March 24, 2008
BRYANT FALLS TO BENTLEY, 3-1, IN 11 INNINGS IN 2008 HOME OPENER
SMITHFIELD, RI - The Bryant University baseball team dropped a tough 3-1 decision to Northeast-10 Conference rival Bentley College in Monday afternoon's home opener at the Bryant Baseball Complex.
The Falcons (7-13, 2-3 NE-10) needed 11 innings to down the Bulldogs (12-10, 1-3), who led, 1-0 through the top of the ninth frame.
After five-and-a-half innings of scoreless play, Bryant finally got on the board in the bottom of the sixth, when Nick Campbell (Raynham, Mass.) hit an RBI single through the gap to score Jason Alexander (Simsbury, Conn.) who led off the inning with a double to centerfield.
Bentley would get out of the inning without any further damage, but couldn't touch the Bulldog pitchers though the next two innings. It looked as though the Falcons - who are 0-5 against Bryant this season - would fall again, giving the Bulldogs the 2008 series sweep.
But the loss never came.
In the top of the ninth, Bryant took its 1-0 lead and sent reliever Eric Polvani (Wallingford, Conn.) to the mound. Bentley opened their half of the frame with back-to-back hits, followed by a walk to load the bases.
Polvani struck out Mike DeCoste and got Chris Stewart to line out to short. But a throwing error on the part of shortstop Pat McKenna (Orange, Conn.), trying to catch Garrett Stenhouse off the bag at third, allowed the Falcons to tie the game at 1-1, forcing extra innings.
The score stayed knotted till the top of the 11th, when with two outs and runners on second and third, pitch hitter Jason Cusumano singled to right centerfield, plating two more runs for the Falcons.
The 3-1 tally would stick, as the Bulldogs couldn't rally in the bottom of the inning, despite hits from Alexander and Jeff Vigurs (South Windor, Conn.).
Polvani took the loss in the effort, allowing three runs - none of them earned - off three hits in 2.2 innings of work, moving to 1-1 on the year. Tim Cadran got the win for Bentley, pitching three frames and allowing no runs on a trio of hits.
Bryant takes the field again tomorrow, Tuesday, March 25, when they host Southern New Hampshire at the Bryant Baseball Complex. First pitch is 3:30 p.m.