QUINCY, MA – Saint Joseph's (16-2, 4-0 GNAC) won both ends of a Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) baseball doubleheader versus Suffolk University (5-13-1, 0-2 GNAC) on Sunday afternoon, winning the first game 13-2 and the second by a 4-2 margin in extra innings.
The Monks used a 13-hit attack en route to posting a convincing 13-2 victory over the Rams in the opening contest.
Sophomore Alex Markakis (Lynnfield, Mass.) was 4-for-4 with three runs scored to lead the offense, while Mike Pratt (Dartmouth, Mass.) finished the game 3-for-5 with a pair of RBI and junior Brandon Chase (Naples, Maine) reached base in all four plate appearances while collecting three RBI in the game.
Junior Chad Rafferty (Keene, N.H.) improved to 4-0 on the mound for the Monks as he cruised through six innings of work without surrendering a run, scattering six hits and punching out six Rams hitters in the process.
Freshman Nic Lops (South Portland, Maine/Cheverus) broke a 2-2 tie in the eighth inning with a two-out single to right field to drive in a pair of runs as the Monks improve to 16-2 on the season and a 4-0 mark to start the 2012 GNAC regular season.
After enduring two quick outs to start the inning, Pratt worked a walk to keep the inning alive and sophomore Alec Lorenc (Nanuet, N.Y.) followed by reaching on an infield single. Lops drove in the game-winning runs as he capped a lengthy at bat with a single off junior Jhonneris Mendez (Boston, Mass.) into right field, plating both runners for the twinbill sweep.
Freshman righthander Alex Valenti (Lawrence, Mass.) worked four innings of relief, earning his first collegiate win on the mound, as the Monks were aided by their defense with three double plays in game two.
St. Joe's got on the board in the top of the first inning as Lorenc drove in a pair of runs with a double down the right field line, scoring Pratt and senior Dan Achorn (Bow, N.H.) for the game's first runs.
The Rams would answer in the bottom half of the first as sophomore Devan Jones (Roslindale, Mass.) was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning and would later score on an RBI groundout by junior Mike Cunningham (Syosset, N.Y.).
Suffolk evened the game at two in the bottom of the fifth inning. Jones led off with a single before sophomore Mike Muse (Milton, Mass.) drew a walk, chasing Monks' junior starter Tyler Laverriere (Biddeford, Maine) from the game. Valenti then entered, inducing a double play that would help kill the big inning for the Rams, but Jones would later score on a passed ball to even the contest at two apiece.
Freshman Josh Desai (Shrewsbury, Mass.) pitched six solid innings for Suffolk, striking out seven hitters while allowing two runs on four hits in his outing. Mendez suffered the loss in relief to fall to 2-2 on the hill this year for the Rams.
Saint Joseph's will be back in action on Wednesday afternoon when the Royal Blue hosts University of Southern Maine in non-conference action at 4:00 PM. Suffolk will travel to Fitchburg State University for a 3:30 PM matchup with the Falcons.
COURTESY OF SUFFOLK UNIVERSITY SPORTS INFORMATION