FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NO. 2 Saint Joseph's Maine 4, NO. 3 Johnson & Wales 3
STANDISH, Maine – Second-seeded Saint Joseph's College (30-9, 13-3 GNAC) outlasted #3 Johnson & Wales University (24-14, 12-4 GNAC), 4-3, in the second round of the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) Baseball Tournament at Larry Mahaney Diamond on Thursday afternoon.
With the victory, Saint Joseph's advances to the winners' bracket of the conference tourney and will face #1 Suffolk University, which earned a 4-3 win over #4 Lasell College on Thursday night, at 1:30 PM on Saturday at Fraser Field in Lynn, Massachusetts. Johnson & Wales falls into the losers' bracket and will take on Lasell in an elimination game at Fraser Field Saturday at 10:00 AM.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
The Monks scored a single run in each of the first four innings and held a 4-0 lead heading into the top of the seventh, when senior first baseman Tim Lombardi (Providence, R.I.) roped a two-run single. Freshman pitcher George Welch (Derry, N.H.) came on in relief for the hosts and, with runners on first and second and one out, managed to get the final two outs on one play, as the first-year southpaw made a diving catch on a popped up bunt attempt by JWU sophomore shortstop Steve Rocchio (Cranston, R.I.) and threw to first for the inning-ending double play.
Johnson & Wales continued to chip away at the deficit with a run off three hits in the eighth, when freshman left fielder Alex Domingos (Ellington, Conn.) notched an RBI double, but Welch and sophomore Jonathan Marchia (Chicopee, Mass.) worked out of a jam by striking out a batter apiece to help the Monks maintain a 4-3 edge.
Marchia closed out the contest by striking out the side in the top of the ninth.
St. Joe's built the 4-0 cushion by having the leadoff hitter reach in each of the first five frames. Senior shortstop Joey Murphy (Derry, N.H.) led off the first with a single and scored on an Anthony DiPrizio (Rochester, N.H.) groundout. Junior second baseman Drew Healey (Rochester, N.H.) drew a leadoff walk in the second and raced home on a Noah McDaniel (Eliot, Maine) double to deep right-center. In the third, Murphy singled and scored on a McDaniel base hit and sophomore center fielder Hunter Richardson (Monmouth, Maine) singled and later touched home plate on a Jared Gagne (Dover, N.H.) base hit.
The Monks had several opportunities to pad their lead but stranded nine runners in the one-run victory.
ON THE MOUND:
- SJC senior starter Grayson Jennings (Mililani, Hawaii) improves to 4-1 after giving up two runs off six hits with three strikeouts in 6.1 innings
- Welch allowed a run off three hits with two K's in 1.1 innings
- Marchia picked up his sixth save of the year after tossing 1.1 no-hit frames with four punch-outs
- JWU senior starter Josh Mousseau (Woonsocket, R.I.) suffered the loss and falls to 4-3 on the season after yielding four runs off nine hits and four walks with seven K's in five innings
- Junior reliever Tom Doran (West Warwick, R.I.) was stellar with three strikeouts over three innings of one-hit work
OFF THE BAT:
- McDaniel was 2-4 with a double and two RBI
- Murphy went 2-5 with two runs and two stolen bases
- Freshman third baseman Ronan Chisholm (North Chatham, Mass.) added two hits and a double in four at-bats
- For JWU, junior catcher Colby Greenhalgh (Plainfield, Conn.) went 3-4 with a run and a stolen base
- Senior right fielder Aidan Hagarty (Weeds, Calif.) was 2-4 with a run, and Lombardi added a two-run single in four at-bats
Courtesy of SJC Athletics Communications.
NO. 1 Suffolk 4, NO. 4 Lasell 3
EAST BOSTON – Top-seeded Suffolk baseball started its journey to its fifth consecutive conference crown with a 4-3 GNAC Quarterfinals victory over fourth-seeded Lasell on a brisk Thursday night at East Boston Memorial Park.
SCORE: Suffolk 4 | Lasell 3
RECORDS: Suffolk (23-16-1) | Lasell (23-14)
HOW IT HAPPENED
A game-opening walked followed by back-to-back doubles, a ground-rule and one down the left field line, gave Lasell a 2-0 edge to start things off.
Suffolk used walks to chip away at the deficit as Rich Giandrea drew the third base-on-ball of the home half of the first with the bags juiced to cut the margin to 2-1.
Two innings later, the Rams leveled the playing field as Giandrea placed a base hit in shallow right field and Will Hopkins, who walked, turn on the wheels and slid home to turn it into a new game, 2-all.
Things flipped in the blue-and-gold's favor in the fourth. A walk put Shane Lake on first and Connor Troio put down a perfect bunt to move the sophomore 90 feet. The sophomore didn't stop there though as the Lasers' first baseman Brett Sherron overthrew third which let Lake score the go-ahead run.
Another two innings passed before the score changed again. This time it was Lasell who put one run on the board. Andre Marchesse tripled to right field and Sherron traded places with him with a triple of his own to the same spot to even the score at 3-all.
The Rams immediately responded in the bottom of the inning. Blase Cormier walked and snuck to second with the attention at the plate with the crowd thinking Hopkins got hit with a pitch, but was ruled a ball by the umpire. Hopkins then made up for the missed call with a single through the left side to bring in Cormier and give the Rams' the lead again, 4-3.
Similar to Suffolk, Lasell looked to make up ground once again in the top of the eighth. Rams' reliever Parker Browne put up two quick outs before giving up back-to-back walks. Thankfully, Suffolk's infielder handled's chopper to second to lock up the third out of the frame and keep the Lasers from threatening.
The Rams were unable to add insurance in the bottom of the eighth, but they ended up not needing any as Browne retired the side in the ninth to lock up the post-season triumph.
- Charles Batchelder earned the win on the mound with a one-run, two-hit, two-strikeout day in 1.2 innings. The senior RHP accounted for one-third of the Rams' Ks on the day.
- Brown notched the save after throwing 2.0 scoreless innings with a pair of walks and one punchout.
- Steven Rossi started on the bump and went 6.0 innings in which he let up two runs on five hits and four walks with three strikeouts.
- Zach Handzel had an impressive outing, tossing 132 pitches in 6.2 innings of work. He let up four runs (three earned) on four hits and seven Ks and fanned two batters.
- Sean Doris came out of the pen for the Lasers for 1.1 frames. He sat down two batters and walked one.
- Giandrea produced two RBI on one hit and one walk.
- Hopkins had one hit, one RBI, one run, one walk and one stolen base.
- Gilbride tallied one hit and one run.
- Brigham was responsible for Suffolk's lone extra-base hit, a double.
- Cormier and Lake each drew two walks and scored once.
- Suffolk advances to the winner's bracket for the fifth time in as many years.
- The Rams remain unbeaten against the Lasers in the GNAC Tournament all-time (6-0).
- Suffolk rattled off its 12th straight win over Lasell to move to 28-1 in the series.
- The blue-and-gold has picked up its last five GNAC Playoffs wins by a one-run margin.
- Suffolk ran its win streak in the league tournament to eight to move to 13-2 in the conference playoffs in the Anthony Del Prete era and 51-21 overall.
- Browne regiseterd his second save of the season, while Batchelder moved to 5-1 on the year.
Suffolk moves on in the winner's bracket and will take on second-seed Saint Josephs' (Maine) Saturday, May 4 at 1:30 p.m. at historic Fraser Field. The winner of Saturday's matinee punches its automatic ticket to the conference's championship contest Sunday, May 5.
Courtesy of Suffolk Athletics Communications.
The Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) is an NCAA Division III association made up of 13 member institutions and over 3,000 student-athletes across the New England region. Founded in 1995, the GNAC annually sponsors and administers 20 championships, while balancing academic integrity, athletic opportunity and community involvement in an effort to enhance the student-athlete experience.
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