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.

Men’s Lax Looks for First Home Win


The Curry men’s lacrosse team will host the University of New England Nor’easters in a conference matchup tomorrow (Tuesday, April 14, 7 p.m.). The Colonels are looking to end a three-game losing streak.

Curry (4-8) has won only one game in its last eight played.

The Colonels will look to their two main offensive leaders in sophomore John McMenomey and senior Ron Jensen. Both have compiled 22 points on the year; Jensen has been more of a playmaker, whereas McMenomey leads the team in goals.

Sophomore John McMenomey has been one of the bright spots this season. // PHOTO COURTESY OF CURRY ATHLETICS
Sophomore John McMenomey has been one of the bright spots this season. // PHOTO COURTESY OF CURRY ATHLETICS

With an average of 36.6 shots per game, the Colonels need to put more shots on goal to earn their first home victory of the season (0-5 at Katz Field). Curry is coming off a 15-4 loss to Western New England; the Colonials fell behind 8-0 in the first period of that game.

After getting off to their own slow start this season, the Nor’easters (7-7) have been howling as of late, winning three of their last four games. Most recently, they were able to hold Salve Regina to only four goals in a 9-4 victory.

Dan Auger is the Nor’easters’ main source of offense, with an impressive 45 points on the year. He and Dan Rubenstein are both tied with 23 goals.

And let’s not forget that defense is what wins games. UNE goaltender David Pearson has 107 saves on the year. He seemed almost unbeatable at times against Salve, as he stopped all 10 shots that came his way in the final 30 minutes. Pearson recently won CCC Defensive Player of the Week.

Curry is 1-4 in conference play, which makes this game a must-win for any hope of a conference postseason spot. The Colonials are just one game back from the Nor’easters and Gordon College, who are both 2-3 in conference play.

Curry head coach Tim Murphy is looking to make the playoffs for the first time, as Nor’easters coach Charlie Burch is working toward a return ticket. UNE missed the playoffs last year, after winning the conference championship the year before. Both coaches are in their third year with their respective teams.

With additional reporting by Chris Smith and Sean Nelson.