SMITHFIELD, R.I. – With one out and the bases loaded, the Bryant University baseball team was on the verge of erasing a two-run deficit, but the Rhode Island pitching staff forced a groundball double play to end the inning and the threat, as the Rams blanked the Bulldogs, 4-0, Thursday afternoon at the Baseball Complex.
Righty Brian O'Neil (North reading, Mass.) took the hill for Bryant (13-16, 3-5 NEC) and pitched 6.2 innings, allowing four earned runs and two walks. O'Neil's (3-3) counterpart, Brian Bojiak (3-1) tossed 5.1 innings of scoreless ball, issuing one walk and three strikeouts.
Rhody jumped out on top first in the top of the first behind the bat of Kyle Borden, who hit a one-out grounder to the shortstop, driving home the opening score.
Dan Muscatello (Hopkinton, Mass.) would lead off the bottom half with a single to left field and eventually steal second base, but was left stranded as Bodjiak forced two fly outs to end the frame.
The Bulldogs would continue to place runners in scoring position both in the second and fourth innings, but could not convert, leaving a total of six runners on base in the outing.
Rhode Island would add its second run in the top of the fourth after Mylin Adams connected on a two-out single down the right field line for the 2-0 lead.
The Bulldogs would continue to hold the Rams off the board, thanks to a remarkable double play in the top of the sixth inning. With a runner on first, URI's Pat Quinn hit a frozen rope right to the second baseman Muscatello, who then had the awareness to tag the advancing runner and make the throw to first in time for the out.
Facing a two-run deficit, Kevin Brown (Northborough, Mass.) led off the bottom half of the frame with a double to right field and would move over to third after a wild pitch by the URI pitcher. Mike DelPonte (Tewksbury, Mass.) and Jordan English (Windsor Locks, Conn.) would then both reach base on balls. With ducks on the pond, Jamie Skagerlind (Holden, Mass.) would then step up to the plate but hit into the team's second double play of the afternoon, ending the rally for the home side.
The Rams would add two more in the top of the seventh on two hits, and would hold on for the 4-0 victory.
The Bulldogs were outhit, 6-5, in the contest and left six runners on base, including four in scoring position. With the loss, the Bulldogs move to 5-3 in games at home on the season.
The Bulldogs return to action Friday, April 15 for the first of a four-game series with Northeast Conference foe Mount St. Mary's. First pitch is scheduled for 3:00 p.m. and fans can follow live stats at www.bryantbulldogs.com.