SMITHFIELD, R.I. – Holding a 5-4 lead entering the eighth inning, the Bryant University baseball team appeared to be on the verge of a signature non-conference win over ACC contender Boston College, but 12 runs in the bottom half of the eighth lifted the host Eagles to a 16-5 win Wednesday afternoon in Chestnut Hill, Mass.
Wednesday's loss marks the second-straight season the Bulldogs (10-13, 3-5) have fallen to the Eagles (11-15), as Bryant moves to 6-11 in road games this year.
Adam Claire (Litchfield, Conn.) broke the seal for Bryant, hitting a two-out double to left center in the top of the second frame. With two outs and one on, junior first baseman Jamie Skagerlind (Holden, Mass.), stepped into the batter's box and delivered his fourth RBI of the season in the form of a stand-up double to centerfield, giving the Bulldogs a 1-0 lead.
The home side would respond in the bottom of the third, as Boston College's Brad Zapenas hit a sacrifice fly to right field, tying the score at 1-1.
The visiting Bulldogs would jump back on top, 2-1, as slugger David Soltis (Plainville, Conn.) led off the fourth inning with a double down the left field line. With a man on second and no outs, catcher Mike DelPonte (Tewksbury, Mass.) drove the ball through the right side of the infield for his 12th RBI of the season.
John Michael Ryan (Worcester, Mass.) would get the start for the Black and Gold and delivered three solid innings of work in his eighth appearance of the season. The Massachusetts native would deal two strikeouts and issue just two walks against 11 batters before giving way to sophomore righty Peter Kelich (Jackson, N.J.).
Despite the one-run lead, Kelich would struggle on the mound, as Boston College began to spray the ball over the diamond in the bottom half of the inning.
BC's Garrett Smith would lead off the frame with a single to left field and would make his way over to third courtesy of a single to right center by Anthony Melchionada. Both runners would eventually cross home plate after Andrew Lawrence smacked a two-run double down the right field line. Second baseman Matt Hamlet would then drive in the fourth run of the game for the Eagles, giving the hosts a 4-2 lead after four.
Facing a two-run deficit, the Bulldogs battled back in the ensuing inning off the bat of Kevin Brown (Northborough, Mass.), as the sophomore drove in Dan Muscatello (Hopkington, Mass.) and Jordan English (Windsor Locks, Conn.) on a double to right field. Brown's double, his fifth of the season, would tie things up at 4-4..
English would add the team's final run in the top of the seventh on a wild pitch, giving the visitors a 5-4 lead.
Senior lefty Mark Andrews (Hillsborough, N.J.) took the mound to start the eighth but would exit early after allowing five earned runs on three hits and one walk. Boston College would continue to open up the scoring with six more runs against right hander Matt Griswold (Berlin, Conn.), finishing the inning with 12 total runs on eight hits and one error for the 16-5 comeback win.
Overall, four different Bulldogs recorded an extra base hit as English led the way with a 2-for-3 performance at the plate including two RBIs. Bryant would use six pitchers in the losing effort, as Andrews picked up his second loss of the season.
The Bulldogs will return to action Thursday, April 7 for a showdown against Harvard University at the Bryant Baseball Complex. First pitch is scheduled for 2 p.m., and fans can follow live stats at www.bryantbulldogs.com.