Bulldogs sweep Bobcats with walk-off win

BASEBALL SWEEPS QUINNIPIAC, 3-2 and 4-3, SATURDAY

SMITHFIELD, R.I. – The Bryant University baseball team ran its win streak to 16 games with a 3-2 victory over Quinnipiac in game one and a 4-3 victory in game two on Saturday afternoon at Conaty Park.

The Bulldogs (21-9-1, 10-0 NEC) now own a 13-1 advantage over the Bobcats (10-18, 5-9) in the all-time series. Bryant also extended its home winning streak to 14 games.

GAME ONE

With the game tied at 2-2 in the seventh inning, the Bulldogs got a fortuitous bounce. Sophomore Daniel St. George (Shelton, Conn.) hit a pinch-hit double inside the bag at third but was still there with two outs. Freshman AJ Zarozny (Shrewsbury, Mass.) then hit what appeared to be an inning-ending fly ball to center but the ball was dropped, allowing St. George to score and break the deadlock.

Quinnipiac was not flustered by the misplay and immediately mounted a comeback in the top of the eighth. A pair of walks put two runners on with one out and brought out sophomore reliever Trevor Lacosse (Watervliet, N.Y.). The left-hander did his job, striking out Ryan Nelson with a breaking ball on the inside corner, and then got Forrest Dwyer looking at a fastball on the inside corner to end the threat. Senior Salvatore Lisanti (Bronx, N.Y.) picked up his fifth save with a scoreless ninth.

Bryant got off to a fast start against Quinnipiac ace Derek Lamacchia, scoring a pair of runs in the first inning. Sophomore Jordan Mountford (Guelph, Ont.) walked to leadoff the game and Zarozny followed with a triple to right-center to make it 1-0. Senior Kevin Brown (Northborough, Mass.) then made it 2-0 with a sac fly to center.

Lamacchia settled down, however, and the Bobcat bats were finally able to break through against Kelich in the third. A walk and a bloop single to right started the inning, and Mike Palladino moved both runners into scoring position with a sac bunt. Kelich struck out the next batter but Chris Migani ripped a two-out, two-run single to center to tie the game at 2-2.

Kelich and Lamacchia both settled down, matching zeroes over the next several innings. Kelich induced an inning-ending double play in the fifth and then closed his outing with a pair of strikeouts in the seventh. He allowed two runs on five hits and struck out four to earn his fifth win of the year. Lamacchia went seven innings as well, allowing three runs (two earned) on six hits but he did not strike out a batter.

Offensively, six different Bulldogs contributed a hit. Sophomore Carl Anderson (Sudbury, Mass.) and senior Dan Muscatello (Hopkinton, Mass.) each extended their hitting streaks with singles and Mountford scored a run for the 16th-straight games.

GAME TWO

Quinnipiac sent game two to extra innings with a run in the top of the seventh but a wild pitch with the bases loaded in the bottom of the eighth scored Anderson with game-winning run.

Bryant's eighth-inning rally started with Anderson getting hit by a pitch. Muscatello followed with a sharp single to left to put two runners on and senior Adam Claire (Litchfield, Conn.) moved both into scoring position with a sac bunt. The Bobcats then elected to intentionally walk junior Jonathan Scott (Princeton, N.J.) to load the bases but the first pitch to pinch-hitter Tom Gavitt (North Stonington, Conn.) went to the backstop.

The Bobcats forced extra innings with a great team inning in the seventh. Steffen Herter blooped a single to right to start the frame and advanced to second on a sac bunt. Lisanti induced a fly ball to center for the second out but Vincent Guglietti got just enough on the next offering to drop a game-tying single into center.

Bryant's first three runs in the game weren't anything extraordinary. Trailing 1-0 in the second, sophomore John Mullen (Walpole, Mass.) walked to start the inning and moved to third on a Muscatello single to right. St. George then fell behind 0-2 but was able to bounce a breaking ball to short, scoring Mullen to tie the game.

The Bulldogs then tacked on single runs in the fourth and fifth thanks to heads up baserunning. With runners on first and second and two outs in the fourth, a wild pitch by QU starter Spencer Kane turned into a run. The Bobcats threw to second to get Muscatello but he alertly got into a run down and Anderson was able to scamper home from third to score the run. In the fifth, Mountford doubled to start the inning and one out later he took off for third and scored as the throw sailed into left field.

The runs appeared to be enough for graduate student John Healy (Cranston, R.I.) but the Bobcats clawed back. Healy issued consecutive one-out walks in the sixth and an infield error allowed a run to score to make it 3-2. The Bobcats were denied a bigger inning as Healy struck out the next batter and Muscatello dove to his right and threw to second to get a force out to end the inning.

Both starters received a no-decision on the afternoon. Healy allowed three runs (two earned) and struck out seven over six innings. Kane allowed three runs on seven hits and walked four over 6.2 innings. Making his second appearance of the day, Lacosse earned his second win of the year after throwing a perfect eighth inning in the nightcap.

Mullen and Muscatello each finished with two hits and Anderson scored a pair of runs.

The Bulldogs and the Bobcats will complete their four-game series on Sunday with a doubleheader beginning at 12:00 p.m. Game one will be a seven-inning contest and game two will be a nine-inning affair.

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