SMITHFIELD, R.I. – Junior Carl Anderson (Sudbury, Mass.) hit a pair of home runs to lead the Bryant University baseball team to a 9-3 victory over Fairleigh Dickinson and its third-straight Northeast Conference Regular-Season title on Sunday afternoon at the Naimoli Family Baseball Complex.
With the victory and a Sacred Heart loss to Wagner, the Bulldogs (37-12, 17-3 NEC) claimed their third-straight regular-season title and their fourth in five years since joining the conference. Bryant is now 18-2 all-time against the Knights (13-29, 4-16).
Anderson wasted little time on Sunday, giving the Bulldogs the lead as he hit the second pitch of the game out of the park for his fifth home run of the year. Senior Tom Gavitt (North Stonington, Conn.) added a two-run single to cap the three-run first inning.
After a pair of quick outs started the second, Anderson stepped to the plate and launched a 2-0 pitch over the fence to make it 4-0. A dropped fly ball allowed a second run to score and give Bryant a five-run lead after two at-bats.
The Bulldogs completed their scoring with two runs in the eighth and ninth innings. Sophomore AJ Zaronzy (Shrewsbury, Mass.) delivered a safety squeeze and classmate Robby Rinn (Warwick, R.I.) doubled home a run in the eighth. Freshman Matt Albanese (East Haddam, Conn.) and sophomore AJ Zarozny (Shrewsbury, Mass.) added RBI singles in the ninth to close out the scoring.
Senior Vaughn Hayward (Glendale, R.I.) tossed the first seven innings to earn his team-leading ninth win of the season. He allowed one run on seven hits, struck out six and didn't walk a batter. Senior Jonathan Cohen (Norwalk, Conn.) and junior Trevor Lacosse (Watervliet, N.Y.) combined to close the door over the final two innings with Lacosse earning his eighth save of the year.
By claiming their third-straight regular-season title, the Bulldogs have secured the top seed in the 2014 NEC Tournament that begins on Thursday, May 22 at Dodd Stadium in Norwich, Conn.
Bryant wraps up the regular season this weekend as it welcomes Wagner to Conaty Park for an NEC series. The Bulldogs will celebrate Senior Day on Saturday.