EAST BOSTON, Mass. – Sophomore Will Hopkins (Old Rochester, Mass.) hit an RBI single in the bottom of the seventh inning to snap a 3-3 tie Thursday evening, and top-seeded Suffolk University held on for a 4-3 victory over fourth-seeded Lasell College in a Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) baseball tournament game at East Boston Memorial Field.
Both teams will play again on Saturday, May 4, at Fraser Field in Lynn, Mass. The Lasers (23-16) will play an elimination game at 10 a.m. against third-seeded Johnson and Wales University (24-14) as the Wildcats were defeated by second-seeded Saint Joseph's College of Maine on Thursday, 4-3. Suffolk (23-16-1) will meet St. Joe's (30-9) at 1:30 p.m. in a semifinal contest.
The Lasers had tied the game in the top of the seventh inning when senior Andre Marchesseault (Conn.) tripled and scored on another triple by classmate Brett Sherron (Howard Beach, N.Y.), but Sherron was stranded at third to end the inning. Lasell put a runner in scoring position in the eighth inning on a pair of two-out walks, but couldn't push the tying run across.
Lasell took a 2-0 lead in the first inning when senior Evan Michalek (Berlin, Conn.) walked to lead off and classmates David Marsell (Baldwinsville, N.Y.) and Marchesseault followed with back to back doubles, with two runs coming home on Marchesseault's two-bagger down the left field line.
Suffolk scored one run in the bottom of the first on a bases-loaded walk by sophomore Rich Giandrea (Audubon, N.J.), and tied the score in the last of the third on Giandrea's RBI single. The Rams pulled ahead 3-2 in the fourth inning on a squeeze bunt by senior Connor Troio (Shrewsbury, Mass.). It stayed that way until the pivotal seventh inning.
Senior Charles Batchelder (Shrewsbury, Mass.) earned the win (5-1) with one inning of relief for Suffolk, despite giving up a run in the top of the seventh. Sophomore Parker Browne (Shrewsbury, Mass.) earned his second save with two scoreless innings, retiring the Lasers in order in the ninth.
Junior Zach Handzel (Palmer, Mass.) took the loss (4-4), giving up four runs (three earned) on four hits and seven walks in 6.2 innings, striking out two. Sophomore Sean Doris (Lincoln, R.I.) pitched an inning and a third without giving up a hit, fanning two.
Marchesseault finished with three hits for Lasell, finishing a home run shy of hitting for the cycle, and sophomore Wyatt Sihvonen (Lebanon, Conn.) had a pair of hits, including a double.
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