BY COLE McNANNA // APRIL 1, 2016//
The Curry College baseball team dropped its home opener 8-6 against Suffolk University in non-conference play Thursday afternoon at Jack Valley Park.
Curry raced out to an early lead in the bottom of the first inning, with junior Nick Crivello doubling in both senior John Arens and freshman Tyler Jenkins, who got on with a single and hit-by-pitch, respectively.
However, Suffolk was back in it with one swing of the bat from freshman Jake Frasca, who put one over the left-field fence to cut the score to 2-1. Junior Matt Brenner knocked a home run of his own in the top of the second inning to tie the score at 2.
The Colonels wasted no time in their response, as Arens started the inning by lacing a double to right field and was followed by junior Alex McLean and senior Phil Perez, who both walked, loading the bases for freshman Tyler Jenkins.
Jenkins was able to get the job done, lifting a fly ball to centerfield deep enough for Arens to tag up and score. After that, Crivello hit a ball at the shortstop; sophomore Sean Cameron mishandled it, allowing McLean to scamper home to put the Colonels’ lead up to 4-2 after three innings of play.
Frasca continued to wreak havoc on Curry — and senior starter Kyle Connors — reaching on a fielder’s choice and scoring on a double from junior Luke Ronchi placed just inside the left field foul line. Ronchi’s RBI made the score 4-3 halfway through the fourth.
Sophomore Seth Coiley smacked a two-out, two-run home run to left field to give Suffolk the lead for the first time in the game. That home run was the beginning of the end for Connors, who finished six and two-thirds innings striking out seven while giving up five earned runs on 11 hits in a no decision.
Arens was, yet again, the first domino to fall as he started another inning with another hit, this time a double. He was able to take third on a passed ball during Perez’s at bat, who eventually struck out looking which brought up Jenkins again with a runner in scoring position.
Jenkins lifted one more pop fly, but the right fielder, Ronchi, misplayed it and it fell in for an error scoring Arens to tie up the game at five runs apiece.
Suffolk came out quickly in the next inning, with junior Drew Carter launching a monster shot over the left field fence (as well as the neighboring football field stands) to retake the lead.
Curry was down to their last six outs and after using two of them, Arens came to the plate yet again trying to spark something. The senior captain worked a single, his fifth hit in as many at bats on the afternoon, and was joined on the base paths by McLean who drew a walk to put speed on the first two bags.
With Perez at the plate, sophomore relief pitcher Kevin Belskie bounced a pitch into the catcher, Brenner, who misplayed the ball and lost sight of it. In the confusion, Arens came around the corner to score.
The game was now tied heading into the final inning, and junior captain Brian Burke took over on the mound. After a walk, a sacrifice bunt and a ground out, the Rams had a runner on third with two outs.
That runner, sophomore Brady Chant, would eventually come around to score on a passed ball that got just far enough away from Crivello.
After Suffolk gained the lead, they added an insurance run that ultimately was too much to make up for and the game went to the final score of 8-6.
Coach Dave Perdios acknowledged the difficulties in having younger guys make mental mistakes in the field. Perdios said, “because of consequences and some injuries and illnesses we’ve had to play some guys and they’re learning as we play and it’s not easy.”
He went on to say that despite the lack of experience at some positions, they aren’t that far off from being where they want to be. Perdios noted, “We just gotta come out and practice and work hard and get better and that’s all we can do.”
He went on to add, “we’re not gonna worry about the wins and losses, we’re going to worry about developing these guys and getting to the point where once we get some guys back – if we do – we’ll be where we want to be.”
The Colonels fall to 5-9 on the still-young season, with all of their conference games still to play – most of which will come in the form of doubleheaders throughout the month of April.
The first of these doubleheaders is up next, on Saturday afternoon, as they host Endicott College for a twinbill starting at noon. Campus will be bustling, as the College will also be hosting softball and lacrosse doubleheaders, on top of Accepted Students Day.
- Why Wait?: Senior Captain John Arens wasted no time getting re-acclimated to D. Forbes Will Complex and Jack Valley Park going a perfect 5-for-5 in his final Home Opener in the Purple and White.
- A Season Salvaged: After suffering what seemed to be a season-ending knee injury in the preseason, junior captain Brian Burke was able to return much ahead of schedule and won’t have to miss any games due to injury this season for the Colonels.
- Sweet Sixteen: Coach Dave Perdios handed in a lineup card for the Curry Colonels for the 16th season yesterday afternoon, the second longest baseball coaching tenure. Perdios is behind only Jack Valley, for whom the field is named after.