MULLEN, ANDERSON LEAD BULLDOGS PAST RHODY, 8-1
SMITHFIELD, R.I. – Sophomores John Mullen (Walpole, Mass.) and Carl Anderson (Sudbury, Mass.) combined for five hits, four RBI and five runs scored as the Bryant University baseball team ran its winning streak to 14 games with an 8-1 victory over Rhode Island on Wednesday at Conaty Park.
The victory is the second for the Bulldogs (19-9-1) in the series with the Rams (15-17), but just their first since the 2009 season. Bryant has now won 12-straight games at home dating back to last season.
Boasting an offense that has averaged over eight runs per game since it returned from Ohio, the Black and Gold once again reached the eight-run mark on Wednesday against URI. They began the offensive barrage in the second inning with a pair of runs. Mullen was hit by a pitch to start the inning and Anderson followed by doubling off the base of the right-center field wall to score him with the first run. Senior Dan Muscatello (Hopkinton, Mass.) then singled down the left field line to score Anderson with the second run.
The Bulldogs then broke open a 2-1 game with three runs in each of the fifth and sixth innings. In the fifth, senior Kevin Brown (Northborough, Mass.) laced a single to right to start the frame and Mullen followed with a two-run home run over the wall in left to make it 4-1. It was originally ruled that the ball hit the fence but the umpires got together and ruled that it went over the wall. Anderson restarted the inning with a single to right-center, stole second and eventually scored on a safety squeeze from senior Adam Claire (Litchfield, Conn.).
Bryant capped its scoring in the very next inning with three more runs. Sophomore Jordan Mountford (Guelph, Ont.) doubled to start the inning, freshman AJ Zarozny (Shrewsbury, Mass.) was hit by a pitch and both runners advanced into scoring position on a balk. Brown followed with a sac fly to right to score Mountford and Mullen followed that with a sharp single to center to score Zarozny. Bryant's final run in the inning came as Anderson stole second and throw sailed into center, allowing Mullen to score from third.
All the while, senior Joseph Michaud (Milford, Conn.) was twirling a gem for the Black and Gold. He worked around a leadoff walk in the first by striking out a pair and snaring a comebacker and then struck out two more in the second. Michaud got out of the third with a 4-6-3 double play and then struck out two more in a perfect fourth. He finally hit trouble in the fifth but his perseverance determined the outcome of the game.
URI got a single and a walk to start the inning and then Shane O'Connell's sac bunt turned into a hit as it trickled down the first base line untouched, loading the bases with no outs. Michaud bore down, however, inducing a sac fly for the first out, striking out the next batter and getting a fly to right to limit the damage. He followed that with a 1-2-3 sixth and then let his bullpen do the rest. In six innings, Michaud allowed one run on four hits, struck out eight and issued just two walks. Sophomore Trevor Lacosse (Watervliet, N.Y.) struck out three over two scoreless innings and freshman Kyle Wilcox (Sandy Hook, Conn.) struck out the final two batters to close out the victory.
On the day, Mullen finished 2-for-3 with three RBI and three runs scored and Anderson was 3-for-5 with an RBI and two runs scored. Mullen was also hit twice on the afternoon. Brown also chipped in two hits, including his 62nd career double which makes the all-time program leader in that category.
The Bulldogs continue their homestand this weekend when they host Quinnipiac in a four-game Northeast Conference series beginning on Friday, April 12 at 3:00 p.m.