MARCH 23 | 12:00 PM | 3:00 PM
BOSTON – The Suffolk baseball team will take the field in New England for the first time in 2018 on Saturday, March 24 and the Rams have their work cut out for them as they travel across town for a showdown with No. 1/3 UMass Boston. First pitch of the Beantown battle doubleheader is scheduled for 12 p.m. at Monan Park with the nightcap following at 3 p.m.
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Suffolk's youthful roster and talented opponents plagued the Rams in the sunshine state at the RussMatt Central Florida Invitational last week. The Rams, who played 10 games over nine days, put together a 3-7 record.
The Rams look to rebound from its Spring Break trip and will rely on its senior centerfield Brady Chant to do so. The D3Baseball.com Preseason All-American leads the way at the dish for the blue-and-gold with a .410 average on 16 hits, seven of which came of extra bases, for seven RBI and a 10 runs scored. Classmate Seth Coiley is just under .400 at the plate with a .382 average on 13 hits for four RBI and five runs scored.
On the hill, Charles Batchelder holds the best ERA at 1.29 in the most innings, 14.0, with a team-high 10 strikeouts in a pair of starts. Mark Fusco, meanwhile, brings in a 2.25 ERA with nine Ks through 12.0 innings.
UMass Boston, who sits at 9-2, is off to a fast start in 2018 as the Beacons headline the D3Baseball.com/NCWBWA Top 25 Poll and come in at No. 3 of the ABCA/Collegiate Baseball Poll. The Beacons are back in Boston after putting together a program-best 6-2 Spring Break trip.
Ryan McCormick leads the way at bat for the Beacons with a .455 average with team-best numbers in hits (20), doubles (6) and RBI (16) to go along with 10 runs scored. Kyle Boudrias sits second on the squad in hitting (.444, 16 H, 5 RBI, 11 R), with Dave Murphy rounding out the trio of every day starters batting over .400 coming in at .422 with 19 hits, 14 RBI and a team-best 15 runs scored.
Fernando Burgos anchors a deep Boston staff with the junior RHP owning a 1.80 ERA in three starts and 15.0 innings pitched. Burgos' 10 strikeouts are second behind southpaw Joey Rogers, who owns a team-best 12 Ks in 15.1 frames of work with a 3.52 ERA and a 2-1 record.
INSIDE THE SERIES
Suffolk and UMass Boston are no strangers to one another as the two Bay State foes have faced off 35 times. Overall, the Rams lead the series, 23-12. A year ago the rivals split the regular season series – the Beacons walked away with the first, 6-5, while the Rams handled the second, 3-1. The regional powerhouses met for the third time in 2017 at the NCAA DIII New England Regionals with the eventual regional winner UMass coming out on top, 13-4.
Just two weeks into the season three Rams have garnered weekly recognitions from the GNAC. On March 12 Brady Chant and Will Hopkins were named player and rookie, respectively, while Charles Batchelder dealt his way to pitcher of the week status March 19.
MORE READING: Chant, Hopkins Pick Up GNAC Corvias Weekly Awards
MORE READING: Batchelder Picks Up GNAC Corvias Pitcher of the Week
Suffolk's home opener slated for Sunday, March 25 has been postponed due to weather and field conditions. Be sure to stay tuned on GoSuffolkRams.com for the latest schedule adjustments throughout the spring season.
Pending make-up games, Suffolk is set to be back in action Thursday, March 29 with a trip to Salve Regina on the books. Game time in Newport, Rhode Island is scheduled for 3:30 p.m.