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.

Women’s Hoopsters Secure No. 3 Seed

BY RYAN HATHAWAY // FEB. 22, 2015 //

The Curry College women’s basketball team secured the third seed heading into the Commonwealth Conference playoffs after winning at home Saturday afternoon against Salve Regina on Senior Night.

Curry hasn’t defeated Salve since 2003.

“The seniors knew we hadn’t beaten them since they’ve been here,” coach Francis Elms said. “Especially when we got down in the second half, it was their experience that held it together rather than panic.”

Senior Kylie Beltz scored a game-high 21 points. // PHOTO COURTESY OF CURRY ATHLETICS
Senior Kylie Beltz scored a game-high 21 points. // PHOTO COURTESY OF CURRY ATHLETICS

The final score of the regular-season finale was 57-43, but Curry trailed for the majority of the game even though it held a four-point lead going into halftime. “When you’re down eight points in the second half, you start thinking it could go either way,” said senior captain Kylie Beltz, who finished with a game-high 21 points, including 11-for-12 free throws made.

Beltz hit a three-pointer midway through the second half that reduced the Salve Regina lead to two. Curry junior Shannon Griffin made two free throws to tie the game with eight minutes to go, and freshman Nicole Rice hit the go-ahead basket 30 seconds later. The Colonels were able to hold the lead for the rest of the game.

Griffin finished with 11 points and five rebounds, and Rice finished with eight points, four rebounds and three blocks. Salve Regina junior Meaghan Harden scored a team-high 16 points—including 4-for-7 behind the arc—and had seven rebounds.

Curry senior captain Jessica Kender said losing wasn’t an option. “This was our Senior Night, and we were gonna win.”

The victory means Curry will play its first game of the playoffs at home this Tuesday, an important factor for Kender. “It’s nice to play at your own gym with your own fans. It’s a completely different atmosphere.”

Coach Elms is confident in his team heading into the playoffs. “When we win in the first round, our second game will be against a team that is not as good as [top-seeded] UNE (University of New England). After the second round I expect to play UNE in the championship, and if our girls play well, we can do it.”

Fouls and turnovers may have been a big part of Salve Regina’s loss. Salve committed 22 turnovers and 24 personal fouls. The Colonels were able to convert that into 35 points. Curry’s second unit was also able to outscore the Seahawks bench, 26-1.

Curry will host a rematch with the Seahawks in the first round of the CCC Tournament, on Tuesday, Feb. 24 at 7 p.m.