BUZZARDS BAY, Mass. – Suffolk University's Tyler Zell looked superb in only his second start for the Rams and Massachusetts' Maritime Academy baseball never got the bats going in a 3-1 loss to Suffolk. Four freshman pitchers toed the rubber for Head Coach Mike Kelley in the non-conference affair and Billy Keane robbed a home run in the opening frame.
Mike Newman made his first collegiate start and looked good in the first, though a Keane defensive gem brought a ball back into the park. Meanwhie, Zell struck out the side in the bottom of the frame. In the second, Will Hopkins led off with a single and stole second and third before scoring on a single by Rich Giandrea. Zell then tossed another 1-2-3 frame.
A leadoff walk spelled trouble in the third for Newman, who exacerbated the situation by throwing a wild pitch to allow Brady Chant to second. Newman then made a perfect pickoff throw to second, but neither middle infielder was at the bag, so Chant raced to third. Seth Coiley then made it 2-0 with a sacrifice fly.
The Bucs had one of their only two real shots at Zell in the second half of the third. With one down, Ben Paine laced what appeared to be a double down the left field line, but was thrown out by a hair at second. Nathan Anderson followed up with a single, but both hits were wasted.
Neither side threatened until the fifth, when Anthony Rubicine relieved. A Chant single and two swipes set up Coiley for the RBI again, this time driving a one-base hit to right.
The 3-0 margin would be enough for the Rams' starter, though the Buccaneers scored an unearned run in the seventh. With one down, Billy Keane singled to right, racing to third on a Robert Beane safety. Zell then faked to third before throwing to first, but Suffolk's first baseman dropped the ball. Keane, who had leaped back to third on the fake, then sprinted home and clapped his hands. Alas, his efforts were wasted as Zell bore down to get the next two batters.
The Rams put two runners on in the bottom of the eighth against Wyatt Major, but the rookie was backed up by Ethan O'Hare, who snagged a tough groundball at second for the third out. Major send down two looking in the ninth, but Zell had another 1-2-3 inning, retiring the final eight MMA hitters.
The masterful performance by Zell earned him his first college win (1-2) and he struck out eight while allowing only four hits and a free pass on an even 100 pitches.
Newman (0-2) took the loss after a solid start, surrendering two runs on three hits and two walks, whiffing one. Three relievers combined for four hits, four walks, three wild pitches, and a hit batter, while Maritime prolonged three innings with defensive miscues.
Chant reached base twice and stole three bases as Suffolk was 8-for-9 in the game. Coiley led both teams with two hits, while Andrew Ashworth walked twice and singled.
The victory improved Suffolk's record to 9-14, while the Academy lost its second in-a-row to fall to 11-9. Maritime will remain at home for a Saturday MASCAC doubleheader against MCLA (8-8-1, 1-2-1). First pitch is at 1 p.m. and admission to Hendy Field is free.
Gabriel Fidler, Sports Information Associate