average and the senior first baseman has scored 24 times, while classmate Luke Ronchi owns 32 RBI on 44 hits with a .341 average. The right fielder has also contributed 30-plus runs, crossing home 34 times.
Suffolk's staff is propelled by the trio of arms in Mark Fusco, Chuck Gibson, and Ryan Pordes. Fusco's 1.16 ERA leads the way as the junior right-handed pitcher owns a 3-3 record in eight appearances, three starts, with 31.0 innings of work and 22 Ks. Gibson joins Fusco with a sub-2.00 ERA, coming in a 1.65 through 54.2 frames and has fanned 38 hitters. Pordes, who has seen the most action on the hill for the Rams, 61.0 innings, brings in a 3.98 ERA and 46 strikeouts.
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.
D3TEAM 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
HERO OF THE WEEK
Chuck Gibson of the Suffolk baseball team has been named a nominee for Herosports.com DIII Baseball Pitching HERO of the Week thanks to his stand-up effort on the mound in the GNAC Championship 1-0 victory over Johnson & Wales Sunday.
Bates will use the doubleheader showdown with the Rams to prep for its upcoming NESCAC Tournament, which gets underway Friday. The Bobcats are coming off a two-game setback at Williams, that put them at .500 on the season (15-15).
Dan Trulli's .308 average paces the plate for Bates with the sophomore infielder owning a team-best 28 hits for 13 RBI and 11 runs. Jack Arend, who hits .243, leads the way in runs driven in, tallying 15, on 18 hits to go with 10 runs scored, while Brendan Fox, who hits .264, matches Trulli's 13 RBI thanks to 23 hits. Ryan McCarthy brings in a team-high 22 runs scored with Brendon Canavan adding 17.
Connor Speed is the best starting arm for the Bobcat as the junior carries a 2.17 ERA into Thursday's title. Speed has seen 49.2 frames and sat down a squad-best 40 hitters. Jake Shaprio is the go-to relief with the junior holding three saves in 8.1 innings of work and a 1.08 ERA.
Worcester State, 19-20, cruised through the MASCAC Tournament field and lifted itself to the conference crown with a 1-0 decision over Framingham State Tuesday afternoon.
Adam Barry is the heftiest bat for the Lancers with the senior outfielder hitting .347, slugging .500, on 52 hits to drive in 34 runs and score 23 himself. Classmate and fellow outfielder Jake Ryan is also a major contributor at the plate with 54 hits on a .370 average and .541 slugging percentage for 24 RBI and a team-high 42 runs scored.
On the hill, Kyle Sullivan is their most successful starter with the sophomore brining in a 3.02 ERA in nine appearances, six starts, with a 6-1 record through 44.2 innings that feature 32 strikeouts. Tyler Barrie, meanwhile, holds a 3.52 ERA in 10 starts and 61.1 frames of work with 40 Ks.
NOT ALL HEROES WEAR CAPES
Brady Chant added more accolades to his growing resume as the junior won this week's national poll conducted by Herosports.com as the Offensive HERO of the Week in Division III baseball.
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
Suffolk awaits the pairing and seeding of the 2017 NCAA Championship, which will be released late Sunday or first thing Monday morning.