EAST BOSTON – Suffolk baseball opened a GNAC doubleheader with Lasell in winning fashion as the Rams defeated the Lasers, 7-3, Sunday afternoon at East Boston Memorial Park.
SCORE: Suffolk 7 | Lasell 3
RECORDS: Suffolk (19-11-1, 12-1 GNAC) | Lasell (15-11, 6-4)
HOW IT HAPPENED
Suffolk followed a scoreless first with a two-run second to grab an early edge. Rich Giandrea led things off with a double, Ben Isaak wore a pitch and the runners moved over on Steven Shamnoski's perfect placed bunt on the first base line. Connor Troio put the first mark on the scoreboard with a sac fly that scored Giandrea, before Isaak made it a two-run game thanks to Rich Gilbride's single to right.
Two innings later, and runners in scoring position, the Lasers took advantage of a Suffolk passed ball to cut the margin in half, 2-1.
In the bottom of the fifth, a two-out rally added to the Rams advantage. Tim Brigham started the scoring with a single up the middle that scored Blase Cormier, who reached on a single of his own. A pitching change and two batters later, during Ben Isaak's at bat, an error by the Lasers' allowed Will Hopkins, who walked, come in and push the margin to three, 4-1.
Lasell kept things interesting with two quick runs in the top of the sixth, pushing two across to pull back within one. Anthony Del Prete went to his bull pen to secure the final out of the frame, brining Michael Muscarella to take over for Steven Rossi. The freshman RHP fanned Wyatt Sihoven swinging to maintain the 4-3 margin for the hosts.
Insurance came for the blue-and-gold in the home half of the sixth. Gilbride wore a pitch off the foot to take first and swiped second to get into scoring position, setting up one RBI for Trevor Lee, who barreled a ball up the middle to stretch Suffolk's lead back to a pair. After a fielder's choice put Cormier on first, Hopkins knocked a deep ball to right field, turned on the wheels and rounded the bags for an inside the park homer to lengthen the cushion to 7-3.
Despite giving up a pair of base runners, Muscarella's composure on the hill locked up the four-run victory for the blue-and-gold.
- Rossi earned the decision with a three-run, none earned, five-hit, four-walk, three-strikeout performance over 5.2 innings.
- In relief, Muscarella picked up the save with 1.1 frames of scoreless work with one hit and one walk allowed and a pair of punchouts.
- Petr slipped to 1-1 on the year after leeting up four runs, three earned, on four hits and three walks with three Ks over 4.2 innings.
- Handzel threw 1.1 frames of relief, allowing three runs on two hits and fanned one batter.
- All six of Suffolk's hits came off a different bat with the Rams' 1-6 batters in the order each providing one hit.
- Hopkins only knock of the day was an inside the park dinger, which brought in two runs. The clean-up hitter stole once, scored twice and walked three times.
- Cormier registered two runs.
- Gilbride and Isaak each brought in one run and scored one themselves.
- Giandrea added one run.
- Prior to first pitch, Suffolk alum and former Mutt Ralph Ferragamo threw out a ceremonial first pitch in recognition of his generosity and support he has provided to the Suffolk baseball program for many years.
- Suffolk defeated Lasell for the 10th straight meeting to improve to 26-1 all-time versus the Lasers.
- The Rams moved to 11-1 against Lasell under Del Prete's guidance.
- Gilbride matched a career-high two stolen bases.
- Rossi remained unbeaten on the bump, improving to 6-0 on the season and in his collegiate career.
- Hopkins first jack of the year came in inside the park fashion.
- Muscarella secured the second save of the season and of his collegiate career.
Suffolk concludes the two-game series with the Lasers this afternoon.