BASEBALL OPENS NEC PLAY WITH 6-0 VICTORY OVER THE MOUNT
SMITHFIELD, R.I. – Senior Peter Kelich (Jackson, N.J.) tossed seven shutout innings to earn his 25th career victory, leading the Bryan University baseball team past Mount St. Mary's, 6-0, in the Northeast Conference opener for both teams on Friday afternoon at Conaty Park.
The win is the Bulldogs' (6-9-1, 1-0 NEC) 11th-straight over the Mountaineers (4-11, 0-1) since 2010. Bryant has now opened up NEC play with a victory in each of the last two seasons.
The reigning NEC Pitcher of the Year, Kelich continued his dominance of league hitters with a brilliant 109-pitch outing. He scattered five hits and struck out seven to earn his second win of the season and the 25th of his four-year career. Kelich hit trouble just once on Friday when the Mount loaded the bases with one out in the third inning. He struck out Sam Nott looking for the second out and then got a ground ball to first to retire the side. Following the third, Kelich allowed just three runners the final four innings, picking up his seventh strikeout to end the seventh.
The Bulldogs were able to get on the board with two runs in the second inning. Sophomore John Mullen (Walpole, Mass.) started the inning with a walk, stole second and then advanced to third with one out on an errant pickoff throw. Junior Tom Gavitt (North Stonington, Conn.) then produced a sac fly to center to score Mullen and make it 1-0. Seniors Dan Muscatello (Hopkinton, Mass.) and Adam Claire (Litchfield, Conn.) restarted the inning with back-to-back walks and freshman Robby Rinn (Warwick, R.I.) followed with a line drive off the shoulder of Mount starter Scott Nickerson to score Muscatello with the second run. The liner knocked Nickerson out of the game.
Bryant broke the game open with four runs in the fourth inning. Claire started the rally with a one-out single up the middle and Rinn walked to put two runners on. Sophomore Jordan Mountford (Guelph, Ont.) followed with a single to right-center to score Claire to make it 3-0. Rinn and Mountford eventually moved to second and third on a wild pitch and the Mountaineers elected to intentionally walk senior Kevin Brown (Northborough, Mass.) to face Mullen. The move didn't payoff, however, as Mullen drilled the first pitch to the wall in left field, clearing the bases and giving Bryant a 6-0 lead.
Mullen reached base three times on the afternoon, getting hit by a pitch twice, and drove three runs. Senior Joseph Michaud (Milford, Conn.) closed the door with two scoreless innings of relief.
The Bulldogs and the Mountaineers continue their four-game series on Saturday with a doubleheader. First pitch is scheduled for 1:00 p.m.