Big 1st Inning Propels Baseball to 8-4 Victory Against Suffolk

MEDFORD – The Tufts University baseball team scored six times in the first inning and went on to an 8-4 non-conference victory over Suffolk University on Tuesday afternoon.

R.J. Hall pitched three innings of one-hit, no-run relief.

The opening frame has been the best for the Jumbos offensively by far this spring. They have now scored 52 runs in the first inning, 14  more than their next best inning (38 runs in the fourth).

The Jumbos (21-5) had seven of their eight hits in the game in the first inning today. With one out, junior CF Justin Mills got things started with an infield single. He scored when senior LF Casey Santo-Ocampo followed with a triple to center field. Sophomore DH Kyle Cortese then had an rbi single to center making it 2-0. Freshman 1B Peter DeMaria hit a double to center sending Cortese to third, then junior RF Ryan Day had Tufts' fifth consecutive hit scoring Cortese with a single. A fielder's choice by sophomore 2B Will Burgess brought DeMaria in and it was 4-0. Run-scoring singles by senior SS Will Shackelford and junior 3B Elias Varinos came later in the inning making it 6-0 Jumbos.

The host Rams (21-13-1) got into the game quickly as well with two in the first. Sophomore 3B Ben Isaak hit a one-out single and sophomore 1B Blaise Cormier walked. A single by sophomore CF Will Hopkins loaded the bases before a walk scored Isaak. Junior LF Tim Brigham then brought home Cormier with a ground ball to the right side.

After a rough first inning, Suffolk freshman starter Steven Rossi settled down and blanked the Jumbos from the second through fourth frames. However, he would take the loss allowing eight hits and eight runs in 4.1 innings.

The Rams had added another run in the second as senior DH Connor Trolo led off with a single and scoraed on Isaak's single down the right-field line for a 6-3 score.

Senior R.J. Hall would give up just one hit and no runs in three innings of relief for the Jumbos. He was credited with his fourth victory.

Tufts added a pair of runs in the fifth. Shackelford was hit by a pitch and stole second. He advanced to third on a single by Varinos and then both players scored on back-to-back wild pitches.

With one out in the bottom of the eighth the Rams loaded the bases. Tufts attempted to turn a double play on Isaak's ground ball, but the third baseman beat the throw to first and Troio (who had led off with a single) scored on the play to cut the visitor's cushion in half, 8-4.

Freshman Michael Muscarella, senior Tyler Zell, senior Worth Walrod and freshman Ryan Garton for Suffolk, and freshman Steven Landry and junior Brent Greeley for Tufts all pitched scoreless relief.

Varnios finished 2 for 4 with a run and an rbi for Tufts. Cortese walked twice while going 1 for 3 with a run and an rbi.

Isaak with three hits and Hopkins, Brigham and Trolo with two each led Suffolk.

The Jumbos get right back at it tomorrow with more non-league action at Endicott College. The Rams host Mass.-Dartmouth on Thursday.