BULLDOGS' STREAK HITS 13 WITH WIN OVER SAINTS
SMITHFIELD, R.I. – Five different players collected multiple hits as the Bryant University baseball team ran its winning streak to a nations-best 13 games with a 10-5 victory over Siena on Sunday afternoon at Conaty Park.
The Bulldogs (18-9-1) victory, coupled with Indiana's 3-2 loss to Illinois, gives the Black and Gold the longest current winning streak in the country at 13 games. Indiana had won 18 in a row prior to Sunday. The victory also evens the all-time series between the Bulldogs and the Saints (8-21) at three games apiece.
After a pair of exciting comeback victories on Saturday, the Black and Gold took a more relaxed approach on Sunday, opening up a 7-2 lead through four innings of play. Siena tallied an unearned run in the top of the first but the Bulldogs quickly responded with five runs in their first two at-bats. Sophomore Jordan Mountford (Guelph, Ont.) walked to start the game and scored the tying run as classmate Carl Anderson (Sudbury, Mass.) was able to beat out an infield single to third.
Bryant broke the game open in the very next inning as it plated four runs. Junior Tom Gavitt (North Stonington, Conn.) led off with a single, freshman Dan Cellucci (Sudbury, Mass.) reached on a dropped pop up and Mountford walked to load the bases with one out. Freshman AJ Zarozny (Shrewsbury, Mass.) gave the Bulldogs a 2-1 lead with a sac fly to left and senior Kevin Brown (Northborough, Mass.) followed with a two-run triple to the wall in right field. The triple was the 15th of his career, tying him with Pat McKenna for the all-time program record. Sophomore John Mullen (Walpole, Mass.) capped the big inning for the Bulldogs with an RBI double to left.
The Saints made things interesting over the next three innings as they plated four runs to make it a 7-5 game. Mike Fish delivered an RBI double in the third and Larry Balkwill hit a two-run home run to left to highlight a three-run fifth. The home run was the last runs the Saints would score though as graduate student John Healy (Cranston, R.I.) shut the door over the final four innings.
In relief of junior right-hander Craig Schlitter (Guilford, Conn.), Healy allowed just one hit and struck out six over four scoreless innings to earn his first save of the season. He capped his stellar performance by striking out the side in the ninth. Schlitter earned his fourth win of the season with five solid innings. He allowed five runs (four earned) on just four hits and struck out five.
Averaging over eight runs a game during its current winning streak, the Bulldogs registered double-digit runs for the fifth time in the last nine games. Leading 5-2 in the fourth, they tacked on a pair of runs. Mountford singled and then scored on a RBI single from Brown for the first run. Anderson drove in the second run with a sac fly to center.
Bryant finished its scoring with two runs in the sixth and one in the seventh. In the sixth, back-to-back two-out singles from Mullen and Anderson set the table and senior Dan Muscatello (Hopkinton, Mass.) scored both with a two-run double to left-center. In the seventh, Mountford doubled with two outs and Zarozny scored him with a single through the left side.
The top five hitters in the lineup – Mountford, Zarozny, Brown, Mullen and Anderson – combined for 11 hits, eight RBI and eight runs scored. Mountford scored a career-high four runs, Zarozny extended his hitting streak to 11 games, Brown drove in three, Mullen had three hits and Anderson finished with two RBI.
Bryant continues its homestand on Wednesday, April 10 when it hosts intra-state rival Rhode Island. First pitch is scheduled for 3:00 p.m.