NORTHBOROUGH, Mass. – Sophomore classmates Brandon Bingel (Peabody, Mass.) and Matt Albanese (East Haddam, Conn.) each hit a pair of home runs and the Bryant University baseball team tied a school record with five home runs in a 7-6 come-from-behind victory over UMass Lowell on Tuesday afternoon at the New England Baseball Complex.
The victory snaps a four-game losing streak for the Bulldogs (3-11) and gives them their sixth-straight victory over the River Hawks (3-10). Bryant and UML combined to hit seven home runs in the game, with the Bulldogs matching last year's five-homer affair against Delaware.
Trailing by a run in the eighth, Bingel gave the Bulldogs the lead with one swing of the bat. Senior John Mullen (Walpole, Mass.) started the rally with a double inside the third base bag to bring Bingel to the plate. The Bulldog shortstop then worked a 3-2 count before jumping all over a hanging curveball and sending it well over the bullpen in left field to make it 7-6.
Bingel then came out in the top of the ninth and survived a bases-loaded scare to earn his first-career save. After retiring the first batter of the inning, two singles and a walk filled the bases with just one out. Joe Consolmagno then sent a sinking line drive into left field but junior AJ Zarzony (Shrewsbury, Mass.) made a game-changing catch as he dove head first to snare it. Bingel closed the door on the very next pitch as Danny Mendick flew out to center.
Bryant cut into a four-run deficit in the seventh with a pair of home runs. Junior Zach Wood (Griswold, Conn.) pinch-hit to start the inning and walloped a 1-0 pitch deep over the left field wall to make it 6-3. Zarozny then drew a two-out walk and Albanese followed with a mammoth two-run home run to deep left center field.
The Bulldogs opened the scoring on Tuesday with a single run in the second inning. Bingel got ahead in the count 3-1 before launching a solo home run down the left field line. It was his first home run of the season.
UML rallied back with six runs over the middle innings. In the fourth, back-to-back walks and a single loaded the bases with no outs. Jimmy Ricoy came through with the big hit as he lifted a grand slam into the bullpen in left field to make it 4-1.
Bryant was able to cut the deficit to two with another home run in the fourth. Albanese hit a missile over the wall in left center to make it 4-2.
The River Hawks responded with single runs in the fifth and sixth innings. Ian Strom singled with one out, went to second on a wild pitch, to third on a balk and scored on a two-out single from Brice Erickson. In the sixth, Geoff DeGroot led off with a home run to left to make it 6-2.
The Black and Gold missed out on a golden opportunity in the fifth inning as they stranded the bases loaded. Bingel singled to open the inning, sophomore Cole Fabio (Mahwah, N.J.) bunted for a single and senior Jordan Mountford (Guelph, Ont.) walked to load the bases. UML starter Andrew Ryan battled back, however, to induce a pair of weak pop ups to end the inning.
Tuesday was a staff day for the Bulldogs as eight pitchers took the mound. Junior Kyle Wilcox (Sandy Hook, Conn.) started and threw 15 pitches in a scoreless first inning and senior Trevor Lacosse (Watervliet, N.Y.) struck out three over two scoreless innings. The Black and Gold also used Jack Patterson (Suffield, Conn.), James Karinchak (Walden, N.Y.), Justin Snyder (Georgetown, Mass.), Ross Weiner (Woodbridge, Conn.), Logan Lessard (Cromwell, Conn.) and Bingel. Lessard struck out two over two scoreless innings to earn his first collegiate win, while Bingel earned his first save of the season.
Albanese finished the day 2-for-4 with three RBI and two runs scored and Bingel went 3-for-4 with three RBI and two runs scored. Fabio also chipped in a pair of singles for the Black and Gold.
The Bulldogs are back on the field this weekend as they host Hartford in a three-game series at Conaty Park.