Series Record - Suffolk Trails, 20-27
Series Record - Suffolk Trails, 9-15
BOSTON – Regular season GNAC Champion status and the top spot in the upcoming 2018 GNAC Baseball tournament is on the line Saturday, April 28 as Suffolk baseball entertains Saint Joseph's (Maine) at East Boston Memorial Park at 1 p.m.
After the GNAC regular season is closed for the Rams, they will venture to Beverly, Massachusetts, Sunday, April 29 for a rematch at Endicott.
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LAST TIME OUT
Brady Chant hit a go-ahead three RBI bomb to give Suffolk baseball the lead, but Nate Tellier's second dinger of the day made up the difference for UMass Dartmouth to snap the Rams' seven-game streak by 4-3 decision Thursday afternoon at UMD Baseball Field.
MORE READING: UMass Dartmouth Homers Past Baseball, 4-2
Suffolk, who is 18-16 overall, holds an 11-1 league ledger with just one win on Saturday securing the top seed in the GNAC Tournament.
Brady Chant looks to Rams to their first GNAC Regular Season title under Anthony Del Prete as the senior's bat has paced the blue-and-gold all season. Hitting .374, the centerfield has team-high numbers in hits (4), RBI (27), runs (31) and stolen bases (20). ClassmateSeth Coiley is second on the squad with 36 hits behind a .327 connection rate at the plate for 17 RBI and 20 runs scored. Freshmen Blasé Cormier and Will Hopkins has made an immediate impact in their first seasons in blue-and-gold. Cormier has 33 hits on a .287 batting average with 17 RBI and 18 runs, while Hopkins, who is batting .267, has 31 hits, 21 RBi and 20 runs.
Suffolk will rely on its senior leadership on its staff to get the job done Saturday. Mark Fusco, who leads the way on the hill with 2.04 ERA and 34 strikeouts through 39.2 innings, and Ryan Pordes (5.11 ERA, 30 Ks, 44.0 IP) are likely to earn the nod.
Saint Joseph's (Maine), who is receiving votes in both the ABCA and D3Baseball.com Coaches' Polls, is in the midst of a busy stretch with three conference doubleheaders over four days. The Monks enter Saturday 25-8 overall and on the heels of the Rams in the league standings at 9-1.
Joey Murphy is the top threat at the dish for the Monks with 40 hits on a .336 batting average for 16 RBI and 27 runs scored. Jared Gagne, who is batting .400, is also a consistent contributor with 36 hits, 17 RBI and 22 runs scored. Ben Gravel (.318, 34 H, 22 RBI, 20 R) and Jacob White (.378, 31 H, 11 RBI, 10 R) also provide a punch at the plate.
Two of St. Joe's better arms -- Matt Demma (2.45 ERA, 28 Ks, 25.2 IP) and Zach Begin (2.66 ERA, 41 Ks, 40.2 IP) -- each earned the start on Thursday as well as the Monks everyday closer Josh Partridge (2.67 ERA, 38 Ks, 33.2 IP). With another conference series set for Sunday, SJC has Travis Godbout (4.67 ERA, 13 Ks, 27.0 IP), Luke Klenda (3.98 ERA, 20 Ks, 20.1 IP), Grayson Jennings (6.30 ERA, 27 Ks, 20.0 IP) and Roderick Maynard (1.53 ERA, 19 Ks, 17.2 IP) remaining in its starting rotation.
INSIDE THE SERIES
The Suffolk, Saint Joseph's (Maine) rivalry is the biggest in the GNAC with the teams being the top two contenders for the past handful of years. Overall, the Monks lead the way, 27-20.
GET TO KNOW THE GULLS
Endicott swept Eastern Nazarene in a CCC conference doubleheader Friday to improve to 22-11 on the season and will face Roger Williams Saturday before hosting the Rams Sunday.
Michael DeDonato is the most potent at the plate as the senior second baseman has team-high numbers in batting average (.379), RBI (26), hits (50), runs scored (27) and stolen bases (27). Senior outfielder Brad Rebello is also a big threat with 36 hits on a.327 average with 15 RBI and 16 runs scored.
The Gulls top two arms are Will Ferreira and Alexandra Mandrus. Ferreira, a southpaw, brings in a .454 ERA with 25 Ks, while Mandrus holds a 2.72 ERA with 29 strikeouts.
INSIDE THE SERIES
Suffolk and Endicott with meet for the 24th time overall and second time this season. Overall, the Rams trail the all-time series, which began in 1999, 9-15. The Gulls have won the last three meetings versus Suffolk.
WE MEET AGAIN
The Suffolk baseball team slipped to Endicott, 3-2, at North Field April 4 in non-conference action.
MORE READING:Endicott Tops Baseball, 3-2
Suffolk awaits the official seeding of the 2018 GNAC Baseball Tournament and will be back in action in the second round, which it is set to host Thursday, May 4.