Bulldogs return the favor Sunday with comeback win over Stony Brook

Photo by: Tom O'Brien
Photo by: Tom O'Brien

NORWICH, Conn. – Senior Vaughn Hayward (Glendale, R.I.) held Stony Brook to two runs on six hits over six innings and the Bryant University baseball team used a three-run seventh inning to earn a 4-3 come-from-behind victory on Sunday in the College Baseball Classic at Dodd Stadium.

A day after surrendering a ninth-inning lead to the Seawolves (15-11), the Bulldogs (17-9) rallied from 2-0 down in the seventh inning to improve to 2-1 in the CBC.

The Bulldogs were stymied for the first six innings on Sunday, mustering just one hit against Stony Brook lefty Tyler Honahan, and trailed 2-0. Junior John Mullen (Walpole, Mass.) had been the only man to touch Honahan for a hit with a single in the second and he did it again in the seventh, lacing a single to center. Sophomore Buck McCarthy (Saugus, Mass.) followed with a single to right and classmate Robby Rinn (Warwick, R.I.) was hit by a pitch to load the bases with no outs. Facing reliever Brandon McNitt, sophomore Dan Cellucci (Sudbury, Mass.) slapped a two-strike, two-run single to right field to tie the game. After a hit batter reloaded the bases, Rinn scored on a wild pitch to give Bryant a 3-2 lead.

Bryant tacked on a key insurance run in the eighth inning on a one-out double from McCarthy. Carl Anderson (Sudbury, Mass.) walked to start the inning, stole second and scored as McCarthy hammered a 3-0 pitch into the right-center gap.

Stony Brook had one final push left, putting the tying run on base in the ninth inning. Toby Handley singled to start the frame, advanced to second on a wild pitch and over to third on a ground out. Jeremy Giles made it 4-3 with a sac fly to center before Robert Chavarria's fourth hit of the day gave the Seawolves live with two outs. Senior Jonathan Cohen (Norwalk, Conn.) bore down, however, and got a ground ball to third to close out the victory.

The Seawolves plated single runs in the second and third to grab the two-run advantage. Handley's two-out triple scored the first run of the game in the second and Kevin Courtney's two-out single in the third made it 2-0.

Those were the only two the Seawolves would get off of Hayward though. The veteran right-hander turned in another quality start, holding Stony Brook to two runs on six hits over six innings. He walked three and struck out two to move to 5-1 on the season. Hayward stranded runners on third in the second and fourth inning and stranded two more in the fifth. His classmate Cohen did the rest, taking over in the seventh to earn his first save of the season with three innings of one-run relief.  He allowed just three hits and struck out a batter.

Offensively, Mullen (2-for-4) and McCarthy (2-for-4) both finished with multiple hits and Cellucci drove in a pair.

The Bulldogs wrap up play in the College Baseball Classic on Sunday afternoon against Connecticut.