Colonels Win Playoff Opener Behind Fitzpatrick, McLean
BY RYAN HATHAWAY // MAY 1, 2015 //
Curry senior pitcher Thomas Fitzpatrick stymied the Gordon College Fighting Scots in Thursday’s first-round playoff matchup, and his teammates backed him up with 10 hits.
Fitzpatrick, a second-team All-CCC selection this year, pitched eight innings and gave up just one earned run as the Colonels cruised to a 4-1 victory. Unlike the regular season, when teams play only seven innings, conference tournament games go nine.
Fitzpatrick improved to 6-1 on the season after striking out seven and allowing just five hits. The South Boston native did a particularly good job locating his curveball for corner-strike calls.
“Oh, big time today. I don’t know…the ump must have been from Southie, too,” Fitzpatrick said with a laugh.
Curry sophomore Alex McLean led the way offensively with three doubles, two runs, and an RBI.
In the bottom of the second, first-team All-CCC catcher Nick Crivello, only a sophomore, hit a single. Freshman Willy De La Cruz followed with a walk. McLean knocked in Crivello for Curry’s first run. Upon safely reaching second, McLean flexed and pumped his fists in excitement.
“We all got hyped up for this game,” McLean said. “We knew we could come in and beat them.”
It was McLean again who got the Curry offense another run. He doubled to lead off the bottom of the fifth inning. After a failed pick-off by Gordon’s catcher, McLean took third and scored on junior John Arens’ single.
Fitzpatrick coasted through the first five innings before running into a jam in the top of the sixth. Gordon started the inning with three straight singles to finally tally its first run of the afternoon. But after a failed bunt, Fitzpatrick fought back with a strike out and a pop up to end the inning before the Fighting Scots could score again.
“I just take it slow and think about what I’m trying to do out there,” Fitzpatrick said. “Sometimes you jerk up and try to throw it too hard, and that’s when the ball comes up a little bit.”
Curry added single runs in the seventh and eighth. Crivello doubled and scored in the seventh off of a double by senior R.J. McCann, and McLean doubled and scored on a single by senior captain Derek Pizarro. Fitzpatrick never faltered again, and his teammates took notice of the senior’s impressive outing.
“He came in and commanded the zone,” McLean said of Fitzpatrick. “He works his butt off all the time. He’s our leader and he came out today and did his job.”
Sophomore Brian Burke relieved Fitzpatrick and pitched a scoreless ninth.
All-Conference Presence: Curry was well represented on the 2015 All-CCC team. Crivello and Fitzpatrick were joined by Arens and freshman pitcher Dave Griffin, who were named to the 3rd team. Head Coach Dave Perdios was awarded the conference’s 2015 Coach of the Year award
Leading the Way: Fitzpatrick said he takes his leadership role seriously. “I try to lead by example,” he said. “And then if I lead by example, I’ll give ’em a few words. ‘Go get me some runs!’”
Next Up: Curry will next host Roger Williams today, May 1, at 3 p.m. The Hawks defeated Western New England yesterday, 6-5. When Curry last played Roger Williams, in a double-header April 12, the Colonels won both games: 6-2 and 9-2.