Freshman James Mello’s Home Debut Spoiled by non-conference Suffolk University
BY CHRIS ARNAUDO // April 12, 2017 //
With temperatures setting records across Massachusetts, Curry hosted nearby Suffolk University for a non-conference, nine-inning game in nearly perfect baseball weather.
In what was dubbed a ‘staff day’ by most of the players on the team, Head Coach Dave Perdios called upon five hurlers to take the mound in a losing effort.
Freshman James Mello, hailing from Fall River, got the nod to begin the day and sliced through the lineup like butter, allowing only two baserunners over the first three innings. Mello said he simply approached his first home college start “like any other game.”
Before he retired the side in the top of the third, however, the Colonels had already given him insurance. Senior Vincent LoPriore, converting from pitcher to first baseman, jacked his second home run of the season to kick off the bottom of the second.
“I was seeing a lot of fastballs early on…I got one inside and swung as hard as I could,” said the former pitcher.
After stringing together a couple hits and walks, classmate Alex McLean plated sophomore Tyler Jenkins to give Curry a 2-0 lead after two full innings.
Jenkins returned the favor the next time out in the bottom of the third and hit in LoPriore while senior Nick Crivello followed it up and sent Jenkins home with a RBI double to extend the Colonel lead to 4-0.
Things got a little shaky for Mello the second time through the lineup, however, and he ended up giving two runs back in the top of the fourth only to surrender the lead for good the next inning.
One run had scored already but Mello had two outs and only one runner on in the top of the fifth. However, he put another runner on by plunking him with a pitch and the next man up did the most damage. The Rams’ freshman catcher Matt Brenner curled one around the leftfield foul pole to supply a 6-4 lead they would not surrender.
Mello let up one more run before getting out of his fifth and final inning of work, allowing seven total
runs, only five of which were earned, on seven hits and two walks while striking one batter out.
Curry never regained the lead, and could only muster up two more runs the rest of the game thanks to a sacrifice fly from junior John Cave and Crivello reaching on an error allowing LoPriore to score.
LoPriore, who is still listed as a Pitcher on the roster, has seemingly not missed a beat so far in his transition back to the plate, racking up 37 at bats over 16 games smacking 13 hits (three doubles, two home runs) and driving in seven runs. On top of that, he leads the team with a .351 batting average right now.
“[That] feels good but I just wanna get some more wins together. That’s what most important right now,” the Boston native said about being at the top of the team’s batting category.
The Colonels gets right back up on that horse as they welcome in Commonwealth Coast Conference foe Western New England, barring inclement weather, for a doubleheader starting at 2:30 this afternoon, Wednesday the 12th. Two games that have huge implications in the standings.