EAST BOSTON – Suffolk baseball started a late comeback against Nichols, but the Bison held the Rams off to take down the blue-and-gold, 8-6, Thursday night in non-conference action at East Boston Memorial Park.
SCORE: Suffolk 6 | Nichols 8
RECORDS: Suffolk (13-9-1) | Nichols (11-9)
HOW IT HAPPENED
The first hit of the day, Will Hopkins' single to left field, brought in the first run of the day in Trevor Lee. Lee read Jacob Plikus' pitches and took advantage of the newbie's nerves, with the game being Plikus' first-ever collegiate appearance, to reach base on balls. Following the run, Tim Brigham juiced the bags with a single of his own and two batters later Ben Isaak brought in Cormier and Hopkins in on a deep base hit through the right side to give the hosts a 3-0 lead.
Nichols made up ground in the second. With one out, David Caron barreled a triple to right field and strutted in on the next at bat thanks to a balk by George Breslin. Suffolk kept the visitors there to hold onto a 3-1 edge.
An inning later the Bison produced three runs off three hits with a costly Rams error to go ahead one and added to that advantage during their next time at the plate. Nichols batted through the order to put the Rams in an 8-3 hole after 3.5 innings.
Suffolk didn't get going until the bottom of the seventh when a fielder's choice allowed Shane Lake to score and trim the margin back to four. The sophomore catcher wore a pitch to open the inning, moved over on a productive ground out and reached third on wild pitch.
The Rams made more moves in the next half inning. Brigham started them off with a double to right and scored on Lake's ground out to second. Isaak waited on second after hitting a single and advancing to second on Lake's RBI and Connor Troio brought him in on a single of his own to cut the deficit to two. A base-hit by Rich Gilbride and a walk by Lee oaded the bases, but Nichols went to its bull pen to keep the Rams' quiet from there. Brodie Altiere did just that, securing the final out of the frame on a fly ball to center to keep the Bison ahead 8-6.
Ryan Garton and Worth Walrod combined for a shutout top of the ninth to set-up what would be a thrilling comeback. The excitement never came, however, as Zack Aresty grounded out into a double play to end the Rams' hopes of walking off.
- Garton was the standout hurler on the mound for Suffolk, who used five different arms on the day. The freshman tossed 2.0 innings of scoreless action, walking two batters and fanning three.
- In his second start of the season, Breslin dipped to 0-2 on the year after allowing eight runs, six earned, on nine hits and three walks with three strikeouts.
- Parker Browne (2.1 IP, 0 R, 3H, 1BB, 1K), CJ Barrett (0.2 IP, 1H, 1BB, 1K) and Walrod (0.1 IP) all came on in relief for the Rams.
- Jack Dicenso earned the victory in 4.0 frames of relief work. He limited Suffolk to just one hit and punched out five hitters at the plate to improve to 1-1 on the year.
- Plikus made his collegiate debut and earned the nod. He gave up three runs on three hits and two walks with one strikeout.
- Altiere registered the save after 1.1 innings of scoreless work with no hits, walks or runs allowed.
- Brigham led the charge at the dish with a 3-for-4 performance with one double and one run scored.
- Isaak added two hits, two RBI and one run.
- Cormier chipped in two hits, one walk and one run.
- Troio pitched in e on hit and one RBI.
- Lake tallied one RBI and one run.
- Gilbride recorded one hit.
- Brigham matched a career-high three hits.
- Garton produced a personal-best three Ks.
Suffolk is in store for a full GNAC weekend with at trip to Rivier on the docket for Saturday, April 6 before Anna Maria swings by East Boston Memorial Park Sunday, April 7. Both conference twinbills are scheduled for 1 p.m. game one starts.