Bulldogs hold off Pioneers, earn weekend split

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

SMITHFIELD, R.I. – Senior Jonathan Scott (Princeton, N.J.) threw out the potential tying run at second and junior Trevor Lacosse (Watervliet, N.Y.) followed with a strikeout as the Bryant University baseball team held on for a 7-6 victory over Sacred Heart on Sunday afternoon at Conaty Park.

With the victory, the Bulldogs (33-12, 13-3 NEC) earned a weekend split with the Pioneers (22-22, 9-7). Bryant won Friday's opener before the Sacred Heart swept Saturday's doubleheader.

Bryant raced out to a 7-0 lead but the Pioneers chipped away, scoring three runs in the sixth and three more in the seventh to get within a run. Zack Short then led off the ninth with a single to center but Jayson Sullivan was able to get a bunt down with two strikes for the first out of the inning. Short then took off on a 1-2 offering but Scott's throw was on the money and freshman Cole Fabio (Mahwah, N.J.) applied the tag for the second out. Lacosse then fired a high fastball past Matt Charmello to end the game and earn his seventh save.

Unlike the first three games of the series, the Bulldogs were the aggressors on Sunday, scoring three runs in the second and four more in the fourth to grab the lead early. Sophomore Robby Rinn (Warwick, R.I.) led off the second with a walk and freshman Matt Albanese (East Haddam, Conn.) followed with a double to the base of the wall in right center to score the first run. Junior Daniel St. George (Shelton, Conn.) then doubled inside third to score Albanese and then scampered home himself as the Pioneer left fielder bobbled the ball before the relay throw to the infield was thrown away.

In the fourth, Fabio singled and sophomore Dan Cellucci (Sudbury, Mass.) was hit by a pitch before junior Carl Anderson (Sudbury, Mass.) ripped a two-run triple into right center to make it 5-0. Junior Matt Zanotta (Schenectady, N.Y.) brought home a run with a fielder's choice and Rinn completed the scoring with an RBI double to left center.

Sacred Heart started its rally in the sixth with the first of its two three-run innings. A walk and a single started the inning and Short flew out to right to bring in the first run. Sullivan ripped a single up the middle to score a run and Derick Horn capped the inning with a sac fly to left.

In the eighth, a pair of walks gave the Pioneers two runners and Dan Perez brought home one with a pinch-hit single up the middle. With two outs, Kenny Byram brought the Pioneers within one as he singled to right-center to plate a pair. Lacosse stranded the tying run at third with a fly to right before tossing the scoreless ninth.

Sophomore Kyle Wilcox (Sandy Hook, Conn.) put together a stellar performance for the Black and Gold on the mound. He allowed three runs on four hits, walked five and struck out six to earn his second win of the season. Wilcox cruised through the first five innings with the help of his defense. Sophomore Buck McCarthy (Saugus, Mass.) threw out runners attempting to steal in the first and second innings and Wilcox helped himself in the third, snaring a comebacker to start an inning-ending 1-6-3 double play. He then struck out the side in the fourth and worked a scoreless fifth before hitting trouble in the sixth. Freshman Brandon Bingel (Peabody, Mass.) came on in the sixth and allowed two runs on two hits over two innings.

Offensively, Fabio finished 3-for-4 and Anderson finished with two RBI.

Bryant will have the week off before traveling to Hackensack, N.J., for a conference series with Fairleigh Dickinson beginning on Friday, May 9.