SMITHFIELD, R.I. – Bryant's top four hitters combined for nine hits, six RBI and seven runs scored to lead the baseball team to an 11-7 victory over Rhode Island on Tuesday afternoon at Conaty Park.
With the victory, the Bulldogs (27-10) swept the season-series from the Rams (7-28). Bryant has now won the last three meetings between the two teams.
On Tuesday, the Black and Gold jumped out to a 7-1 lead, withstood a mid-inning charge from the Rams and then escaped a bases-loaded jam in the ninth to close the door. The two teams traded runs in the first two innings before the Bulldogs plated two runs in the third and four runs in the fourth.
In the third, junior Carl Anderson (Sudbury, Mass.) and freshman Matt Albanese (East Haddam, Conn.) opened the inning with singles and junior John Mullen (Walpole, Mass.) delivered a sac fly to right to make it 2-1. Sophomore Robby Rinn (Warwick, R.I.) followed with a shot to the base of the center field wall to score Albanese.
The Bulldogs then used two hits and two URI errors to score four times in the fourth. Freshman Zane Smith (Ilion, N.Y.) doubled over the left fielder's and took third on an error to start the inning. Sophomore Dan Cellucci (Sudbury, Mass.) followed with a sac fly to left to score Smith. An infield error reopened the inning and Albanese made it hurt as he delivered a two-run double to left center three batters later. He later scored on a wild pitch to make it 7-1.
URI came right back, though, using a Bryant error to start a five-run rally. Two-straight singles started the inning and Mike Sherburne's one-out single to third base scored the first run of the inning. After a flyout, Mike Corin's ground ball to short took a late hop and caromed into center field to score a run and keep the inning alive. The Rams took advantage as Derek Gardella doubled in a run and Nick DeRegis and Thomas Buonopane collected back-to-back RBI singles to make it 7-6. The Rams eventually loaded the bases with two outs and were looking for more but Cellucci went deep in the hole at short to field a Tim Caputo grounder and flicked it to second to get the force and end the inning.
After surviving the scare in the fifth, the Bulldogs added to their lead with a run in the sixth, two in the seventh and one in the eighth. Albanese started a two-out rally in the sixth with a walk and Rinn singled him home two batters later. Albanese then drew a bases-loaded walk and freshman Cole Fabio (Mahwah, N.J.) scored on a wild pitch to account for the runs in the seventh. Fabio's single to deep short produced the final run of the game in the eighth.
The Rams had one more push left in them as they scored a run and brought the tying run to the plate in the ninth. Two hit batters and a single loaded the bases before a walk brought home a run. Junior Trevor Lacosse (Watervliet, N.Y.) then put an end to the rally as he struck out Chase Livingston looking to end the game and earn his fifth save.
Sophomore James Davitt (Wallingford, Conn.) made his first collegiate start and earned his first collegiate victory as he allowed just one run on three hits in three innings. He struck out four and walked one. Davitt was at his best in the first inning when he struck out three-straight batters with runners on second and third to escape an early scare. Senior Jonathan Cohen (Norwalk, Conn.) allowed five runs (one earned) on seven hits in 1.2 innings of relief and freshman Brandon Bingel (Peabody, Mass.) was excellent over four innings of relief, allowing one run on two hits. He retired 10 of the first 11 batters he faced before hitting trouble in the ninth.
Offensively, Rinn had three hits and two RBI and Anderson (2-4, 2BB, 3R), Albanese (2-3, 3R, 3RBI), Mullen (2-4) and Fabio (2-5, 2R) all finished with multiple hits.
The Bulldogs are back at home on Wednesday as they host Brown at 4:00 p.m.