BROOKLYN, N.Y. – Senior classmates Craig Schlitter (Guilford, Conn.) and Vaughn Hayward (Glendale, R.I.) held the league's top offense to one unearned run on five hits to lead the Bryant University baseball team to 7-0 and 3-1 victories over LIU Brooklyn on Saturday afternoon at LIU Field.
Schlitter's second-straight shutout and Hayward's two-hit masterpiece helped the Bulldogs (25-10, 6-1 NEC) take the first three games of the weekend series over the Blackbirds (18-15-1, 5-6).
Schlitter struck out five and issued just one walk to record his second-straight shutout and run his record to 6-1 on the year in game one. Schlitter allowed singles in the first and second but didn't allow another hit until the seventh. The hit in the seventh put two runners on but Schlitter induced a game-ending 4-6-3 double play to complete the shutout. He has not allowed a run since the fifth inning of his start on April 5 against Stony Brook, a span of 15.1 innings.
Bryant wasted little time as they got on the board in the first. Freshman Matt Albanese (East Haddam, Conn.) doubled and came around to score on a two-out single from sophomore Buck McCarthy (Saugus, Mass.) to make it 1-0.
The Bulldogs extended their lead with three runs in the third. Back-to-back walks opened the inning before junior Carl Anderson (Sudbury, Mass.) and Albanese performed a double steal to move into scoring position. Junior John Mullen (Walpole, Mass.) followed with a sac fly to right, sophomore Robby Rinn (Warwick, R.I.) doubled to left center and McCarthy singled through the left side to plate three runs and make it 4-0.
A single run in the fifth and two more in the seventh would cap Bryant's scoring. Rinn and McCarthy started a two-out rally in the fifth with a single and a walk and senior Tom Gavitt (North Stonington, Conn.) then singled to deep short to drive in a run. In the seventh, McCarthy drove in Albanese with a single to center and junior Daniel St. George (Shelton, Conn.) beat out a ground ball to score the final run of the game.
McCarthy reached base all four plate appearances, while Albanese had two hits and scored three runs. Rinn finished with two hits and two runs scored and Gavitt added a pair of hits and an RBI.
Hayward was just as dominant in game two, allowing an unearned run on just two hits in the first complete game of his career. He walked three and struck out three to improve to 7-1 on the year.
He retired 10 of the first 11 batters before hitting trouble in the fourth and seven of the final eight batters to close the door. An infield error and a wild pitch led to LIU's only run in the fourth but Hayward got a ground ball to first to leave the bases loaded. Hayward induced another ground ball to first in the fifth to escape a first-and-third jam before getting a line drive to third to strand a runner on third in the seventh.
LIU's Matt McCormick matched him nearly pitch-for-pitch over the first five innings. A double play helped him out of the first but St. George ripped a double into the left field corner to start a two-out rally in the second. Sophomore Dan Cellucci (Sudbury, Mass.) followed with a single to right to score St. George and give Bryant a 1-0 lead.
McCormick then allowed just one baserunner over the next three innings until junior Jordan Mountford (Guelph, Ont.) laced an 0-2 pitch into center for a pinch-hit single to start the sixth. Freshman Cole Fabio (Mahwah, N.J.) came in to pinch-run and was picked off but the throw to second went into left field. Anderson then lofted a fly to left center and Fabio scampered to third with one out. Albanese followed with a fly ball to right to bring him home and make it 2-1.
Bryant then scraped across a key insurance run in the seventh. Gavitt doubled into the left field corner and moved to third on a St. George single. Cellucci then grounded to short and Gavitt read it perfectly and raced home with the third run of the game.
St. George finished game two with a pair of hits and Cellucci added two RBI.