SMITHFIELD, R.I. – Sophomore AJ Zarozny (Shrewsbury, Mass.) hit two home runs in his return to the lineup and junior Trevor Lacosse (Watervliet, N.Y.) stranded the potential tying and winning runs on base in game two as the Bryant University baseball team swept a doubleheader from Mount St. Mary's, 12-2 and 5-4, on Saturday afternoon at E.T. Straw Family Stadium.
The Bulldogs (29-10, 9-1 NEC) have now won six-straight league games and 16-straight against the Mountaineers (13-17, 6-8). The two teams will resume their suspended game from Friday at noon before playing a full nine-inning game right after.
Making his return after missing seven weeks with an injury, Zarozny went 3-for-3 with two RBI and three runs scored. After an RBI single from junior John Mullen (Walpole, Mass.) gave Bryant a 1-0 lead in the first, Zarozny led off the second with a monstrous solo home run to left field. Freshman Brandon Bingel (Peabody, Mass.) added an RBI single and senior Jonathan Scott (Princeton, N.J.) recorded a sac fly to push Bryant's lead to 4-0 after two.
Bryant then went on to score eight runs in its next three at-bats. Freshman Matt Albanese (East Haddam, Conn.) doubled home Bingel and Mullen followed with a two-run home run to right in the fourth. In the fifth, Zarozny led off with his second home run of the day and junior Carl Anderson (Sudbury, Mass.) added a sac fly to give the Bulldogs a 9-0 lead.
The Black and Gold capped their scoring with three runs in the sixth. Sophomore Buck McCarthy (Saugus, Mass.) doubled home a run, classmate Dan Cellucci (Sudbury, Mass.) drove in a run with a single and Bingel completed the scoring with an RBI double to left.
Senior Craig Schlitter (Guilford, Conn.) benefited from the offensive outburst, picking up his seventh victory of the season (7-1) and the 25th of his career. He is now tied with Eric Loh for third all-time in wins. Schlitter held the Mount scoreless over the first five innings, running his scoreless inning streak to 20.1 innings, before Kory Britton singled home a pair in the sixth. He struck out a season-high nine, didn't walk a batter and allowed two runs on six hits. It marks the first time in 11 league starts that Schlitter has allowed more than one run.
McCarthy (3-4, 3R) and Bingel (3-4, 2RBI) matched Zarozny with three hits apiece, with Bingel setting a career-high in the process. Anderson stole a pair of bases, while Mullen hit his fourth home run of the season and drove in three runs.
The Bulldogs scored five times in the top of the first and then survived a late rally from the Mountaineers to obtain the sweep in game two.
Bryant took a 5-3 lead into the bottom of the seventh but Tommy Quealy led off with a single to chase starter Vaughn Hayward (Glendale, R.I.). Lacosse entered but surrendered a single Andrew Frazier to put two runners on. He struck out the next batter but Andrew Clow's infield single to third was compounded by throwing error to allow a run to score and put runners on second and third with one out. Lacosse bore down, however, striking out Kory Britton swinging and inducing a ground ball to first from Ryan Owens to close out the victory.
The Bulldogs scored all the runs they would need in the first inning, using three hits and two Mount errors to score five runs. Anderson reached via an error to start the game, Albanese was hit by a pitch and Mullen roped a two-run double to right center to score both runners. Sophomore Robby Rinn (Warwick, R.I.) plated a run with a ground out and McCarthy walloped a two-run home run to center to cap the big inning.
Mount St. Mary's slowly chipped away at the deficit, scoring twice in the third and once in the fourth. Clow delivered a sac fly and Owens knocked a two-out single to right to plate the Mountaineer runs in the third. Chris DelVecchio's solo home run in the fourth made it a 5-3 game.
Hayward allowed four runs (three earned) on nine hits to earn his eighth-straight victory. He walked just one and struck out two. After allowing the solo home run in the fourth, Hayward retired eight of the final 10 batters he faced. Lacosse earned his sixth save of the season with his scoreless inning of relief.
Senior Tom Gavitt (North Stonington, Conn.) went 3-for-3 and Mullen added two hits and two RBI. With two more stolen bases, Anderson became the Division I leader in stolen bases with 49.
Bryant and Mount St. Mary's will resume their game from Friday at noon on Sunday. It will resume in the top of the fourth. The series finale will follow immediately afterwards.