Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Baseball starts conference slate with doubleheader sweep of Nichols

JD Conte
The Baseball team celebrates a successful inning on Sunday versus Nichols

The Suffolk University baseball team hosted the Nichols College Bisons in East Boston March 26 for a doubleheader, with the Rams winning both games of the day to open up their season of Commonwealth Coast Conference play.

The 2-0 start to conference play is the best start in team history. Suffolk is now 20-20 all-time against the Bison and this is the first time under head coach Anthony Del Prete that the Rams have beaten Nichols in back-to-back games.

When it came to the team’s approach at the plate, Del Prete said it was all about making the most of every chance.

“Similar to every game, to be disciplined in the strike zone and make the most of opportunities with runners in scoring position,” said Del Prete. “I thought we had some good at-bats throughout the day and their pitchers did a nice job keeping our guys off balance but we can always improve and be better.”

Suffolk built up an early lead in the first game of the day. Senior Luke Harder found the right-center field gap for an RBI triple in the second inning, scoring Marc Birbiglia. Harder then crossed the plate on graduate infielder Tim McCarthy’s single to push the Rams’ lead to 2-0.

Outfielder Michael James Jr. added to the lead in the sixth inning, hitting a sac fly that brought home Harder to make the lead 3-0.

The Bison added one run in the seventh on an RBI single and another run in the ninth when Ben Jerome was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded. Junior infielder and pitcher Jonny Gilbride got the final out after that to get the save.

Junior Garret Roberts was the starting pitcher in the first game for the Rams. Roberts had a strong performance on the mound, allowing one unearned run over seven innings pitched, getting credited with the win. Senior Shawn Nosky put together a scoreless eighth inning, followed by Gilbride getting the save in the ninth inning.

Suffolk’s Garret Roberts led the Rams to a victory during the first matchup on Sunday, allowing one unearned run over seven innings (JD Conte)

“Garret did a really good job of settling in during the game and giving us some rhythm by making pitches and pounding the strike zone,” said Del Prete on Roberts’ performance. “He did a really good job of making some adjustments and keeping his fastball down for most of the afternoon and attacking hitters.”

Suffolk got to the Bisons’ starting pitcher Jack Kabel right away in the second game of the day. Freshman Sam Armbruster scored on a groundout from Harry Painter in the first inning. Birbiglia then drove in Roberts on an RBI single to give the Rams a 2-0 lead.

The Bison got a run back in the top of the sixth when an error opened the door for Nichols junior Brennan Hyde to score. Suffolk scored again in the bottom of the inning on a single from Harder that scored Armbruster.

Nichols was able to tie the game in the eighth inning off Suffolk starter George Breslin when Hyde hit a two run single to right-center field. In the bottom of the eighth, Del Prete brought in Max Iorio to pinch hit for catcher Corey Frassica. The change paid off, as Iorio hit the go ahead RBI double that scored Birbiglia to give the Rams the 4-3 lead, which they held on to.

“Max has been swinging a hot bat for us,” said Del Prete. “We tried to play some matchups with a left handed pitcher starting for Nichols, but knew we would have him available late to hit in a situation if we needed it late in the game.”

Breslin pitched eight innings of the second game for Suffolk, allowing three runs on seven hits and two walks, striking out five hitters. One run for Breslin was unearned. Senior Caleb Piwnicki struck out two hitters in the ninth inning to get the save.

“Similar to Garret, George was great going out there and attacking hitters and throwing strikes and working with a tempo,” said Del Prete on Breslin’s game. “It helps getting some momentum from the mound in the second game of doubleheaders because they can be such long days. George worked with a nice rhythm all day, was aggressive in the strike zone and gave us another quality start as he has done all season thus far.”

After a 2-2 week, Suffolk travels to Babson College for a non-conference matchup on Wednesday, followed by a doubleheader on Saturday against CCC foe Roger Williams University on the road. Suffolk wraps up the week with a non-conference home game against Thomas College in East Boston.

Follow Michael on Twitter @MichaelNaj3

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About the Contributors
Michael Najarian, Sports Editor | he/him
Michael is a sophomore print/web journalism major from Framingham, Massachusetts. He’s also a member of the Cross Country and Track & Field teams. Outside of running and writing for the Journal, Michael is an avid Boston sports fan who will be seen watching sports quite frequently. After graduation, Michael is looking for a career in the sports industry. Follow Michael on Twitter @MichaelNaj3
JD Conte, Sports Editor | he/him
JD is a senior from Wallingford, Conn. double majoring in political science and broadcast journalism. Aside from writing for the journal, JD can often be found in Studio 73 working on his broadcast skills. Off-campus JD can be found watching all the Boston and UCONN sports teams. He enjoys spending time with his family and friends in various spots around the city, especially in East Boston and the North End. After graduation JD hopes to work in a newsroom full-time or pursue a career in the sports industry. Follow JD on Twitter @jdconte617 Email him at [email protected]

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Baseball starts conference slate with doubleheader sweep of Nichols