EAST BOSTON – Suffolk baseball overturned an early 3-0 deficit and rotated 10 different pitchers to take down regional rival Western New England, 6-5, Wednesday night at East Boston Memorial Park.
SCORE: Suffolk 6 | Western New England 5
RECORDS: Suffolk (9-7-1) | Western New England (6-5)
HOW IT HAPPENED
Suffolk began to climb out of a three-run hole, which Western New England built in the opening inning, in the home half of the second. With two outs and Rich Giandrea in scoring position on second, Shane Lake produced the first hit of the afternoon for Suffolk with a single to cut the margin to two, 3-1.
As the Rams ran through their bull pen, the relief arms held the Golden Bears at three to let Suffolk's offense play catch up. Suffolk saw one of its best chances to make moves with all the ducks in the pond in the bottom of the fifth, however, WNE converted a two-hopper on Tim Brigham's at bat into a 643 double play to maintain the two-run distance.
An inning and Golden Bears' pitching change later Suffolk leveled the playing field. Giandrea led things off with a walk, Trevor Lee followed suit with a single to left field and Lake moved them over on a sac bunt. Giandrea came in thanks to Connor Troio, who grounded out to the first baseman, and Lee scored courtesy of Rich Gilbride's single to left.
With a tied game, one out and runners on first and second, Parker Browne came in to take over for EJ Birch on the hill. Browne found himself in a bases loaded jam after giving up a single, but he worked out of it -- first he teamed up with Lake for the force out at the plate and Blase Cormier caught Erik Lacaire's foul ball to end the inning and keep things locked at 3-all.
Suffolk kept its comeback going in the bottom of the sixth. Cormier, who led off with a ground-rule double, plated the go-ahead run behind a base-hit from Giandrea. A walk and costly bobble by Western New England's shortstop, which let Hopkins score, kept the inning going. Giandrea scored courtesy of Troio for the second time on the day, this time on a sac fly, to make it a three-run game one again, this time in Suffolk's favor.
Western New England made things interesting with a pair of runs in the top of the eighth and put a pair of runners on in the top of the ninth. Tyler Zell showed composure down the stretch though and the senior retired the final two batters of the day to secure the decision.
- Browne was the winning arm despite giving up two runs on two hits and two walks over just 0.2 innings of action.
- Zell earned the saved thanks to 1.2 frames of scoreless work with two hits and one walk allowed with one punchout.
- Worth Walrod threw an impressive 2.0 innings scoreless innings with no hits or walks given up and three strikeouts to his credit.
- Kevin Sinatra was given the nod. Suffolk's starter let up three runs on three hits and fanned one hitter.
- Western New England used four different arms. Conor Scully suffered the setback after allowing three runs, one earned, one three hits and one walk.
- Golden Bears' starter Kevin Hummer limited the Rams to one run on four hits and four walks with six strikeouts to his credit.
- Cormier's bat led the way with three hits, including one double, a ground-rule, to go with one run scored.
- Hopkins had multiple hits as well with a 2-for-4 effort and one run.
- Lake and Troio each tallied two RBI and one hit.
- Giandrea produced three runs, two walks, one hit and one RBI.
- Lee notched one hit, one RBI and one walk.
- Suffolk snapped a seven-game skid to Western New England, defeating the Golden Bears for the first time since 2009.
- The win marks the first victory over WNE under Anthony Del Prete's guidance.
- Suffolk improved to 19-17 all-time versus the Golden Bears.
- Browne picked up his first victory of the season and second of his career.
- Zell registered his first save of the season and third of his career.
Suffolk transitions back to GNAC action this weekend when it welcomes Albertus Magnus to East Boston Memorial Park for a doubleheader Saturday, March 30. First pitch of game one is set for 1 p.m.