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

Youth movement leading baseball’s hot start

Courtesy of Suffolk University Athletics
Freshman outfielder Colin Flynn celebrates during Suffolk University baseball’s game against WPI.

As spring weather has started to poke its head around the corner, the Suffolk University baseball team’s 2024 season is officially underway with an 11-5 record to start.

Last season, the team had a disappointing 13-22 overall record, including a mediocre 6-10 in the difficult Commonwealth Coast Conference.

The team did have some positives they can build on, as they ended up with a first-round victory in last year’s CCC tournament against Gordon College. This was the fourth consecutive season the Rams have made the playoffs in the CCC.

The team’s season ultimately came to a close after tournament losses to Endicott College and Western New England University.

This season’s team has a lot of turnover, as the roster features 21 new players with 14 freshmen and seven incoming transfers. Despite having only nine returning members from last year’s roster, the Rams came in at number five in the CCC’s preseason poll.

Two key contributors returning to the Rams are All-CCC second-team players: junior infielder and pitcher Harry Painter and senior outfielder and pitcher Garrett Roberts.

Painter is coming off a season highlighted by a stellar .347 batting average, .604 slugging percentage and 20 extra-base hits. Painter was also named to the American Baseball Coaches Association All-Region Third team to go with his All-CCC second-team accolade.

For Painter, the key to maintaining the success he had last season at the plate is all about his approach and the little things in the batter’s box.

“Things like making sure I’m not taking too big of a swing and being patient [at the plate] are things I try to focus on,” said Painter.

He is also excited by the influx of new blood on the team and is confident they’ll be able to contribute immediately.

“They’ve brought a lot of good, new energy to the team,” said Painter.

Roberts is coming off a solid season of his own, finishing with a .277 batting average, a .829 on-base plus slugging percentage and 14 extra-base hits. He was also one of the team’s captains.

Roberts has been happy with the youth of the team and thinks it will be a big boost during the beginning of the season.
“One of the best things about having a young team is the energy and enthusiasm that they bring to the field every day. Especially in the earlier months of the season when the weather isn’t as great, their energy can be a real difference-maker when it comes to wins and losses,” said Roberts.

Leading this complimentary group of experienced and young ball players is seasoned head coach Anthony Del Prete. Del Prete is in his 10th year as head coach of the program.

The Rams opened up their schedule March 3 with a doubleheader split against Lasell University. Suffolk lost the opening game of the season 11-4 but bounced back in the second game with a dominant 15-0 victory.

“I think we got off to a slow start in game one, letting things get away from us early and probably getting out some first-game jitters. But I love the way we bounced back in game two. To have a disappointing loss like that in the first game then bounce back like that shows what this team is capable of,” said Painter.

Roberts also thought the team left something on the table after the split, but was happy with the team’s response in game two.

“Overall, I think we have built a really strong team culture and have a great ‘buy-in,’” said Roberts.

The Rams traveled to Florida to play in the RussMatt Central Florida Invitational from March 7-15, going 7-2 in the nine games they played.

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About the Contributor
Liam McCall
Liam McCall, Staff Writer | he/him
Liam is a print/web journalism major from Melrose, Massachusetts. Originally a marketing major, he switched to journalism to follow his joy for writing. He is a big sports fan and roots for all New England teams, especially the Red Sox and the Patriots. In his free time, he loves going on runs, listening to music and going golfing with his friends.

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