BULLDOGS TAKE OPENER WITH LIU BROOKLYN, 10-0
SMITHFIELD, R.I. – Sophomore John Mullen (Walpole, Mass.) and freshman AJ Zarozny (Shrewsbury, Mass.) both drove in four runs and senior Peter Kelich (Jackson, N.J.) tossed seven scoreless innings to lead the Bryant University baseball team to a 10-0 victory over LIU Brooklyn on Friday afternoon at Conaty Park.
The loss snapped a three-game losing streak for the Bulldogs (26-13-1, 14-3 NEC) and improved their all-time record to 11-5 against the Blackbirds (14-24, 10-7). Bryant is now 14-1 at home this season.
Through the first four innings of Friday's series opener it was what many expected it to be, a pitcher's duel between Kelich and LIU ace Justin Topa. The Bulldogs, however, broke open the game with nine runs in their next three at-bats to put the game away.
Leading 1-0 in the bottom of the fifth, senior Adam Claire (Litchfield, Conn.) led off with his first career home run to left field to make it 2-0. The Black and Gold then scored two runs in the sixth and put a six-spot on the board in the seventh. Senior Kevin Brown (Northborough, Mass.) and sophomore Jordan Mountford (Guelph, Ont.) both singled and then combined on a double-steal to put themselves in scoring position. Zarozny followed with a two-run double down the third base line to make it 4-0.
Bryant put the game out of reach in the seventh as it sent 10 batters to the plate and scored six runs. Junior Tom Gavitt (North Stonington, Conn.) led off with a single and senior Dan Muscatello (Hopkinton, Mass.) followed with a sac bunt that was dropped at first. Gavitt, however, was thrown out trying to take third on the play. Sophomore Carl Anderson (Sudbury, Mass.) followed with a single through the right side, moving Muscatello to third. Anderson took second on the throw to third and that led the Blackbirds to intentionally walk Brown to face Mullen with the bases loaded. Mullen made LIU pay as he crushed a 3-1 offering over the wall in left for his first career grand slam to make it 8-0. A walk to Mountford ended Topa's afternoon and Zarzony greeted reliever Tito Marrero by hammering 1-1 pitch to deep left for his first career home run and a 10-0 Bryant lead.
Staked to a 1-0 lead after the first inning, Kelich made it stand until the Black and Gold were able to pull away. He retired the side in order in the first and induced a 6-4-3 inning-ending double play to erase a one-out single in the second. Kelich escaped his biggest jam in the fourth. John Ziznewski singled to start the inning, went to second on a passed ball and to third on a fly to right. Kelich then induced a soft line drive from Chris Untereiner that he caught at his shins before doubling off the runner at third to end the inning. The double play started a string of 10-straight Blackbirds retired to complete his outing. Kelich allowed just four hits, struck out two and didn't walk a batter to improve to 6-3 on the year. Junior Jonathan Cohen (Norwalk, Conn.) struck out three in two scoreless innings of relief to close the door.
Bryant gained its 1-0 lead with some good baserunning in the first. Mullen flew out right and Anderson tagged from second. Brown also tagged from first but was caught in a rundown. Anderson alertly took off for home and scored ahead of a high throw. Anderson and Zarzony were the only Bulldogs with multiple hits and Brown reached base all five times with a single, three walks and a hit by pitch.
The Bulldogs and Blackbirds continue their series with a doubleheader on Saturday. First pitch is scheduled for 1:00 p.m.