(Edited 9:49 PM, 5/4/19)LYNN, Mass. – Second-seeded Saint Joseph's College (31-9) defeated #1 Suffolk University (23-17-1), 3-1, in the winners' bracket game of the 2019 Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) Baseball Tournament at Fraser Field on Saturday afternoon.
With the win, Saint Joseph's advances to the conference championship game and will face #3 Johnson & Wales tomorrow at Fraser Field at 12:00 PM. The Wildcats defeated top-seeded Suffolk, 2-0, in a losers' bracket contest this evening.
As the lone undefeated team remaining in the double-elimination GNAC Tournament, the Monks will have a second chance to claim the crown if they should fall in the 12:00 PM game, as an if-necessary contest is scheduled for 3:30 PM.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
All the scoring occurred in the first inning, as the Monks plated three runs off three hits and a Suffolk error in the top and the Rams scored a run off two hits in the bottom of the opening frame.
Senior shortstop Joey Murphy (Derry, N.H.) led off the winners' bracket contest with a single to center field and later scored on a Drew Healey (Rochester, N.H.) base hit to right field. With two out and runners on first and second, senior first baseman Noah McDaniel (Eliot, Maine) delivered a base hit to left field, sending Jared Gagne (Dover, N.H.) and Healey across the plate to make it a 3-0 game.
In the bottom of the first, junior Rich Gilbride (Beverly, Mass.) singled to right field and moved to second when Trevor Lee (Flanders, N.J.) worked a walk before scoring on a Blasé Cormier (Wayland, Mass.) base hit.
Suffolk had runners on first and third with nobody out but a costly baserunning blunder helped SJC sophomore starter Zach Begin (Georgetown, Mass.) escape further damage. Sophomore center fielder Will Hopkins (Old Rochester, Mass.) was up next and lined out to SJC second baseman Drew Healey, who quickly threw to first to nab Cormier, who was a bit too ambitious with his secondary lead.
Neither team managed to advance a runner past second base for the remainder of the contest, but the Rams had a chance to make things interesting in the bottom of the ninth. With runners on first and second and one out, sophomore catcher Shane Lake (West Roxbury, Mass.) hit a sharp grounder down the third base line, but freshman Ronan Chisholm (North Chatham, Mass.) snagged the ball, stepped on third, and fired to second for the game-ending double play.
ON THE MOUND:
- SJC starter Zach Begin improves to 6-0 on the season after striking out seven while allowing a run off five hits and five walks in a dominant complete-game performance
- Suffolk senior Kevin Sinatra (East Boston, Mass.) also tossed a complete game and allowed three runs (one earned) off six hits and a walk with five K's over nine frames
OFF THE BAT:
- Murphy went 2-for-4 with a run scored
- McDaniel was 1-for-3 with a pair of RBI