DURHAM, N.C. – Sophomore Brandon Bingel (Peabody, Mass.) had two hits and reached base all four times but the Bryant University baseball team's late rally fell short in a 7-4 loss to Duke on Wednesday afternoon at Jack Coombs Field.
The Bulldogs (2-9) finished with 10 hits and put the tying run on base in the eighth but couldn't complete the comeback against the Blue Devils (13-3).
Duke was able to take the early lead on Wednesday, scoring a pair of runs in the first. Jalen Phillips doubled down the right field line with one out, advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored as Evan Dougherty reached on a fielding error. Dougherty was hurt on the play but pinch-runner Cameron Neal stole second and scored on a single from Cris Perez.
The Bulldogs whittled the deficit to a single run in the fourth inning. John Mullen (Walpole, Mass.) led off the inning with a double into the right-center gap and moved to third on an errant pickoff throw. Robby Rinn (Warwick, R.I.) then slashed a single through the left side to make it 2-1. The Bulldogs, however, would strand a pair of runners in the inning.
Duke opened the game up with two runs in the fifth and three more in the sixth. In the fifth, back-to-back singles and a hit batter loaded the bases with no outs for Duke. Phillips followed with a single to center to score a run and Neal walked to force in a run and make it 4-1. Bingel came on to pitch and limited the damage with a ground ball, a strikeout and then got some help as Cole Fabio (Mahwah, N.J.) made a diving play at second to end the inning.
The Blue Devils went on to score three runs in the sixth on two hits and one Bryant error. Justin Bellinger and Max Miller opened the inning with singles and both came around to score as Kenny Koplove's sac bunt was thrown down the right field line. Phillips completed the scoring with a sac fly to left field.
Bryant made things interesting with a three-run rally in the eighth inning. Matt Albanese (East Haddam, Conn.) and Mullen singled to start the inning and AJ Zarozny (Shrewsbury, Mass.) worked a walk to load the bases with one out. Michael Lanza (Elmsford, N.Y.) then worked a full count and drew a walk to bring home the first run of the inning. Duke then brought Koplove in from short but Bingel greeted the righty with a sharp two-run single right back up the middle to make it 7-4. Koplove followed with a walk to reload the bases but settled down to retire the side on a fly out and a ground ball.
Freshman Justin Snyder (Georgetown, Mass.) made his first collegiate start for the Bulldogs on Wednesday and pitched well over four innings. He allowed four runs (three earned) on seven hits, walked one and struck out two. Bingel allowed three runs (one earned) over two innings, Michael Marshall (Maynard, Mass.) tossed a scoreless seventh and Logan Lessard (Cromwell, Conn.) pitched a scoreless eighth for the Black and Gold.
Mullen, Zarozny and Bingel each finished with two hits for the Bulldogs, with Mullen scoring twice and Bingel driving in a pair.
The Bulldogs will have Thursday off before beginning a three-game series with Coastal Carolina on Friday afternoon.