AUBURNDALE, Fla. - Suffolk baseball returned to the win column Thursday afternoon when the Rams held of Juniata and secured a 7-6 decision over the Eagles in the doubleheader opener at Lake Myrtle Park at The RussMatt Central Florida Invitational.
SCORE: Suffolk 7 | Juniata 6
RECORDS: Suffolk (4-4) | Juniata (2-3)
HOW IT HAPPENED
Suffolk erased a two-run first-frame deficit and gained one of its own in the bottom half of the inning. The scoring started on a bases loaded, two-run ground-rule double to right center by Tim Brigham, which equalized the action at 2-all. Rich Giandrea collected a pair of RBI on a single up the middle the flipped the edge in the Rams' favor, 4-2.
Two innings later the blue-and-gold tripled its lead 6-2 behind a two-run single up the middle from Nik San Antonio that plated Logan Heckman and Zack Aresty, who each reached on base hits of their own.
A monster, two-RBI triple from Adam Kipp and a sac fly that scored the designated hitter sliced the margin to one, 6-5, in the top of the fifth.
The one-run game held until Suffolk used smart base running to make it a two-run margin once again. A passed ball that rolled through Joshua Gery's legs into the back of the back stop let pinch hitter Daniel Pooler score from third and turn it into a 7-5 Suffolk score.
Juniata kept things interesting and cut things back to one in the top of the seventh. The Eagles kept up the pressure and put runners on second and third with two outs. Anthony Del Prete made changes on the hill, bringing Giandrea in from right field to throw. The relief arm hit the first batter to juice the bags before fanning the second to secure the 7-6 decision.
In his second straight of the season, Steven Rossi put together a six-run (five-earned), eight-hit, three-walk, seven-strikeout day on the hill over 6.2 innings of action.
Giandrea picked up the as he secured the final out of the outing in punchout fashion.
Hunter Price made his debut on the hill for the Eagles this season. He suffered the setback after letting up six runs, all earned, one 10 hits and two walks with three Ks to his credit.
Julius Thomas came in, in relief for Juniata. He allowed one run on one hit and sat down one hitter over 2.1 frames.
Blase Cormier and Brigham each had two-hit performances. The former scored once, while the latter brought in two runs off a double and scored one himself.
Giandrea and San Antonio each provided two RBI and one hit.
Gilbride, Heckman, Lee and Pooler each had one hti and one run on their stat lines, respectively.
Suffolk and Juniata met for the first time.
Pooler produced his first hit in a Suffolk jersey.
Rossi moved to 2-0 on the season in his collegiate career.
Giandrea registered the first save of his collegiate career.
Suffolk wraps up the double feature with Juniata this afternoon at Lake Myrtle Park.