WINTER HAVEN, Fla. - A six-run fifth-inning by Fitchburg State proved to be the difference in Suffolk baseball's RussMatt Central Florida Invitational finale as the Rams could not complete the comeback and fell to the Falcons, 6-4, Friday afternoon at Chain of Lakes Park.
SCORE: Suffolk 4 | Fitchburg State 6
RECORDS: SuffolK (5-6) | Fitchburg State (6-4)
HOW IT HAPPENED
After three scoreless innings, Suffolk got on the board first in the top of the fourth. Tim Brigham reached on a double and moved over on an error by the Falcons' first baseman during Trevor Lee's at bat. The second straight FSU error of the frame let Brigham come in to give the Rams a 1-0 edge.
The one-run lead wouldn't be enough as an inning and a half later Fitchburg rattled off six runs of its own on four hits, one wild pitch and a sac fly.
Now in a five-run hole, Suffolk made up ground on a bases loaded walk by Rich Gilbride in the top of the sixth, but was stopped there, leaving the tying run at the plate.
Suffolk held off the Falcons, who put all the ducks in the pond in the home half of the sixth, to keep it a 6-2 game.
In the seventh, the Rams chucked the bags once again as Blase Cormier and Lee sandwiched walks around a single from Brigham. A fielder's choice let Cormier score a run and two batters later pinch hitter Connor Troio scored Brigham on a single. The Rams rally ended at two, however, as Shaun Gamelin sat down Gilbride swinging to secure the 6-4 victory for FSU.
Charles Batchelder slipped on the mound after allowing six runs on eight hits and five walks over 4.2 innings. The starter sat down five hitters.
CJ Barrett put together scoreless relief work over 1.1 frames, in which he allowed just one hit and one walk.
Aidan Ward picked up the win after going 5.0 innings. He registered one run on five hits and two walks with four punchouts to his credit.
Gamelin put together a three-run, five-hit, four-walk, two-strikeout performance in 2.0 frames.
Brigham and Rich Giandrea each finished with two hit efforts.
Brigham scored twice, while Giandrea brought in a pair of runs.
Gilbride and Troio each had one hit and one RBI.
Zack Aresty produced one hit and one run.
Suffolk moved to 1-1 versus Fitchburg State in the Anthony Del Prete era.
Suffolk takes two days off before returning to the diamond Tuesday, March 19 against MIT. The Rams will welcome the Engineers to East Boston Memorial Park for a 4 p.m. first pitch.