SMITHFIELD, R.I. – Senior John Mullen (Walpole, Mass.) capped a furious comeback by the Bryant University baseball team with a walk-off double in the bottom of the eighth inning in game one of Saturday's doubleheader at Conaty Park.
The Bulldogs (12-16, 4-2 NEC) trailed 8-2 heading into the bottom of the sixth but scored four runs in the sixth and three runs in the seventh before winning the game in the eighth. The victory is Bryant's 20th-straight over the Mountaineers (6-22, 4-6).
In the sixth, sophomore Matt Albanese (East Haddam, Conn.) was hit by a pitch to start the inning and junior Robby Rinn (Warwick, R.I.) followed with a double down the third base line. Mullen then walked to load the bases and sophomore Brandon Bingel (Peabody, Mass.) singled to left to bring in a run. Junior AJ Zarozny (Shrewsbury, Mass.) brought home a run with a fielder's choice ground ball and classmate Zach Wood (Griswold, Conn.) ripped a run-scoring single to left to make it 8-5. Sophomore Cole Fabio (Mahwah, N.J.) added a sac fly to bring the Bulldogs with two.
After the Mount added a run in the top of the seventh, the Bulldogs rallied to tie the game in their last at-bat. Albanese started the rally again with a single to right and Rinn and Mullen drew back-to-back walks to load the bases. Following a flyout to left, Zarozny hit a ground ball up the middle that appeared to be a game-ending double play but the ball took a high bounce over the shortstops head and into center, scoring two runs. The Black and Gold tied the game two batters later as Fabio hit a hard ground ball to second that was misplayed.
Bryant's game-winning rally in the eighth was kick-started by none other than Albanese. He roped a leadoff double to right-center field and the Mountaineers then decided to intentionally walk Rinn to get to Mullen. The senior captain made them pay as he smoked a 1-1 pitch off the base of the left field wall, scoring Albanese with the winning run.
Mount St. Mary's jumped on the Bulldogs quickly, scoring four runs in the top of the first. Zach Hostetter delivered a two-run double and Brian Parreira followed with a two-run home run to make it 4-0.
The Bulldogs cut into the deficit with one swing of the bat in the fourth. Albanese doubled off the top of the center field wall and Rinn sent the very next pitch well over the wall in right-center to make it 4-2. It was his fourth home run of the year.
The Mount responded with the next four runs, however. Hostetter singled home a run in the top of the fifth, Clow doubled home two in the sixth and Hostetter then capped the outburst with another RBI single.
Junior James Davitt (Wallingford, Conn.), the fifth Bryant pitcher on the day, earned his second win with 1.2 scoreless innings. He came in with a man on in the seventh and gave up an RBI single but rebounded to retire the Mountaineers in the eighth to set up the Bryant rally. Senior Trevor Lacosse (Watervliet, N.Y.) started and allowed five runs on seven hits, walked three and struck out three over 4.2 innings.
Albanese finished the day 3-for-4 and tied a career high with four runs scored. Rinn went 2-for-3 with two walks, two RBI and three runs scored, Mullen walked twice and scored two runs and Zarozny drove in three on the day.
Kory Britton finished the game 4-for-4 and Hostetter went 3-for-4 with four RBI for the Mount. Starter Chris Campbell allowed two runs on five hits over 4.2 innings but earned a no decision.