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Albanese homers again, freshmen duo pitches Bulldogs to sweep of Hartford, 3-2

Photo by: Bob Ellis
Photo by: Bob Ellis

WEST HARTFORD, Conn. – Sophomore Matt Albanese (East Haddam, Conn.) hit his fourth home run of the week and a pair of freshmen hurlers combined to help the Bryant University baseball team defeat Hartford 3-2 and complete a doubleheader sweep on Sunday at Fiondella Field.

With the win, the Bulldogs (5-11) have won three-straight games and are 6-0 all-time against the Hawks (7-13). Bryant allowed just two total runs in the doubleheader sweep.

Hartford came out hot in game two, plating a pair of runs on six hits over the first two innings. In the first, Ben Bengston opened the inning with a single and then stole second and went to third on a wild pitch. He scored on a David MacKinnon single to make it 1-0. Back-to-back singles then loaded the bases for the Hawks but a ground ball to third and a strikeout ended the threat.

In the second, Joe Roberti doubled down the right field line to start things. He advanced to third on a ground ball and Nick Campana brought him home with a two-out single up the middle.

Held in check for the first three innings, the Black and Gold used some luck to start a game-tying rally. Senior Jordan Mountford (Guelph, Ont.) popped up the first pitch of the inning to shallow right field and it fell untouched between the second baseman and right fielder. Two pitches later, Albanese turned on a fastball and sent it whistling over the left field wall to tie the game at 2-2.

Bryant eventually grabbed the lead in the sixth inning. Sophomore Cole Fabio (Mahwah, N.J.) used his speed to ignite the inning as he beat out an infield single to deep short and immediately stole second. Mountford then doubled to base of the wall in right center to score Fabio and give the Bulldogs the lead.

Freshman James Karinchak (Walden, N.Y.) gave the Bulldogs another outstanding performance on the mound. After allowing two runs on six hits in the first two innings, the rookie right hander allowed just three hits and four baserunners over his final five innings of work. Karinchak allowed two runs on nine hits, issued just one walk and struck out five over seven innings.

Classmate Logan Lessard (Cromwell, Conn.) did the rest for the Black and Gold, tossing two scoreless innings to earn his first collegiate save. Lessard allowed a two-out single in the eighth but won a eight-pitch battle to strikeout Roberti and then retired the Hawks in order in the ninth.

Albanese extended his on-base streak to 14 games in the victory and Mountford picked up a pair of doubles.

The Bulldogs were scheduled to play Brown on Tuesday but that game has been cancelled. Instead, the Black and Gold return to the diamond on Wednesday when they are scheduled to host Northeastern at Conaty Park.