Rams pull ahead with three runs in seventh inning
EAST BOSTON, Mass. (March 27, 2019) – The Suffolk University baseball team scored five late runs to earn a 6-5 comeback victory over Western New England University on Wednesday night in non-conference action at East Boston Memorial Park.
Senior outfielder Joe Cassella (Wallingford, Conn.) was the lone Golden Bear to post a multi-hit effort, going 2-for-4 with two runs scored.
Senior third baseman Aaron Rios (Stratford, Conn.) walked, doubled and drove in two runs, while senior outfielder Ben LaCroix (Branford, Conn.) went 1-for-3 with one RBI, two walks and two runs scored.
Suffolk was led by senior outfielder Connor Troio (Shrewsbury, Mass.) and sophomore catcher Shane Lake (West Roxbury, Mass.), who drove in two runs each.
Sophomore first baseman Blase Cormier (Wayland, Mass.) turned in a three-hit performance, while classmate Rich Giandrea (Audobon, N.J.) went 1-for-2 with one RBI, two walks and three runs scored.
Western New England opened up an early lead with three runs on three hits in the top of the first inning.
Senior outfielder Erik Lacaire (Worcester, Mass.) singled to center field with one out, and Cassella was hit by a pitch to put two runners on base before LaCroix singled to right field to bring in the game's first run. Rios came up next and drove in two more runs with a double to left field, giving the Golden Bears a 3-0 lead.
Suffolk got one run back in the bottom of the second inning on a two-out, RBI single to center field by Lake, but neither team scored over the next three frames.
Still trailing 3-1 in the bottom of the sixth, the Rams plated two more runs to tie the contest. Giandrea got the rally started with a leadoff walk, and senior Trevor Lee (Flanders, N.J.) followed with a single to left field. After a sacrifice by Lake advanced both runners, Troio recorded an RBI groundout and junior Rich Gilbride (Beverly, Mass.) came through with the game-tying RBI single.
The Golden Bears left the bases loaded in the top of the seventh, before the Rams took the lead for good with three runs in the bottom half of the inning. With one out and runners on first and third, Giandrea singled to right field, plating Cormier with the go-ahead run. Later in the frame, Suffolk tacked on two more runs as Lake reached on an error and Troio added a sacrifice fly to make it 6-3.
Western New England was able to cut its deficit to one run (6-5) in the eighth on a sacrifice fly by junior Zac Nussbaum (Bridgewater, Mass.) and an RBI single by sophomore Sebby Grignano (Meriden, Conn.), but the Golden Bears again left the bases loaded as Suffolk maintained a 6-5 edge heading into the ninth.
Still needing a run to tie the contest in the top of the ninth, Western New England had another opportunity as Cassella reached on an infield single with one out and LaCroix walked to push Cassella into scoring position.
Suffolk senior righthander Tyler Zell (Marion, Mass.) was able to work out of the jam, however, as he got Rios to fly out to center field before retiring Nussbaum on a groundout to end the contest.
• Western New England was outhit 10-7, and the Golden Bears stranded ten runners on base.
• Suffolk utilized ten pitchers in the contest – senior lefthander Worth Walrod (Dedham, Mass.) was the most effective, striking out three batters over two perfect frames.
• Sophomore Kevin Hummer (Shrewsbury, Mass.) got the start for Western New England and struck out six batters with one earned run over five innings.
Western New England (7-6) will be right back in action tomorrow at No. 23 UMass Boston, while Suffolk (9-7-1) hosts Albertus Magnus on Saturday.