Bulldogs split Saturday twinbill with SHU

Athletic Communications Photo

BASEBALL SPLITS WITH PIONEERS ON SATURDAY

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. – Graduate student John Healy (Cranston, R.I.) earned a complete game victory in game one but Sacred Heart scored three runs in the seventh of game two to earn a doubleheader split with the No. 30 Bryant University baseball team on Saturday afternoon at the Ballpark at Harbor Yard.

The Bulldogs (25-11-1, 13-2 NEC) won game one 7-2 but blew a 2-0 lead in the seventh inning of game two to the Pioneers (17-17, 13-6). Bryant will look to earn a series split when the teams meet in the series finale on Sunday at 11:00 a.m.

GAME ONE

Healy limited the Pioneers to two runs on seven hits in a complete game effort and the Bulldogs jumped out to a 4-0 lead on their way to a 7-2 victory in game one.

Bryant got off to a good start as sophomore Carl Anderson (Sudbury, Mass.) walked to leadoff the game and freshman AJ Zarozny (Shrewsbury, Mass.) brought him home with a double to left field. The Bulldogs extended their lead with three runs in the third. Junior Jonathan Scott (Princeton, N.J.) walked to start the inning, Anderson singled through the right side to move him to third and he scored as the throw got away at the base. Zarozny then followed with an RBI single to score Anderson and freshman Robby Rinn (Warwick, R.I.) worked a bases-loaded walk to force in Zarzony with the third run of the inning to make it 4-0.

The Bulldogs put the game away with two runs in the fifth and a single run in the seventh. In the fifth, senior Kevin Brown (Northborough, Mass.) singled to lead off, moved to third on a single to right by classmate Dan Muscatello (Hopkinton, Mass.) and scored on a sac fly from sophomore Daniel St. George (Shelton, Conn.). Muscatello then came around to score on an error by the third baseman to make it 6-1. In the seventh, St. George reached on an error and eventually scored on an RBI ground out by senior Adam Claire (Litchfield, Conn.).

On the mound, Healy was strong in tossing his first complete game of the season. He faced the minimum over the first three innings before Keaton Flint doubled to start the fourth. Flint came around to score two batters later on a John Murphy sac fly. Healy showed his toughness in the fifth, stranding runners on second and third. Two singles started the inning, a sac bunt moved the runners into scoring position but Healy struck out the next batter and got a ground out to end the threat. He retired the side in order in the sixth before allowing a two-out run in the seventh to close out his day. Healy allowed two runs on seven hits, struck out four and did not walk a batter to run his record to 5-0 on the year.

Offensively, Zarozny finished with two hits and two RBI. Brown reached base four times with a hit, walk and two hit by pitches.

GAME TWO

The Bulldogs took a 2-0 lead into the seventh inning but a two-run double from Murphy capped a three-run Pioneer comeback.

Cruising all game, Bryant starter Kevin McAvoy (Syracuse, N.Y.) struck out the first batter of the inning but walked the next batter on four pitches. Jesus Medina followed with a single through the right side and Flint was hit by a pitch to load the bases and chase McAvoy. Senior Salvatore Lisanti (Bronx, N.Y.) entered the game and induced a ground ball to first to record the second out but a run scored on the play. Following a walk to Brian Lamboy, Murphy stepped up and hit a 2-2 pitch deep to right to score two runs and give the Pioneers a victory.

Prior to the seventh, McAvoy had put together his best outing of the season. He worked around a two-out walk in the first and stranded runners on the corners in the second to get off to a good start. After that, he was dominant, allowing just two runners until the seventh inning, a two-out double by Flint in the fifth and a one-out single by Murphy in the sixth. McAvoy retired the Pioneers in order in the third and fourth innings and then stranded Murphy on third with a strikeout in the sixth. In all, McAvoy allowed three runs on five hits, walked two, struck out five and recorded 11 ground ball outs.

Bryant's offense was able to muster just two runs on five hits off Sacred Heart starter Jeff Stoddard. The Bulldogs scored single runs in the third and fourth innings. In the third, Scott doubled with one out and Anderson followed with a single to score Scott and give the Bulldogs a 1-0 lead. In the fourth, St. George walked, stole second, advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored on a perfectly executed squeeze bunt by Claire.

Stoddard then worked around trouble to keep his team within striking distance. The Bulldogs put two runners on with one out in the fifth and sixth innings but came up empty. Stoddard got a fly ball to right and a ground ball to second to strand the runners in the fifth and then got a fly ball to center and a caught stealing to retire the side in the sixth. He finished his day with a flourish, striking out the side in the seventh. Stoddard walked two and struck out five to earn his fifth win of the year.

The Bulldogs and Pioneers meet in the series finale on Sunday morning at 11:00 a.m.

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