BOSTON – The sixth-seeded Suffolk baseball team suffered its first setback of the 2017 NCAA New England Regional Saturday night and looks to fight its way out of an elimination game versus fifth-seeded Babson Sunday afternoon to advance to the regional final Sunday against the region's top seed #17/19 UMass Boston.
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NCAA NEW ENGLAND REGIONAL SCHEDULE
THURSDAY, MAY 18
GAME 1: #5 Babson defeated #4 Salve Regina, 14-3 Video
GAME 2: #1 UMass Boston defeated #8 Penn State Berks, 9-8 (10) Video
GAME 3: #6 Suffolk defeated #3 St. John Fisher, 4-0 Video
GAME 4: #2 Arcadia defeated #7 Worcester State, 4-3 (12) Video
FRIDAY, MAY 19
GAME 5: #4 Salve Regina defeated #8 Penn State Berks, 12-4 Video
GAME 6: #3 St. John Fisher defeated #7 Worcester State, 14-7 Video
GAME 7: #1 UMass Boston defeated #5 Babson, 4-0 Video
GAME 8: #6 Suffolk defeated #2 Arcadia, 1-0 (11) Video
SATURDAY, MAY 20
GAME 9: #5 Babson defeated #3 St. John Fisher, 12-8 Video
GAME 10: #4 Salve Regina defeated #2 Arcadia, 5-0 Video
GAME 11: #1 UMass Boston defeated #6 Suffolk, 13-4 Video
GAME 12: #5 Babson defeated #4 Salve Regina, 5-4 Video
MONDAY, MAY 22 - IF NECESSARY
GAME 15: Winner Game #14 vs. Loser Game #14 - 11:00 a.m.
|-/RV BABSON (28-14)
|#17/19 UMASS BOSTON (36-10)
|PENN STATE BERKS(20-21)
|#22/18 ST. JOHN FISHER (32-11)
|#20/22 SALVE REGINA (35-12)
|WORCESTER STATE (20-22)
For the first time in its seven trips, Suffolk found its way into the winner's bracket with its 4-0 shutout over third-seed, #22/18 St. John Fisher Thursday. The Rams one-upped that win, which marked multiples firsts for the blue-and-gold – first NCAA Tournament win under three-year head coach Anthony Del Prete, the first Suffolk NCAA win since 2005 and the first-ever Suffolk shutout in the Big Dance – with a 1-0, 11-inning walk-off win over #25/RV Arcadia to reach the final winner's bracket contest. The thriller versus the Knights added more first to the Rams' growing list as Suffolk advances to the winner's bracket final game for the first-time in program history after playing its third-ever extra-inning game at the tournament.
Suffolk looks to secure its spot in the regional final with third tournament win Sunday. The victory would mark the first time in program history that the Rams earned three NCAA wins and reached the championship game.
Suffolk's offense has been stymied at the regional as the Rams look to make moves today. The blue-and-gold will look upon its heavy hitter in lead-off Brady Chant, who leads the way in nearly every offensive category including average (.360), hits (68) and runs (46). Kevin Belskie and Matt Brenner, who average .343 and .342, respectively, land first and second on the squad in RBI with the seniors scoring 25 and 39 runs apiece.
On the hill, Suffolk is propelled by the trio of arms in Mark Fusco, Chuck Gibson, and Ryan Pordes. Fusco's 1.30 ERA leads the way as the junior right–handed pitcher owns a 4–4 record in 10 appearances, three starts, with 34.2 innings of work and 23 Ks. Gibson also comes in sub-2.00 at 1.77. The senior has shoved a team-high 71.1 frames, fanning 51 hitters for an 8-1 record in 12 appearances and nine starts. Pordes has worked 76.0 innings on the bump for a 3.20 ERA and 54 strikeouts.
The New England regional features familiar faces for the Rams as Suffolk has taken the diamond against four of seven teams vying for the single ticket to the NCAA Championship in Appleton, Wisconsin. Against the foes, Suffolk is 3–2 with wins over St. John Fisher, Salve Regina and a split with UMass Boston. Worcester State is the lone team to own a winning record versus Suffolk's 2017 line–up.
RANK AND FILE
On the verge of its third consecutive and seventh overall NCAA Regional appearance, Suffolk made its way into the New England Intercollegiate Baseball Association (NEIBA) poll for the first time this season as the No. 8 team in New England.
|NEIBA COACHES POLL WEEK 8|
1. UMass Boston (5)
2. Salve Regina
3. Southern Maine
T8. St. Joseph's (Maine)
MORE READING: Baseball Emerges in NEIBA Coaches Poll
Suffolk has kept its fans on the edge of their seats this season as 15 of the Rams' contests have been decided by one–run. The blue–and–gold have come out on the winning side of the thrillers 11 times, five in walk–off fashion and in extra innings on three occasions.
Suffolk has gone into extra innings five times this season, once at the regionals to own a 3-2 record in extra session games. Under Anthony Del Prete's guidance, the Rams are 7–3 when playing in extra sessions.
LAST TIME OUT
The sixth-seeded Suffolk baseball team fell in the NCAA New England regional winner's bracket final, 13-4, to the top seed, #17/19 UMass Boston, Saturday night at Whitehouse Field.
MORE READING: Baseball Falls to #17/19 UMass Boston in NCAA Regional
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
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.
D3 TEAM 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
NOT ALL HEROES WEAR CAPES
Brady Chant and Chuck Gibson added more accolades to their growing resumes as the junior and senior won their respectively weekly national polls conducted by HeroSports.com to be named HERO of the Week.
Chant picked up the nod after his three triple performance in a 30-2 win over Anna Maria April15, while Gibson grabbed the recognition thanks to his two–hit, eight–strikeout, complete–game shutout showing on the mound in the conference championship versus the Wildcats of JWU.
Matt Brenner was recognized for his efforts in the classroom as the senior was named to the CoSIDA Academic All–District team for the 2017 season. Brenner is one of 11 NCAA Division III players in the New England region honored for combined excellence academically and athletics with first–team District 1 recognition. The Finance and Global Business major is the fifth Ram to ever pick up the honor and the first since Jake Cintolo did so in 2014.
MORE READING: Brenner Named to CoSIDA Academic All-District Team
Since 1968, Suffolk has taken the field again 165 opponents. The Rams have not dropped a game to 45 of their all–time competition to hold an unbeaten record against 0.268 percent of their all–time foes. At the regionals, Suffolk kept its perfect record against St. John Fisher intact and added Arcadia to the list of opponents the Rams are undefeated against.
THAT'S A FIRST
Suffolk took the diamond against a pair of fresh competition this season and did met a new opponent at the NCAA New England Friday when it faced Arcadia.
ON THE BENCH
Anthony Del Prete was named the sixth head coach in Suffolk baseball history in 2015 and is in the midst of his third season as the Rams' head coach. In his three seasons as skipper, Del Prete has guided Suffolk to GNAC glory three times and three consecutive NCAA Division III Regional Tournament appearances.
BIT BOUT THE BEAVERS
Babson (28-14) escaped elimination Saturday with two wins - a convincing 12-8 win over three-seed, #22/18 St. John Fisher before an eighth-inning rally sent the Beavers to a 5-4 victory over fourth-seed, #20/22 Salve Regina in the nightcap.
Brian McHale's and Jack Halpin's bats have proved to be the most consistent for Babson. The former owns a .370 average with 57 hits, 25 RBI and 32 runs, while the latter comes in at .339 on 61 hits for 38 runs driven in and 32 runs scored.
Deep into the tournament with four games already under their belts, the Beavers have used seven hurlers on the hill. Edward Lehr is the only Babson starter that has yet to see action this tournament with the sophomore earning the nod seven times, working 28.2 innings for a 6.91 ERA and 14 strikeouts.
The winner heads into the championship Sunday, May 21 at 4 p.m., where it will take on the regional's top and undefeated team #17/19 UMass Boston.