BOSTON – The Suffolk baseball team received a sixth seed in the upcoming NCAA New England regional and will face third-seed, No. 22/18 St. John Fisher Thursday, May 18 at 4:30 p.m. The game will be broadcasted live from Whitehouse Field in Harwich, Massachusetts.
Suffolk, which earned its tournament bid by winning its third consecutive GNAC title, will be making its third straight appearance in the Big Dance. St. John Fisher earned an at-large berth to the tournament as the regionals' third seed.
Stay up-to-date with all the latest news and notes on Suffolk Athletics by connecting with the Rams on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Be sure to use the hashtag #RamNation for an insider's look at Suffolk's teams and student-athletes.
NCAA NEW ENGLAND REGIONAL SCHEDULE
THURSDAY, MAY 18
GAME 1: #4 Salve Regina vs. #5 Babson - 9:30 a.m. - Live Stats - Live Video
GAME 2: #1 UMass Boston vs. #8 Penn State Berks - 1:00 p.m. - Live Stats - Live Video
GAME 3: #3 St. John Fisher vs. #6 Suffolk - 4:30 p.m. - Live Stats - Live Video
GAME 4: #2 Arcadia vs. #7 Worcester State - 8:00 p.m. - Live Stats - Live Video
FRIDAY, MAY 19
GAME 5: Loser Game #1 vs. Loser Game #2 - 9:30 a.m.
GAME 6: Loser Game #3 vs. Loser Game #4 - 1 p.m.
GAME 7: Winner Game #1 vs. Winner Game #2 - 4:30 p.m.
GAME 8: Winner Game #3 vs. Winner Game #4 - 8:00 p.m.
SATURDAY, MAY 20
GAME 9: Winner Game #6 vs. Loser Game #7 - 9:30 a.m.
GAME 10: Loser Game #8 vs. Winner Game #5 - 1:00 p.m.
GAME 11: Winner Game #7 vs. Winner Game #8 - 4:30 p.m.
GAME 12: Winner Game #10 vs. Winner Game #9 - 8:00 p.m.
SUNDAY, MAY 21
GAME 13: Winner Game #12 vs. Loser Game #11 - 12:00 p.m.
GAME 14: Winner game #11 vs. Winner Game #13 - 4:00 p.m.
MONDAY, MAY 22 - IF NECESSARY
GAME 15: Winner Game #14 vs. Loser Game #14 - 11:00 a.m.
|-/RV BABSON (25-13)
|#17/19 UMASS BOSTON (33-10)
|PENN STATE BERKS(20-19)
|#22/18 ST. JOHN FISHER (30-10)
|#20/22 SALVE REGINA (34-10)
|WORCESTER STATE (20-20)
2017 marks the third straight year and seventh overall, that Suffolk has earned a postseason tournament bid. The Rams first went dancing in 2000, where it picked up two wins. Since then, the blue–and–gold, have made the tournament trip in 2002, 2005, 2009 and the program's first back–to–back appearances in Anthony Del Prete's first two seasons, 2015 and 2016, respectively. Suffolk looks for its first tournament win under Del Prete and since 2005.
The Rams upperclassmen buoy Suffolk's offense, which sees seven everyday starters produce averages over .300. Brady Chant is the most potent threat at the plate with the junior leading the way in just about every offensive category. The centerfielder hits .341, slugs .646 on 66 hits, 29 of which went for extra bases, to drive in 34 runs. Chant has scored 46 times and sniped 12 bags. Matt Brenner has brought in a team–high 36 runs thanks to a .343 average for 49 hits and 36 runs scored. Kevin Belskie is second on the squad with a .351 average for 35 RBI on 47 hits to go along with 25 runs.
On the hill, Suffolk is propelled by the quartet of arms in Mark Fusco, Chuck Gibson, Ryan Pordes and Worth Walrod. Fusco's 1.38 ERA leads the way as the junior right–handed pitcher owns a 4–3 record in nine appearances, three starts, with 32.2 innings of work and 22 Ks. Gibson lands just above a 2.00 ERA at 2.02. The senior has shoved 62.1 frames, fanning 42 hitters for a 7–1 record in 11 appearances and eight starters. Pordes has seen the most action on the bump, working 67.0 innings for a 3.63 ERA and 51 strikeouts. Walrod rounds out the foursome with an ERA of 3.77 in 43.0 frames sitting down 34 batters.
The New England regional features familiar faces for the Rams as Suffolk has taken the diamond against four of seven teams vying for the single ticket to the NCAA Championship in Appleton, Wisconsin. Against the foes, Suffolk is 3–2 with wins over St. John Fisher, Salve Regina and a split with UMass Boston. Worcester State is the lone team to own a winning record versus Suffolk's 2017 line–up.
RANK AND FILE
On the verge of its third consecutive and seventh overall NCAA Regional appearance, Suffolk made its way into the New England Intercollegiate Baseball Association (NEIBA) poll for the first time this season as the No. 8 team in New England.
|NEIBA COACHES POLL WEEK 8|
1. UMass Boston (5)
2. Salve Regina
3. Southern Maine
T8. St. Joseph's (Maine)
MORE READING: Baseball Emerges in NEIBA Coaches Poll
Suffolk has kept its fans on the edge of their seats this season as 14 of the Rams' contests have been decided by one–run. The blue–and–gold have come out on the winning side of the thrillers 10 times, four in walk–off fashion and twice in extra innings.
Suffolk has gone into extra innings four times this season, splitting those contests down the middle, 2–2. Under Anthony Del Prete's guidance, the Rams are 6–3 when playing in extra sessions.
LAST TIME OUT
The Suffolk baseball team dropped a 7-5 decision to Worcester State as the Lancers used a four-run eighth inning to regain the advantage and defeat the Rams May 12 at Kevin D. Lyons Diamond.
MORE READING: Baseball Falls at Worcester State, 7-5
Brady Chant rewrote the Rams' record books on Patriots Day as the junior knocked his 10th triple of the season bringing his career total to 20 to sit atop Suffolk's single season all-time triple marks.
MORE READING: Chant Sets Suffolk's Triple Record
After securing the program's third consecutive GNAC Championship and earning the program's third straight trip to the NCAA Tournament, the Suffolk baseball team has been rewarded with nine All-GNAC selections, including pitcher of the year honors for Chuck Gibson.
D3 TEAM OF THE WEEK
After a shutdown performance in Sunday's GNAC Championship 1-0 win over Johnson & Wales, senior righty Chuck Gibson was named to the D3Baseball.com Team of the Week.
The weekly accolade is the first of the GNAC Tournament MVP's storied career and marks the first time a Ram has been featured on the national weekly team since it began in 2012.
MORE READING: Gibson Named to D3Baseball.com Team of the Week
NOT ALL HEROES WEAR CAPES
Brady Chant and Chuck Gibson added more accolades to their growing resumes as the junior and senior won their respectively weekly national polls conducted by HeroSports.com to be named HERO of the Week.
Chant picked up the nod after his three triple performance in a 30-2 win over Anna Maria April15, while Gibson grabbed the recognition thanks to his two–hit, eight–strikeout, complete–game shutout showing on the mound in the conference championship versus the Wildcats of JWU.
Matt Brenner was recognized for his efforts in the classroom as the senior was named to the CoSIDA Academic All–District team for the 2017 season. Brenner is one of 11 NCAA Division III players in the New England region honored for combined excellence academically and athletics with first–team District 1 recognition. The Finance and Global Business major is the fifth Ram to ever pick up the honor and the first since Jake Cintolo did so in 2014.
MORE READING: Brenner Named to CoSIDA Academic All-District Team
Since 1968, Suffolk has taken the field again 164 opponents. The Rams have not dropped a game to 44 of their all–time competition to hold an unbeaten record against 0.268 percent of their all–time foes. Heading into the regionals, Suffolk looks to remain undefeated against St. john Fisher as the Rams hold a 2–0 series lead since first meeting the Cardinals in 2015.
ON THE BENCH
Anthony Del Prete was named the sixth head coach in Suffolk baseball history in 2015 and is in the midst of his third season as the Rams' head coach. In his three seasons as skipper, Del Prete has guided Suffolk to GNAC glory three times and three consecutive NCAA Division III Regional Tournament appearances.
CATCH UP ON THE CARDINAL
St. John Fisher, who is ranked 22nd in the latest ACBA Coaches' Poll and 18th in the most recent D3Baseball.com Tip 25, earned an at-large bid with a 30-10 mark after falling to Ithaca in the Empire 8 Championship.
The Cardinal saw 10 of its players named to the Empire 8 all-conference contingent anchored by player of the Year Scott Eisenmenger and Anthony Brophy who was tabbed both pitcher and rookie of the year.
Eisenmenger had 17 multi-hit games in his 40 starts at first, producing 57 hits on a .388 average for 55 RBI and 46 runs scored.
Brophy, meanwhile, has led Fisher's pitching staff this season as the southpaw owns an undefeated 9-0 ledger thanks to a 1.57 ERA with 52 strikeouts.
WE MEET AGAIN
The Suffolk baseball team opened up its 70th season in winning fashion as Luke Ronchi had a careery day to lead the Rams past then-No. 9 St. John Fisher, 11-3, March 10 at Lake Myrtle Field apart of the RussMatt Central Florida Invitational.
The winner of the Rams/Cardinal tilt advances to the winner's bracket and will face either #2 Arcadia (32-11) or #7 Worcester State (20-20) Friday under the lights at 8 p.m. The loser will play in a win-or-go-home game at 1 p.m. Friday against the underdog of the same opponents.