Suffolk baseball secures ECAC DIII Title

For the second time in program history, the decorated Suffolk University baseball team won the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC), a DIII regional New England championship. On May 11, the Suffolk underdogs beat first seed Roger Williams to win the prestigious title.

The silverware was truly an icing on the cake for the Rams, posting a 26-14-1 overall record on the season. Winning the nation’s largest conference (303 teams in the ECAC DI, DII and DIII combined) is a glorious achievement that will go down in history as a proud moment for the athletic department. Associate Head Coach Anthony Del Prete was delighted with his team’s performance.

“The ECAC victory was a good one for us. Obviously we would have preferred to win the GNAC, but finishing on a strong note was great for us as a program. We had a chance to send the older guys out on a winning note but also build a foundation with the younger guys and carry momentum into next season” Del Prete said..

A combination of experienced upperclassmen and young freshman talent was a perfect mix that for the team, especially during the test of a three-game series with Roger Williams.

“All three games were pretty good …we got good starting pitching, timely hitting and played really good defense. It was a nice way to finish off the season after losing an ugly doubleheader to them in Florida to start the year,” said Del Prete.

In a three-game series with Roger Williams, the Rams won their second ECAC title.
(Photo courtesy of Suffolk Athletics)

Improvement is a perfect word to describe the contrast between the team’s start and end of the season. After a tough stretch during spring training, the Rams came back to Boston to dominate both the GNAC and ECAC conferences. One of the main reasons for the positive turnaround is that players found their roles after the first couple of games and started working more as a team.

According to Del Prete, another reason for the success is the great leadership, motivation, and determination of the players throughout the regular and post season. There was never simply one player who carried the team during the season.

“I think chemistry played a part of it as well,” Del Prete said. “Guys seemed to enjoy being around each other and it carried over into the later part of the season.”

One of several players who performed well time after time was Jhonneris Mendez, one of five senior captains.

“I think the biggest reason for our success was our early season struggles. After going losing six games in Florida, the seniors brought the team together and got everyone on the same page. After that we started rolling and only lost eight games the rest of the season,” said Mendez.

There is no doubt the experience of Mendez, Jake Cintolo and other seniors will be missed greatly next year, but with returning players Justin Knight, Jon Lapolla, Luke Ronchi, Rob Marks and Matt Brenner, the future is looking bright for the ECAC Champions. The most successful team in Suffolk Athletics has proved that they are a serious GNAC title contender for the next season.