EAST BOSTON – The Suffolk baseball team locked up the GNAC Regular Season title and the top seed in the upcoming conference postseason tournament as the Rams downed Saint Joseph's (Maine) 8-6 in the nightcap of the league doubleheader Saturday afternoon at East Boston Memorial Park.
SCORE: Suffolk 8, Saint Joseph's (Maine) 6
RECORDS: Suffolk (20-15, 13-1 GNAC) | Saint Joseph's (Maine) (22-7, 9-3 GNAC)
HOW IT HAPPANED
A two-out solo shot by White put the Monks on the scoreboard first in the opening inning. The Rams answered in the home half of the frame as Greg Speliotis' single up the middle scored Nik San Antonio, who replaced Trevor Lee on the bags after the junior singled. With the score evened at 1-1, Suffolk gained the lead on a fielder's choice with Seth Coiley, who reached on a base-on-balls, cross home to give Suffolk a 2-1 lead.
An inning later, the blue-and-gold stretched its lead to 5-1. Brady Chant scored the first run with a single to third, and got caught in a rundown between first and second. With the defense distracted, Rich Gilbride, who walked, took advantage and scored. The Monks made a change on the mound and the Rams scored the final run of the frame on an error by the right fielder.
St. Joe's made up ground in the top of the third to trim the margin to one, 5-4.
The Rams rallied around Chant's solo shot with a three-run fourth to regain a four-run cushion, 8-4. Speliotis and Will Hopkins each collected RBIs as the senior and freshman each knocked base hits.
The Monks kept things interesting with one run in the fifth and sixth, respectively, to remain within a pair of runs, 8-6, after six complete innings.
With the game still on the line, Jake Flax came out of the pen and took control, striking out two of his three batters faced to clinch the regular season title.
- Mark Fusco started things off on the hill. The senior RHP allowed four runs on four hits and one walk through 4.0 innings.
- Kevin Sinatra tossed 1.0 innings of relief, allowing one run on a pair of walks.
- Tyler Zell let up one run in his inning of relief with three walks and one K.
- Flax finished the day on the hill with a no-hit, no-run, no-walk, 1.0 inning with two strikeouts to secure the save.
- Five different hurlers took the mound for the Monks with starter Roderick Maynard falling after giving up five runs, four earned, on five hits and two walks.
- Chant registered a pair of hits with two RBI and one run.
- San Antonio put together a 2-for-3 effort featuring one double, three runs and one stolen base.
- Speliotis recorded two hits and two RBI.
- Coileyed tallied two runs and one hit.
- Hopkins notched two RBI on one hit with one stolen base.
- Suffolk claimed the GNAC regular season title for the first time under Anthony Del Prete and first time since 2014 and sixth time overall.
- The Rams' 13-1 league ledger is the best in the Del Prete era and most conference triumphs since matching that record in 2010.
- For the third straight season and third time under Del Prete's guidance Suffolk has won 20 games. Overall, the Rams have 22 20-win seasons.
- Suffolk swept St. Joseph's for the first time since 2008.
- With his first hit of the day, Chant slid into second-place all-time on Suffolk's all-time hits list with 224. He finished the afternoon with twohits to total 225 hits in his career.
- San Antonio has a career day, producing personal-bests in hits (2) and runs scored (3).
Suffolk concludes its 2018 GNAC regular season as it closes the doubleheader with the Monks this afternoon.