The Rams baseball team achieved a championship trifecta when it captured its third consecutive Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) title – a first in program history – with a 1-0 victory over Johnson & Wales on Sunday at Fraser Field in Lynn.
“The team’s success this season is a direct result of the quality leadership we have from our student-athletes,” said head coach Anthony Del Prete, who has led Suffolk to the GNAC championship crown in each of his seasons at the helm. “These guys stayed the course during the season and played their best baseball when they needed to.”
Suffolk scored its winning run in the bottom half of the seventh inning. Senior catcher Matt Brenner started things off with a single, moved to second on a grounder by junior first baseman Greg Speliotis, and then came home on a single by senior outfielder Luke Ronchi.
Senior pitcher and team captain Chuck Gibson turned in an outstanding performance for the Rams, throwing a complete game shutout, with eight strikeouts and allowing only three hits.
Gibson was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player. Brenner, along with teammates Brady Chant and Seth Coiley, both junior outfielders, were selected to the all-tournament team.
The second-seeded Rams were 25-13 for the season
The victory marked Suffolk’s seventh overall GNAC title, making the Rams the conference leader.
For the third straight season and seventh time in program history, Suffolk will now head to the NCAA tournament. No Suffolk player had ever before appeared in three NCAA tournaments.
“I am very happy for our seniors that they will be making a third straight trip to the NCAAs,” said Del Prete.