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.
BY CHRIS ARNAUDO and COLE McNANNA // April 8, 2017 //
The long-awaited home opener at the Jack Vallely Diamond saw both of the top starters in the Colonels’ rotation start a conference doubleheader against Eastern Nazarene College.
Junior David Griffin picked up his second win and first complete-game shutout of the year in Curry’s 1-0 victory in game one. The win put them at 2-1 in the Commonwealth Coast Conference, and in good shape for the ladder half of their doubleheader.
“These doubleheaders are brutal,” Head Coach Dave Perdios said postgame. “If you don’t win the first one it puts the pressure on.”
Sure enough, it was the Lions who applied the pressure early on with Andrew Santora swinging at the game’s first pitch and connected for a lead-off double.
“It was a two-seamer that I left over half of the plate and he was expecting fastball,” said starting pitcher Dave Griffin.
He was able to eliminate the threat however, and went on to retire the next three batters to get out of the inning unscathed.
An inning later, with the bases empty and no one out, senior Vincent LoPriore provided the Colonels with the only run they needed.
LoPriore lifted one deep to left and took advantage of the howling wind which sent the ball flying to the bleachers to give Curry a 1-0 lead.
That was more than enough support for Griffin, who went seven full innings. He struck out four while only allowing four hits.
LoPriore, in his fourth and final year as a member of the Curry College baseball team, is in his first year as a position player. Formally a reliever, LoPriore has found a way to get his bat in the lineup as a first baseman.
Coach Perdios praised LoPriore for working hard in the offseason trying to find a new position. LoPriore currently leads the team with a .345 batting average.
It was seemingly a tale of two games as the final game of the two-game set saw fireworks from the Colonels’ bats and a parade of runs.
LoPriore was again in the mix, supplying a two-run single after junior Justin Cage delivered an RBI double to get things going in the bottom of the second.
An early lead for the sophomore stud Matt Fogarty was all he needed to start his day. Although surrendering a run in the following half inning, he was strong all day, finishing with four strikeouts over five innings.
The Curry bats came back to life and provided another three-run inning thanks to the bottom part of the lineup in sophomore Jack Kallinich, freshman Adam Duarte and senior Alex McLean. Fogarty went back to work for one more half inning and got the Colonels back to the dugout to get some more insurance.
Walks plagued Eastern Nazarene and Duarte grabbed another RBI after freshman Mitchell Carvalho was walked around the bases to make the score 8-1 with only two innings to play.
Junior Kevin Jones and senior Brian Burke came in from the bullpen after Fogarty and shut the game down, scattering two hits without allowing a run and fanning a pair to secure the sweep for Curry.
Both Fogarty and Griffin should have enough rest before Sunday’s non-conference doubleheader with Middlebury College, rescheduled from late March. The first pitch of those two games is scheduled for noon.
With plenty of arms ready to throw innings, the baseball team will soon be playing after this extended winter’s snow finally leaves the fields to reveal only green grass.
The squad has already seen plenty clear baseball fields playing 11 games between two visits to the southern region of the nation in Georgia and Florida. Although holding a 2-9 record wasn’t exactly the expectation.
Senior captain Brian Burke noted that, “Obviously we didn’t get the results we wanted but I think there are positives we can take out of the trip and most importantly we know what we need to improve on going into conference play.”
One of the strengths that did show itself in the warm weather was the pitching staff. Led by conference all-stars, junior Dave Griffin and sophomore Matt Fogarty, the bullpen houses plenty of hurlers to get the Colonels through the dog days of spring with another roughly 30 games to play in roughly 40 days.
The trio of Burke, Griffin, and Fogarty will headline the starting pitching with freshman James Mello also getting starts according to head coach Dave Perdios, entering his 17th year in the dugout. In the relief part of the staff, Perdios was excited about the way one junior threw the ball over his time on the mound in Florida.
“Kevin Jones threw the ball excellent down in Florida over two outings,” Perdios remarked, “very pleased.” After him, classmates Matt Hailey and Nick Kinsella will also be relied on as well as freshman Tyler Nadeau, among others.
One area of concern will certainly be the infield and it is already throwing the skipper for a loop. Freshman Mike Moreau was thought to hold down the second base slot, but soreness in his arm forced backup outfielder junior John Cave to fill the void for the end of the Florida trip.
“Tough day that last day we lost in 12 innings and made eight errors,” Perdios noted. “We were ahead twice in bottom of innings and we couldn’t hold it and it was errors both times…guys just broke down, our depth caught up to us that last day.”
Another key to their success is going to be staying healthy, already being exemplified with the outfielder in the infield. In addition, Fogarty has been battling an ankle issue since the first day of the trip and despite no break showing up on an X-Ray, he is still limited in practice as of now.
“He was back to practice two days ago (Monday), still taking it slow, but I expect him to be in the lineup the next time we play,” Coach Perdios said.
That next time out should not be too much farther away as the hopes are high that the snow will be gone by early next week. Once the season really gets going, Perdios expects it to come down to the bats he arranges to keep them in and win games.
“If we hit .270 as a team I think we’ll be fine. If we don’t, I think we’ll struggle to be in games because we just can’t score runs,” coach said simply.
At the end of the day the guys just want to play baseball and nearing the ends of some careers can make some think. Senior co-captain Vinny LoPriore reflected on his time and mentioned, “In my last year it would be great to go out on top but if I’m not lucky enough for that, then I just want to lead the way and show the younger guys how to win so they can carry on the tradition for years to come.”
Soon enough the ping of the bat will fill the Jack Vallely Diamond and there will be baseball at Curry College once again.
The Curry baseball team hosted Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) opponent Gordon College for a doubleheader, hoping to collect a pair of victories to propel them to the playoffs.
The day started off well, with freshman Matt Fogarty yielding only one base runner in the top half of the inning to send senior co-captain John Arens to the plate to get the bats going in the home half of the opening inning.
Arens ripped a single through the right side, and moved up to second base after classmate and co-captain Kyle Connors supplied a sacrifice bunt up the first base line. Junior Alex McLean followed with a clean single, and advanced when a play at the plate resulted in Arens scoring the first run of the game.
Two innings later, Arens and Connors went back to work at the plate with Arens starting things with a one-out double to right field. However, this time, Connors advanced Arens on a single to center field, deep enough to allow the speedy Arens to come around and touch home plate to put the Colonels up 2-0 early.
Connors tried scoring on a single to left by junior Nick Crivello, but was cut down at the plate to end the threat.
The Colonels wouldn’t really need the insurance run because they already held a two-run advantage, but the Fighting Scots finally threatened a few innings later.
The first two Gordon batters in the top of the sixth inning reached on a walk and an error, respectively, and freshman Chris Leavitt supplied a sacrifice bunt to move both runners into scoring position. A ground out would be enough to score sophomore Addison Tarr, and the Curry lead was cut to only one as Curry returned to bat.
The Colonels wasted no time in formulating a response, however. Crivello stroked a single to left, and got all the way to third following a passed ball and wild pitch in the same at-bat to sophomore Will de la Cruz, who eventually earned a free pass to first. Freshman Ben Lary came to the plate with runners on the corners.
Lary delivered an RBI single to left field and de la Cruz was able to “cruise” all the way to third to provide sophomore Anthony Sciaudone with the same opportunity as Lary. Sciaudone got the job done and scored de la Cruz with a fielders choice, and Arens followed with an RBI single through the middle to score Lary.
Freshman Brandon Bercovitz came into the final inning in a non-save situation with a four-run lead and produced a 1-2-3 inning to send the 5-1 score final, keeping the playoff dream alive for the Colonels.
Fogarty earned the win in game one, setting up Bercowitz by throwing a one-hitter across six innings. The freshman’s record improved to 5-2 on the season after he finished with a team second-best 46.2 innings pitched and amassed 39 strikeouts over nine games, seven as a starter.
Game Two: Gordon 3, Curry 2
After securing a victory in game one, the Colonels looked to another top starter, sophomore Dave Griffin to end the day with a sweep to send Curry into the playoffs.
The second game was another tight score, this time, however, Gordon jumped out to an early lead by opening the scoring in the second inning.
Tarr got things going for the Fighting Scots by placing a single to right field that Arens misplayed, allowing Leavitt to score. The throw into the infield got past all of the defenders in the infield and freshman Christian Hodge came around to score on the second error – putting Gordon up by a pair of runs early.
Again, Curry responded quickly, loading the bases after Crivello reached on an error and classmates Fogarty and Tyler Jenkins drew walks. De la Cruz followed, supplying an RBI single through the left side to keep the bases loaded for Lary. Lary put a charge into one, hitting it deep enough to score Crivello to tie the game up at two apiece.
After that second inning, both pitchers dug in and went to work. Griffin gave up five hits in the next five innings, while Gordon’s starter Caleb Bae and reliever Matt Amore yielded only four hits over the course of regulation play. Because of that, the audience at Jack Vallely Diamond got the treat of free playoff-caliber baseball.
The top of the eighth started with two quick outs for Griffin, but freshman Christian Hodge extended the inning with a hit. Classmate Alec Willey laced a ball to the fence that was deep enough to score Hodge and give the Fighting Scots the lead. Bercovitz came on in relief again and only needed one pitch this time to induce a fly out to send Curry to the plate with the playoffs on the line.
Unfortunately, the Colonels weren’t able to get anything done and the 3-2 final score sent them just out of the playoff picture at the time. With a sweep, Curry would have leap-frogged Gordon to take the final sixth seed but the split didn’t provide the movement necessary.
However, Roger Williams, who was previously above the Colonels in the standings, split with Salve Regina and were swept by Nichols this weekend, which took the Hawks out of the last spot. With the other games final, the Colonels were able to hang around long enough to maneuver their way to a playoff berth.
After suffering a sweep at the hands of Western New England in the regular-season finale on Saturday, the Colonels finished their CCC schedule with a 6-10 record, good enough to earn the right to fight another day.
Curry will be paired with the three seed, Salve Regina, who finished 10-4 in the conference when the playoffs open on Thursday, May 5.
In a rematch of last year’s Commonwealth Coast Conference Championship, the Curry Colonels split a doubleheader with visiting Roger Williams University Sunday afternoon on Jack Valley Diamond at the D. Forbes Will field complex.
The Hawks took the first game 6-0, but Curry bounced back and took the nightcap by a score of 5-1 to move to 8-18 on the season (3-7 conference). Roger Williams moves to 11-14-1 overall, and 1-6 in the CCC.
Coming into this past weekend sitting at 1-5 in the conference, the Colonels hoped to sweep both doubleheaders (one at Nichols on Saturday and Sunday’s with RWU) to bolster their playoff chances.
After splitting Saturday’s doubleheader, the team arrived at the field hungry for the playoffs Sunday.
Curry’s head coach Dave Perdios knew his boys wanted it. “We were in the gym this morning at quarter of nine hitting,” he said, and added he didn’t even mandate it.
Curry starter and junior captain Brian Burke started his day with two consecutive one-two-three innings, but things didn’t continue as smoothly.
The first Roger Williams batter, Liam Smith, reached on an error by sophomore shortstop Will de la Cruz. A hit and run was called for the next batter, Eli Camner, taking de la Cruz out of position and allowing both runners to be safe at first and second. After another single from Chris Bosco loaded the bases, the floodgates cracked.
Matt Moskal drove in the first run of the game for the Hawks with a sacrifice fly to left field, scoring Smith and leaving runners on the corners. A stolen base put both of them in scoring position, and both runners would score (one unearned) before Burke escaped the inning, down 3-0.
Burke knows RWU well enough to have anticipated the offense.
“I know they can hit so I wanted to have them put the ball in play and that’s what I did so I’m happy,” said the junior. “The way it came out obviously wasn’t what I wanted but I knew my game plan was to go out there and throw strikes and sometimes we make plays and sometimes they make a play, that’s just what happens.”
The right-hander allowed his defense to make plays the rest of the day, scattering six hits, while also taking matters into his own hands with nine punch-outs and only three earned runs (three unearned) in a complete game.
After the third, the bats were quiet on both sides until top of the sixth when the Hawks started things again with a double and a bunt to put runners on the corners. One swing of the bat from Shawn Cariglio made it a 6-0 game.
Burke responded by retiring the next three batters to turn the show over to the bats for the Colonels to no avail. Curry registered only one more hit and two base runners over the final two innings before the 6-0 score went final.
Junior Alex McLean got the nod for the Colonels in game two.
He cruised through the Roger Williams lineup the first time through and sat down all nine – two by way of the K – before the second inning was over, to bring up the other half of his battery, and classmate, Nick Crivello.
After fouling off a few and seeing two balls, Crivello swung and seemingly tipped the ball back to the catcher where it hit his glove and popped out; a play normally ruled a foul ball. However, the home plate umpire neither saw nor heard any contact, making it a swing-and-miss and dropped third strike which allowed Bosco to tag Crivello out.
He did not like the call and threw his helmet into the dugout and was swiftly ejected from the game. After much pressure from Coach Perdios the umpire conferred with his field counterpart. They eventually agreed that it was a foul tip and Crivello was reinstated in the game with a 2-2 count still on him.
Crivello saw two more balls and was given a pass to walk to first base by the same umpire who had ejected him some five minutes prior.
Since Crivello was still in the game, he had to return to his spot behind the plate to catch for McLean, right in front of his favorite umpire. “Oh I have great relationships with all the umpires,” Crivello said with a chuckle generating snickers from nearby teammates Burke and McLean.
“I talk to all of them, I never shut up…I like to have a good conversation; make them laugh, see where they’re from see what they like to do, that type of stuff.” [Editor’s Note: I dare anyone reading that quote to not hear shades of Ham from The Sandlot]
Crivello was eventually stranded at first base and the Curry bats were quiet until the fourth inning.
Freshman Jack Kallinich got things started (unconventionally) when he was drilled with a pitch in the arm to put the first runner on. Classmate Ben Lary capitalized on another Hawk mistake, reaching on an error to put two runners on for senior captain Tim Lathrop. In just his 11th at bat of the season, Lathrop stroked a single through the left side to plate Kallinich and start a two-out rally.
Classmate and co-captain John Arens followed suit, delivering an RBI single of his own through the left side to bring in Lary. Both seniors advanced on a pass ball but wouldn’t need the free base as the other senior co-captain, Kyle Connors, cleared the bases with a triple to the fence in right-center field.
McLean saw all the fun they were having and, wanting to get in on the action, produced an RBI single to left to help his own cause. Once the Hawks finally got the third out of the inning, the Colonels had put up five runs.
McLean was getting it done at the plate and entered the fifth with a no-no intact.
“I just looked to keep batters off balance, mix up pitches, make sure we’re throwing outs and letting our defense work,” the soft-spoken McLean said.
He was able to do just that until the second batter of the fifth inning muscled a flare to center field to record the first hit of the game. It would prove costly, as he was the runner who came around as the lone RWU run.
The Colonels offense left two runners on base in their final at bats, but wouldn’t need the runs to score due to McLean’s effort at the end of his outing. After letting up a leadoff double, he stranded the runner on third base and got three straight outs to keep Curry in the playoff hunt.
McLean finished the game having let up only three hits and one earned run while striking out six. After the game he said, “This is huge because if we got swept today we would have dug ourselves an even bigger hole to come out of than what we have already.” He added the win was a “huge morale booster.”
Perdios backed up his pitcher’s thoughts and said, “The second game was huge, we played some defense and we hit the ball when we needed to and the pitching was excellent. The formula is simple; these guys have worked very hard with the hitting.”
He also acknowledged that this game could have saved their playoff hopes because, “if we had lost that second game today, our season probably would have been over as far as playoffs are concerned.” Perdios added that, “We’re still in the hunt and we control our own destiny now.”
The Quest Continues: The Colonels will take their next step in controlling their own destiny with a 4 p.m. non-conference matchup with Amherst College on Wednesday afternoon.
Reward and Risk? After Connor’s bases-clearing triple, he was removed from the game and spent time getting treatment from trainers on his ankle and foot area. After the game he was in good spirits and had ice taped to his lower ankle and will most likely not miss any serious time.
Standing Shuffle: The Colonels were picked to finish fourth according to the Coach’s Pre-Season Poll released earlier in March. They currently sit in sixth place and look to get closer to that fourth spot and possibly further past it.