BOSTON – In its final week of regular season action, the Suffolk baseball team takes a break from GNAC competition Monday afternoon as the Rams are set for a showdown with the Seahawks at North Field in Newport, Rhode Island.
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LAST TIME OUT
Thanks to some heavy hitting and big innings, the Suffolk baseball team secured a series sweep of Anna Maria Sunday night at NE Baseball Complex. The Rams belted out 12 runs on 18 hits to overcome the AMCATS in two games, 6-1 and 6-3.
Five Rams hit bitter .500 or better on the day versus Anna Maira, led by Luke Ronchi, who was electric with a .667 (2-for-3, 2RBI, 1R). Senior Jon Lapolla had perhaps the best day at the plate for Suffolk; in clean up, the first baseman went 2-for-4, tacked on three RBI himself, one of two Rams to do so on the day, and one run scored with a double on the day.
On the mound, Kevin Sinatra was lights out in Game 1, dealing during a complete-game performance. The freshman struck out two, allowed just one run on three hits, while issuing just one walk to show his command and earn the win with his meager 1.29 ERA. In Game 2, Ryan Pordes took the hill, allowing three runs on 11 hits with a career-high nine strikeouts, and one issued walk in the complete, game effort to earn the victory.
MORE READING: Baseball Picks Up a Pair at Anna Maria
RUNDOWN ON THE RAMS
Suffolk, who is 26-9 overall, is tied for first place in the GNAC standings with Saint Joseph's (Maine) at 10-2 against conference competition. The Rams, who are receiving votes in the D3Baseball.com Top 25 and are ranked sixth in NEIBA, have produced league leading numbers in nearly every major statistical category; runs (275), hits (386), home runs (20), RBI (242), extra base hits (98), total bases (536), walks (139), stolen bases 86), batting average (.339), on-base percentage (..427), slugging percentage (.471) and batting average against (.257).
In 35 games this season the Rams have surpassed their total of 54 stolen bases from a year ago, successfully stealing 86 bags, a number good for the most in the GNAC and 19th across DIII baseball. On the flip side, Suffolk opponents have 32 steals in 43 attempts.
Individually, Brady Chant and Jon Lapolla have swiped 17 and 16 bags, respectively, numbers that are good for second and fourth in the GNAC.
THE .300 CLUB
Seven Suffolk batters are swinging the bat well, hitting .300 or better in 2.5 dish appearances per game: Kevin Belskie (.397), Sean Cameron (.344), Drew Carter (.422), Brady Chant (.348), Jake Frasca (.344), Jon Lapolla (.391) and Rob Marks (.357),
As a team, the Rams are hitting .339, the best average in the league, and a percentage that lands just outside the top ten of the nation.
The three four hitters for Suffolk – Drew Carter, Kevin Belskie, Jon Lapolla and Rob Marks - rank amongst the GNAC's best bats. Carter is first (.422), Belskie is fourth (.397), Lapolla is sixth (.391) and Marks is ninth (.357).
TEN HITS AND COUNTING
The Rams have put together double-digit hits in 65.7 percent (23-35) of their games this season, including seven straight contests with double figure hits from March 16 through March 26. Suffolk is averaging 11.1 hits per game, the most in the GNAC, this season. Suffolk produced a season-best 23 hits in an 18-4 win against Clarkson March 13, the most by the blue-and-gold since it tallied 26 over Norwich three years ago (April 24, 2013).
|HITTING STREAKS ATTACHED|
|HITS DURING STREAK
JAKE JACKS IT
Jake Frasca became the second Ram this season to hit two balls out of the park. The freshman knocked two balls over the fence at Curry matching Seth Coiley's one-game two-homer mark that he set at Endicott April 6. Frasca bombed a three RBI homer in the top of the ninth to pull Suffolk within one of Curry April 22. His three-run homer in the ninth came after the freshman hit one out of the park in the fifth to boost Suffolk's offense.
SETH SHATTERS IT
At Endicott April 6, Seth Coiley led off the fourth inning in style. The sophomore's second at bat extended his hit streak to two thanks to a long ball over the left field fence to break open a scoreless tie. Coiley's homer is the second of the second, in as many games and of his collegiate career. The Arlington, Massachusetts product is the first Ram to strike back-to-back home runs since the ABCA/Rawlings second-team All-American Mike Cunningham '13 did so three times in his senior campaign in 2013 with the last coming April 21-22 against Johnson & Wales and Albertus Magnus, respectively.
FOUR HOMERS AND THREE YEARS AGO
Four different Rams combined to hit four balls out of the park at Curry, the most home runs by a Suffolk squad since matching that number in a 14-0 victory over Rivier April 7, 2013.
Senior co-captain Jon Lapolla's two-out, RBI double in the bottom of the ninth inning lifted Suffolk past Montclair State, 4-3 in a walk-off win. The Rams had two walk-off victories in 2015, with the most important coming in the 13th inning over Johnson & Wales in the GNAC Championship game.
Brady Chant earned his first career GNAC weekly award of his career April 18 when he was named GNAC Corvias Player of the Week, and the Rams' eighth of the season. Overall, the Rams have 38 percent of the league's weekly award with Lapolla (Player - March 21), Carter (Player - April 4), Worth Walrod (Pitcher (March 14 & 21), Kevin Sinatra (Pitcher - March 28) and Jake Frasca (Rookie - March 28 & April 11) all earning the distinction.
HERO OF THE WEEK
Jon Lapolla continues to have a superior senior season as the Providence, Rhode Island native won a national poll conducted by HeroSports.com as the National Offensive HERO of the Week in Division III baseball March 29.
Lapolla was nominated for the honor on the heels of a 6-2 second Spring Break leg for the Rams and his first GNAC Corvias Player of the Week accolade of his storied career. The 6-foot-2 infielder beat out his competition, grabbing 87 percent of the votes, more than 130 than the second-place finisher with 146 of the near 200 submitted.
CORVIAS ECAC DIII ROOKIE OF THE WEEK
After turning in a five-run, four-RBI performance over the course of Suffolk baseball's three wins last week, the ECAC recognized Jake Frasca as Division III New England Rookie of the Week.
SOMETHING' BOUT THE SEAHAWKS
Salve Regina split at Endicott yesterday, winning the opener 5-0 to extend its win-streak to four, but was halted in the closer, 5-2, to move to 19-11-1 on the year.
Alex Perry is batting .392, has brought in a team-best 37 RBI for the Seahawks and scored 29 time himself. Tristan Dacey, who is hitting .367, is second on the team RBI (28) thanks to 33 hits, 11 for extra bases, including four home runs. Salve Regina has used John Militano (.336) and Ryan Kelly's (.324) speed to its advantage with the sophomore and senior responsible for one-two in stolen bases and runs. Militano has 25 snipes and 40 runs with Kelly taking 17 bags and scoring 43 times.
Brett Wilkies has been one of the Seahawks' midweek starters on the bump. He is 1-1 in four appearances, three starts, with 17.0 innings of work on his belt, allowing 13 runs on 22 hits with seven strikeouts and walks, respectively.
Suffolk will remain out of conference play as it preps for its final GNAC doubleheader of the regular season with games at Endicott (Wednesday) and UMass Dartmouth (Thursday).