BULLDOGS REACH 40 WINS FOR THIRD TIME IN SCHOOL HISTORY
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. – Sophomore Carl Anderson (Sudbury, Mass.) homered and drove in a career-high five runs as the Bryant University baseball team won its 40th game of the year with a 10-6 victory over Wagner on Saturday afternoon at Richmond County Bank Ballpark.
The Bulldogs (40-15-1, 27-5 NEC) become the first team in the Northeast Conference to win 40 games in a season since Central Connecticut won 43 during the 2004 season. The Seahawks (24-31, 16-16) saw their playoff hopes dashed with their series sweep at the hands of the Black and Gold.
After starting the season 0-6-1, the Black and Gold have gone 40-9 since returning from their trip to Ohio in the middle of the March. Bryant's 40-win season is the third in school history and the first since the 2008 team won a school-record 43 games in its final year of Division II eligibility.
Bryant's offense erupted early on Sunday as it plated four runs in its first two at-bats. Freshman AJ Zarozny (Shrewsbury, Mass.) walked with one out and senior Kevin Brown (Northborough, Mass.) moved him to third with a single to right. Sophomore John Mullen (Walpole, Mass.) followed with an RBI single to left and Anderson produced a sac fly to make it 2-0.
In the second, junior Jonathan Scott (Princeton, N.J.) slid to avoid a tag at first to keep the inning alive. Sophomore Jordan Mountford (Guelph, Ont.) then doubled into the right field corner to score Scott from first and Zarozny followed that with an RBI single to push Bryant's lead to 4-0.
Wagner rallied in the bottom of the second but missed out on an opportunity to score more. A throwing error and two singles loaded the bases with no outs but Bryant sophomore right-hander Kevin McAvoy (Syracuse, N.Y.) limited the damage with a 4-6-3 double play and a strikeout, allowing just one run to score.
The Seahawks kept the momentum going in the third, plating two more runs to pull within one. Back-to-back singles started the inning and Nick Dini delivered a two-run single to make it 4-3. McAvoy, however, got help from his defense as sophomore Daniel St. George (Shelton, Conn.) and senior Dan Muscatello (Hopkinton, Mass.) turned a nifty inning-ending 4-6-3 double play.
Bryant finally got back on the sticks in the fifth, plating two more runs. With runners on the corners and one out, Anderson delivered his second RBI of the day as he ripped a ground ball off the glove of the second baseman. St. George followed with a single to left to push the lead to 6-3.
The Bulldogs capped their scoring with a single run in the seventh and three runs in the eighth. In the seventh, Muscatello reached on a two-out error and freshman Robby Rinn (Warwick, R.I.) followed with a double into the right field corner to score him from first to make it 7-3. Anderson capped the scoring in the eighth as he greeted reliever Steven Bloodworth with a three-run home run to right-center.
McAvoy turned in another quality start on the mound, allowing three runs (two earned) on seven hits over six innings. He struck out three and walked three to improve his record to 6-2. McAvoy ended his afternoon strong, working out of a bases-loaded jam in the fifth before inducing an inning-ending 4-6-3 double play in the sixth. Sophomore Trevor Lacosse (Watervliet, N.Y.) and redshirt-junior Vaughn Hayward (Glendale, R.I.) each tossed an inning of relief before freshman Kyle Wilcox (Sandy Hook, Conn.) and junior Jonathan Cohen (Norwalk, Conn.) needed to combine to close out the game in the ninth. Wagner got a two-run home run from Chase Gray and then loaded the bases with two outs but Cohen earned his first save as he got a fielder's choice ground out.
Offensively, Brown and Zarozny each finished with three hits and Rinn doubled and tripled. Mullen and Zarozny each scored a pair of runs. Sophomore Matt Zanotta (Schenectady, N.Y.) chipped in a pair of hits off the bench.
The Bulldogs will now begin preparations for the NEC tournament that is scheduled to begin on Thursday, May 23. Bryant will be the top seed in the four-team tournament and take on fourth-seeded LIU Brooklyn.