Baseball rolls to series victory, 14-0



SMITHFIELD, R.I. – Senior Adam Claire (Litchfield, Conn.) drove in a career-high four runs and the Bryant University baseball team pounded out 13 hits on its way to a 14-0 victory over LIU Brooklyn on Sunday afternoon at Conaty Park.

With the victory, the Bulldogs (28-14-1, 16-4 NEC) closed out a series victory over the Blackbirds (15-26, 11-9) for the first time since the 2010 season.

The weekend was also a success off the field as the Bulldogs were able to raise over $750 in the sale of "Fill the Hill" t-shirts on Saturday. All the proceeds were then donated to the National MS Society on Sunday when the Black and Gold sponsored an MS Day at Conaty Park. Bryant wore orange undershirts and orange socks, the color of the MS Society.
On Sunday, the offense began early as the Bulldogs got on the board with three runs in the second and a single run in the third. In the second, sophomore John Mullen (Walpole, Mass.) walked to start the inning, stole second, advanced to third as the ball sailed into center and then scored on a sac fly from freshman Robby Rinn (Warwick, R.I.). Freshman Daniel Palazzo (Rocky Hill, Conn.) walked to keep the inning alive and Claire followed with a two-run double to left-center to push the lead to 3-0. In the third, freshman AJ Zarozny (Shrewsbury, Mass.) beat out an infield ground ball to start the inning, stole second and scored on an RBI single from Mullen.

Bryant put the game away with two runs in the sixth and seven runs in the seventh. Rinn and Palazzo started the sixth with a single and a double, respectively, and scored on a Claire sac fly and a safety squeeze from sophomore Carl Anderson (Sudbury, Mass.).

In the seventh, the Black and Gold scored seven runs on five hits. Mullen once again started the inning as he was hit by a pitch with one out, starting a string of seven-straight batters to reach base. Senior Dan Muscatello (Hopkinton, Mass.) followed with a single and he and Mullen both advanced on a wild pitch. Sophomore Daniel St. George (Shelton, Conn.) then scored both as his chopper back to the mound ricocheted off the pitcher and into shallow left for a two-run double. Back-to-back walks followed to load the bases, Claire scored a run with a single to right and Anderson brought home two with a double down the right field line to make it 11-0. Two batters later, senior Kevin Brown (Northborough, Mass.) found the same spot as Anderson, scoring two more to cap the scoring. The double also extended his consecutive on-base streak to 27 games.

Staked to a big lead, Bryant's pitching staff tossed its second shutout of the weekend. Junior Craig Schlitter (Guilford, Conn.) ran his scoreless inning streak to 13 with six scoreless innings on Sunday. He allowed five hits, walked two and struck out eight. Schlitter worked around several jams, stranding runners on the corners in the first and then leaving the bases loaded in the third. LIU put runners on the corners with one out but a Brown charged a ground ball and threw the runner out at the plate for the second out. A hit batter loaded the bases but Schlitter struck out Chris Untereiner swinging to end the inning. Schlitter has now won his five decisions and is 4-0 with a 0.72 ERA in league play. Sophomore Trevor Lacosse (Watervliet, N.Y.), redshirt junior Vaughn Hayward (Glendale, R.I.) and freshman Kyle Wilcox (Sandy Hook, Conn.) each tossed a scoreless inning of relief to close the door.

Offensively, Zarozny, Muscatello and Claire all finished with two hits. Claire drove in four runs, Anderson drove in three and Brown and St. George each drove in a pair.

The Bulldogs wrap up their non-conference schedule and wrap up their six-game homestand on Tuesday, April 30 when they welcome Northeastern to Conaty Park. First pitch is scheduled for 3:30 p.m.