HARTFORD, Conn. – Freshman Matt Albanese (East Haddam, Conn.) went 5-for-5 to lead the Bryant University baseball team to a 6-2 victory over Hartford on Wednesday afternoon at Fiondella Field.
The Bulldogs (15-8), the top ranked team in New England, picked up 13 hits as they won their fifth-straight game. Bryant has now won all three meetings with the Hawks (13-10).
Bryant wasted little time getting on the board as they plated a run in the first. Junior Jordan Mountford (Guelph, Ont.) walked to start the game, stole second, moved to third on a fielder's choice and scored as classmate John Mullen (Walpole, Mass.) grounded out to short.
The lead remained at one over the next four innings until the Black and Gold erupted for four runs in the fifth. Freshman Brandon Bingel (Peabody, Mass.) singled, Mountford followed with a double to put runners on second and third and Albanese knocked a single through the left side to score a run. Junior Carl Anderson (Sudbury, Mass.) followed with a two-run single through the right side and sophomore Robby Rinn (Warwick, R.I.) capped the big inning with an RBI double to left to make it 5-0.
Hartford chipped into the lead with a pair of runs in the sixth. A single and a hit batter put two runners on and a wild pitch moved both into scoring position for the Hawks. James Alfonso's ground ball to short brought home the first run and Billy Walker followed with a single to center to make it 5-2.
The Bulldogs answered with a run of their own in the seventh. Albanese singled to start the inning, Anderson reached on an error and Rinn delivered a sac fly two batters later to make it 6-2.
Bryant used Wednesday's contest as a bullpen day with starter Vaughn Hayward (Glendale, R.I.) going just one inning. Sophomore James Davitt (Wallingford, Conn.) followed with two scoreless innings, including a 4-6-3 double play ball in the second and freshman Jack Patterson (Suffield, Conn.) followed with two scoreless innings of his own. He worked around leadoff doubles in the fourth and fifth, wrapping up his outing with a strikeout in the fifth. Sophomore Michael Marshall (Maynard, Mass.) tossed 1.1 innings of relief allowing both Hartford runs before senior Jonathan Cohen (Norwalk, Conn.) retired all five batters he faced with ground outs.
Albanese finished the day 5-for-5 with two runs scored and Anderson (2-for-4, 2RBI) and Mullen (2-for-5) each finished with multiple hits. Rinn added two RBI and Mountford scored a pair of runs.
The Bulldogs will return to the Constitution State on Friday as they begin play in the first annual Dodd Stadium College Baseball Classic with a 4:00 p.m. first pitch against the University of Connecticut.