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March 10, 2013

Offense rolls behind Schlitter's gem

SCHLITTER STRIKES OUT NINE AS BULLDOGS ROLL, 12-0

DAYTON, Ohio – Junior right-hander Craig Schlitter (Guilford, Conn.) struck out nine over six scoreless innings and the Bryant University baseball team recorded a season-high 18 hits in a 12-0 victory over Wright State on Sunday afternoon at Nischwitz Stadium.

The victory caps a perfect weekend for the Bulldogs (4-6-1) at the Dayton/Wright State classic. They have now won all three meetings against the Raiders (4-9), with all three being shutouts. On the weekend, the Black and Gold pitching staff allowed just three runs in 38 innings.

Making his third start of the year, Schlitter turned in Bryant's fourth-consecutive dominant start of the weekend. The right-hander struck out at least one batter in each of his six scoreless innings and issued just one walk, his first of the season, to earn his first win of the year. He cruised through the first three innings, striking out a pair in a 1-2-3 third. The Raiders finally got Schlitter in the fourth as they loaded the bases with one out on an infield error and consecutive singles. He bore down, however, and struck out the next batter on a 3-2 pitch and left the bases loaded by inducing a fly ball to right. Wright State loaded the bases again in the fifth but Schlitter ended the threat with a strikeout. He finished his outing by striking out the final two batters in a 1-2-3 sixth.

The Bulldogs wasted no time giving Schlitter some run support, scoring three times in the first inning. Senior Dan Muscatello (Hopkinton, Mass.) was hit by a pitch to start the game and sophomore Carl Anderson (Sudbury, Mass.) followed with a single to left-center to put runners on first and third. Anderson eventually stole second and scored along with Muscatello on a two-run single from classmate John Mullen (Walpole, Mass.). Junior Tom Gavitt (North Stonington, Conn.) capped the big inning with a sharp single up the middle to score Mullen.

Bryant pushed its lead to four with a single run in the third inning thanks to the legs of sophomore Jordan Mountford (Guelph, Ont.). He reached with a one-out infield single and then stole second and third on consecutive pitches to put himself in scoring position. It paid off as freshman Robby Rinn (Warwick, R.I.) scored Mountford with a perfectly placed bunt up the first base line.

A six-run seventh inning put the game away for the Black and Gold. With Mullen on second with a leadoff double, Gavitt launched a two-run home run to left field, his first round-tripper as a Bulldog, to make it 6-0. Senior Adam Claire (Litchfield, Conn.) restarted the inning with a walk, Jonathan Scott (Princeton, N.J.) doubled down the right field line and Muscatello scored both with a single to left-center to make it 8-0. Anderson and senior Kevin Brown (Northborough, Mass.) capped the scoring with run-scoring doubles to the wall in left field. The Bulldogs finished their scoring with single runs in the eighth and ninth. Sophomore Dan Cellucci (Sudbury, Mass.) scored Mountford with an infield single in the eighth and Gavitt drew a bases-loaded walk in the ninth.

 Six different Bulldogs recorded multiple hits on the afternoon as they collected a season-high 18 knocks. Brown, Mullen and Muscatello all had three hits and Muscatello reached base five times with a pair of hit by pitches. He also added two RBI and scored two runs. Mullen drove in two and scored twice, Gavitt drove in four and Mountford and Daniel St. George (Shelton, Conn.) each scored a pair of runs. Junior Jonathan Cohen (Norwalk, Conn.) and freshmen Kyle Wilcox (Sandy Hook, Conn.) and Robert Morgenroth (North Caldwell, N.J.) combined for three scoreless innings of relief. Making his collegiate debut, Morgenroth struck out a pair in a perfect ninth inning.

The Bulldogs will now have a day off before taking on Xavier Tuesday afternoon in Cincinnati, Ohio.

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