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May 5, 2013

Schlitter Ks eight as Bulldogs sweep

BASEBALL COMPLETES SWEEP, 6-2

NEW BRITAIN, Conn. – Junior Craig Schlitter (Guilford, Conn.) struck out eight over six innings and sophomore Daniel St. George (Shelton, Conn.) had a career-high four hits as the Bryant University baseball team completed a four-game sweep of Central Connecticut, 6-2, on Sunday afternoon at the CCSU Baseball Field.

The Bulldogs (33-14-1, 20-4 NEC) have now won seven-straight games and have swept the Blue Devils (21-23, 10-14) in each of the last two seasons. Bryant will now take a three-game lead into next weekend's set with second-place Monmouth.

Schlitter recorded his second-straight great game against the Blue Devils. He tossed a one-hit shutout against CCSU last year and started Sunday by retiring the first eight batters he faced. When Schlitter issued a two-out walk to Anthony Turgeon in the third, it snapped a string of 27-straight Blue Devil hitters that he had retired dating back to last season. Schlitter struck out two in the first, two in the second and struck out the side in the third. CCSU finally reached him for a hit in the fifth as Mike Washburn doubled to left-center. He eventually came around to score the only Blue Devil run off of Schlitter on a wild pitch. He finished with eight strikeouts and one walk over six innings, allowing just the lone run on two hits, moving his record to 7-3 on the year.

With Schlitter twirling a gem, the Bulldogs were able to get on the board in the fourth. The rally started with two outs and no one on base as sophomore classmates John Mullen (Walpole, Mass.) and St. George collected back-to-back singles. Freshman Daniel Palazzo (Rocky Hill, Conn.) worked a walk to load the bases and classmate Robby Rinn (Warwick, R.I.) followed lacing a double into the left-center field gap to score two.

Bryant extended its lead with a single run in the eighth. Freshman AJ Zarozny (Shrewsbury, Mass.) singled to start the inning, Mullen was hit and a wild pitch advanced both into scoring position. St. George followed with a perfect safety squeeze to score the Bulldogs' third run. The Black and Gold missed out on an opportunity to tack on more as they left the bases loaded.

The run in the top half of the inning was huge as the Blue Devils rallied in the bottom half. Josh Ingham singled to start the inning, advanced to second on a wild pitch and scored as Ryan Beal delivered a clutch two-out single. CCSU then appeared on its way to tying the game as JP Sportman sprayed a ground ball to the right side but before it could travel into right field, it hit the back leg of pinch-runner Jeff Osak, abruptly ending the inning.

After the close call, the Bulldogs put the game away with three runs in the ninth. Freshman Dan Cellucci (Sudbury, Mass.) singled to start the frame, Zarozny was hit and senior Kevin Brown (Northborough, Mass.) followed with a single through the left side to make it 4-2. Mullen and St. George followed that with singles of their own, pushing Bryant's lead to 6-2.

Sophomore Trevor Lacosse (Watervliet, N.Y.) allowed a run on two hits over 1.2 innings of relief and redshirt-junior Vaughn Hayward (Glendale, R.I.) earned his second save of the year with 1.1 innings of scoreless relief. St. George added two RBI to his career-high hit total and Brown finished with a pair of runs scored.

The Bulldogs will have a week to get ready for a big NEC series with Monmouth this upcoming weekend. The four-game series begins on Friday, May 10 with a 3:00 p.m. first pitch.

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