BEVERLY, Mass. – Sophomore lefty Luke Morse (Westford, Mass.) pitched five shutout innings for his first win of the season and sophomore third baseman Mike Kochiss (Fairfield, Conn.) hit a three-run homerun in the top of the first as Endicott handed non-conference opponent Suffolk a 5-1 loss at North Field on Monday afternoon for their fifth straight win.
Morse's longest outing of the season to-date pushed the Gulls overall record to 13-7 as Endicott's starting pitcher allowed just two hits while walking four and striking out four before handing the ball over to the bullpen. Fellow sophomore Eric Nagle (Manchester, Conn.) threw 3 1/3 innings of relief and was two outs from a rare four-inning save but junior right-hander Nick Quattro (Canton, Conn.) struck out the final two batters with the bases load to earn his first save of the season.
Kochiss provided what would be all the runs Endicott would need against Suffolk with one swing of the bat, taking the first-pitch offering from Rams starter Chuck Gibson (Malden, Mass.) and sending it over the left field fence for his third homerun of the spring. After Gibson got the leadoff batter on three straight pitches, Gulls freshman left fielder Michael DeDonato (Chelmsford, Mass.) singled to center and was followed by senior captain Harry Oringer (Dartmouth, Mass.) who was hit by a pitch to put runners on first and second for Kochiss. Kochiss' bomb was his first since blasting two homers in Endicott's 12-4 win over Amherst down in central Florida.
Gibson settled down after surrendering three runs in the top of the first, forcing the Gulls lineup to put zeroes on the board from the second through the seventh innings. In the top of the eighth with one out, junior outfielder Matthew Paola (Middlebury, Conn.) sent a towering fly ball to deep right field and over the wall for a solo shot to make it 4-1 Endicott. Paola's last homerun and only other homerun of the season came in that same game against Amherst back on March 20th. One inning later after a leadoff double to the wall in left by junior shortstop Cody Hall (Rutland, Mass.) and a wild pitch put Hall on third, sophomore centerfielder Cam Farnham (Andover, Mass.) hit a sacrifice fly to left to push the Endicott lead up to 5-1 in the top of the ninth.
The Suffolk offense was held in check until the bottom of the seventh when the Rams put their only run of the game on the scoreboard on a RBI groundout to short by junior third baseman Drew Carter (Newburyport, Mass.). Suffolk's junior catcher Jon Lapolla (Providence, R.I.) doubled over the right fielder's head to lead off the bottom of the seventh and advanced to third after a deep fly to right by Rob Marks (Revere, Mass.). Carter's groundout gave him his fifth RBI of the season.
Morse ran into trouble in the third and fifth innings but was able to avoid any damage to keep Suffolk scoreless. In the third, Rams second baseman BJ Neil (Lynnfield, Mass.) hit an infield single, advanced to second on a wild pitch, and then to third on a passed ball with only one out in the inning. Morse settled down to get the final two outs on an unassisted putout to first and a fly out to right to end the threat. In the bottom of the fifth, Morse walked Carter and gave up a single to Sean Cameron (Milford, Conn.) to put runners on first and second with no outs. Morse, however, would pickoff the runner at second and strikeout the next two batters to escape the jam.
Endicott will play their first game since March 20th away from North Field when they travel to North Shore rival Salem State (11-5) on Thursday for a 3:30 p.m. first pitch. The Vikings are ranked fifth in the most recent NEIBA regional rankings while Endicott has remained in sixth place since the poll's first release on March 23rd. Suffolk travels to Bridgewater State on Tuesday, April 7th for a 3:00 p.m. tilt with the Bears.