BULLDOGS EARN PAIR OF 4-1 WINS ON SATURDAY
NEW BRITAIN, Conn. – Sophomore right-hander Kevin McAvoy (Syracuse, N.Y.) allowed just two hits over seven stellar innings to lead the Bryant University baseball team to a 4-1 victory over Central Connecticut in game one of a doubleheader on Saturday afternoon at the CCSU Baseball Field. Freshman Robby Rinn's (Warwick, R.I.) third double of the afternoon broke a 1-1 tie in the sixth of game two as the Bulldogs swept the Blue Devils with a 4-1 victory in game two.
The Bulldogs (32-14-1, 19-4 NEC) doubleheader sweep gives them a series victory over the Blue Devils (21-22, 10-13). They will go for the series sweep on Sunday when the teams meet at 1:00 p.m.
Pitching some of his best baseball of the season, McAvoy twirled one of the best games of his career on Saturday. After allowing single to Dylan DelaCruz to start the game, McAvoy retired the next 14 batters in a row before a two-out error in the fifth. He allowed his only run in the first on a sac fly and finished his afternoon with five strikeouts and no walks. The outing marked the first complete game of his career.
Bryant wasted no time grabbing a lead, scoring a pair of runs in the first. Senior Dan Muscatello (Hopkinton, Mass.) and freshman AJ Zarozny (Shrewsbury, Mass.) started the game with back-to-back singles before a fly to right put runners on the corners. CCSU starter Nick then struck out the next batter and had an 0-2 count on Rinn but Rinn battled before slapping a double down the left field line to score both runs.
Clinging to a 2-1 lead in the fourth, the Bulldogs added to their lead with quality two-out at-bats. Senior Adam Claire (Litchfield, Conn.) fought off several pitches before singling with one out before moving to second on a ground out. Junior Jonathan Scott (Princeton, N.J.) then fell behind 0-2 but battled back to a full count before driving a single through the right side to score Claire from second. Muscatello then followed with a single up the middle to score Scott and give the Black and Gold a 4-1 lead.
Muscatello and Zarozny both finished with two hits and Rinn matched his career high with two RBI.
Paced by six stellar innings from graduate student John Healy (Cranston, R.I.) and a two-out double from Rinn in the top of the sixth, the Bulldogs earned a sweep of the doubleheader with a 4-1 victory.
Trailing 1-0 in the sixth, Mullen started Bryant's rally with a ground-rule double to dead center field. He moved to third on a ground out to short and scored the tying run as pinch-hitter Carl Anderson (Sudbury, Mass.) slapped an 0-2 pitch to deep short and beat the throw to first. A wild pitch allowed the pinch-runner Claire to advance to second and Rinn followed by walloping a 3-1 pitch off the top of the center field fence to give Bryant a 2-1 lead.
The Bulldogs tacked on two insurance runs in the seventh. Junior Tom Gavitt (North Stonington, Conn.) led off with a single, Muscatello walked and a wild pitch advanced both into scoring position. The Blue Devils intentionally walked Brown to load the bases and sophomore John Mullen (Walpole, Mass.) made it backfire as he drove a single through the left side to score two runs.
Healy kept the Black and Gold in the game with a strong six-inning performance. He worked out of a big jam in the first as the Blue Devils loaded the bases with one out. Healy came back to strikeout Dominic Severino and Mike Washburn to end the inning and leave the bases loaded. A 1-6-3 double play helped in the second but CCSU reached him for a run in the third. DelaCruz lined a single off Healy's right wrist to start the inning and eventually came around to score as Severino legged out a dribbler to third with two outs.
Healy was dominant after that, however, allowing just two baserunners over his final three innings. Josh Ingham reached on a dropped pop up to start the fourth but Healy picked him off. JP Sportman singled in the fifth but Healy left him there with a strikeout and he finished his afternoon with a 1-2-3 sixth. Healy scattered five hits, struck out six and walked three on his way to earning his sixth win of the season. Senior Salvatore Lisanti (Bronx, N.Y.) picked up his seventh save with a scoreless seventh inning.
Mullen and Rinn finished with two hits apiece in the second game and Rinn finished the doubleheader with three doubles and three RBI.
The teams will wrap up their four-game series on Sunday with a first pitch scheduled for 1:00 p.m.