April 19, 2008

BRYANT SLAMS 28 HITS TO ROLL PAST MERRIMACK 11-1 AND 7-2 IN SATURDAY DOUBLEHEADER

April 19, 2008

BRYANT ROLLS PAST MERRIMACK COLLEGE, 11-1 AND 7-2, IN SATURDAY DOUBLEHEADER

Game 1 / Game 2

PAT O'CONNOR HIT HIS 7TH
HOME RUN OF THE SEASON
IN GAME ONE SATURDAY.

 

SMITHFIELD, RI - Backed by 28 total hits in 16 innings of offense, the Bryant University baseball team took a pair of Northeast-10 Conference games from rival Merrimack College in Saturday's doubleheader at the Bryant Baseball Complex, 11-1 and 7-2.

Junior righty Kevin Cobb (Acton, Mass.) went eight innings of five-hit ball for the Bulldogs (29-14, 17-5 NE-10) in Game One, as Bryant exploded for 11 runs, including  a pair of three-score frames, while limiting the Warriors (13-20, 11-9) to just a single tally.

Junior transfer Pat O'Connor (Mattapoisett, Mass.) gave Bryant the 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first, ripping a Jake Halloran offer deep down the left field line for a towering two-run homer, his seventh of the season, plating Nick Campbell (Raynham, Mass.) in the process.

Merrimack came back for their only run in the top of the third, when three straight singles to centerfield brought home Dustin Sullivan, who led off the inning taking a 2-0 toss up the middle. But the Bulldogs would get out of the inning without further damage, stranding a pair.

A trio of runs in the home half of the third, thanks to doubles from Campbell and catcher Jeff Vigurs (South Windor, Conn.) brought the tally up to 5-1 entering the fourth.

The Bulldogs chipping in one more in the fifth - a sacrifice fly that scored Dylan Stone (Portsmouth, RI), who led off the inning with his first of two Game One triples - and two more in the seventh - before tacking on their second three-run frame in the bottom of the eighth.

With Ryan McNeil on the mound for the Warriors, designated hitter Mark Dondero (Medfield, Mass.) and second baseman Dave Muscatello (Hopkinton, Mass.) led off with back-to-back doubles down the left field line before Stone ripped a one-out triple to left centerfield, driving the score to 10-1. Campbell sent his second double of the day again down the left field line to score Stone for the final 11-1 tally.

Senior captain Adam Vuolo (Walpole, Mass.) came on in the ninth, pitching a two-hit inning of relief with one strikeout to close the game. Cobb (6-2) allowed just one run and one walk in his eight innings of work, striking out four.

For Merrimack, Halloran (2-3) took the loss, despite throwing just one frame, giving up two runs on two hits. Chris Smith and McNeil combined for the remaining seven innings, letting up 13 hits, nine runs (eight earned) with five strikeouts.

Game Two was much of the same for both sides, as the Bulldogs got started with a 3-0 lead after two and a 4-0 lead before Merrimack crossed home plate in the top of the sixth.

Two singles and a walk loaded the bases with one out for Mike Chandler, who sent a single screaming up the middle to score the leadoff man. With the bases still juiced, freshman John Michael Ryan (Worcester, Mass.) came on to replace starter David O'Brien (Whitman, Mass.), getting Mike Andre to ground into an inning-ending 4-6-3 double play.

Bryant got two back in the bottom of the frame, when an RBI-bunt from Stone scored Jason Alexander (Simsbury, Conn.), who singled and advanced to third on a failed pickoff attempt that got past the Warriors' first baseman. A double from O'Connor scored Stone two batters later.

Both teams would score one more in the seventh before Mark Andrews (Hillsborough, NJ) closed out the 7-2 win with a 1-2-3 ninth.

O'Brien (5-0) earned the win for the Bulldogs, giving up five hits and one run in 5.1 innings of work, fanning three. Mike Coppinger (5-6) took the loss, allowing 11 hits and six runs in six frames on the mound.

The Bulldogs were led at the plate by Campbell, who went 8-for-8 on the day, knocking out a trio of doubles with three RBI and four runs scored. Campbell was also 4-for-4 in stolen base attempts, drawing a walk and getting hit by a pitch.

O'Connor pitched in four RBI himself, going 4-for-6 with four runs scored, a home run and two walks.

The Bulldogs will return to the diamond tomorrow, April 20, to try and complete the regular-season sweep of Merrimack in North Andover, Mass. First pitch is 1:00 p.m.

--

GAME ONE

Bryant University 11, Merrimack College 1
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Merrimack College... 001 000 000 -  1  7  2
Bryant University... 203 010 23X - 11 15  1
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Win - Cobb (6-2).  Loss - Halloran (2-3).  Save - None.

GAME TWO

Bryant University 7, Merrimack College 2
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Merrimack College... 000 001 100  -  2  9  2      (13-20, 9-11)
Bryant University... 210 102 10X  -  7 13  0      (29-14, 17-5)
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Win-David O'Brien(5-0)  Loss-Coppinger(5-6)  T-2:30  A-73

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