STANDISH, ME – Freshman designated hitter Alex Lorenc (Nanuet, NY) singled in the game-winning run with two out in the bottom of the seventh of the nightcap to help Saint Joseph's (19-10, 8-2 GNAC) earn a split with Suffolk University (13-13, 5-3 GNAC) at Larry Mahaney Diamond on Saturday. The Monks suffered a 4-0 setback in the opener before edging the Rams, 4-3, in the closing contest.
The Rams scored all the runs they would need with an unearned score in the top of the first. Suffolk leadoff batter Mark Addesa '11 (Revere, MA) reached on an infield error and scored on a double-play ball later in the frame.
The Rams managed to put the game out of reach for the Monks when center fielder Nick Travelyn '11 (Bedford, NH) hit a two-run homer in the top of the fifth. Addesa notched an RBI single in the top of the seventh to make it a 4-0 game.
Suffolk starter Alex Torres '11 (Framingham, MA) held the Monks' bats in check all afternoon and allowed only two hits – a slash base knock by Sam Butts '13 (Saco, ME) in the bottom of the third and a seeing-eye single off the bat of Dan Achorn '12 (Bow, NH) in the bottom of the sixth – in the complete-game victory.
Torres, now 4-3 on the year, walked a pair and fanned five in seven innings. Only one SJC baserunner advanced to third base against the senior right-hander.
Saint Joseph's had not been shut out at home since Southern Maine defeated the Monks, 3-0, on April 26th, 2007. The last time St. Joe's was limited to two hits occurred in a loss to Lasell College on April 10th, 2010.
The Rams struck first in the nightcap when Mike Cunningham '13 (Syosset, NY) plated Jake Cintolo '14 (Wrentham, MA) with a sac fly to left field in the top of the second. Monks first baseman Mike Pratt '13 (Dartmouth, MA) knotted the game when he led off the bottom of the frame with a solo home run to left field.
The stalemate did not last long, however, as St. Joe's took its first lead of the afternoon when Willie Brown '14 (Fayette, ME) scored on a sac fly hit by Chris Campbell '11 (Rochester, NH) in the bottom of the third.
Suffolk quickly tied the game in the top of the fourth when Mark Annese '11 (Winchester, MA) doubled and later scored on a sac fly hit by Stephen Schultz '12 (Salem, NH). The Rams regained the lead when Cintolo drove home Devan Jones '14 (Roslindale, MA) with a single in the top of the fifth.
The 3-2 deficit stood until the Monks' final turn at the bat in the bottom of the seventh. With one out, Dan Brown '12 (Portland, ME/Deering) worked a walk and was lifted in favor of pinch runner Brandon Chase '13 (Naples, ME), who later scored the tying run on a single by Achorn. Kyle Neagle '12 (Lisbon Falls, ME) served as a pinch runner for Ian Lee '11 (Hampden, ME), who reached on an infield error, and scored on Lorenc's game-winning single to right field.
SJC reliever Andrew Devereaux '12 (Hope Valley, RI), now 4-1 on the season, registered the winning decision after tossing 1.2 scoreless innings with three strikeouts and one hit allowed. Starting pitcher Joe Gruntkosky '14 (Peabody, MA) allowed three runs off nine hits and two walks with a pair of K's in 5.0 innings of work.
Suffolk starter Tim Belanger '12 (Raynham, MA) allowed two runs (one earned) off three hits with five K's in 4.2 innings and reliever Matt Sliney '13 (Brockton, MA) suffered the loss after allowing two runs (one earned) off two hits and two walks in two innings.
Saint Joseph's is now 12-12 in the history of the series with Suffolk University.
The Monks will host Emerson College in a GNAC doubleheader tomorrow at 2:00 PM. The Rams host Lasell College tomorrow afternoon at 1:00 PM.