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Mountford, Karinchak lead Bulldogs to Saturday split with LIU Brooklyn

Photo by: Dave Silverman
Photo by: Dave Silverman

SMITHFIELD, R.I. – Senior Jordan Mountford (Guelph, Ont.) homered and drove in four runs and freshman James Karinchak (Walden, N.Y.) tossed his third-straight complete game to lead the Bryant University baseball team to a 9-1 victory and a split of Saturday's NEC doubleheader against LIU Brooklyn at Conaty Park.

With the split, the Bulldogs (17-17, 8-3 NEC) remain in a tie for first place in the league standings. The Blackbirds (13-26, 6-9) snapped a six-game losing streak with a victory in game one.

Game One

LIU scored five runs in the fourth inning and then held on for a 5-4 victory.  Blackbird starting pitcher Bobby Maxwell tossed his fifth-straight complete game in the win.

In the decisive fourth inning, the Blackbirds scored five runs on three hits. Back-to-back one-out walks opened the inning and Bobby Webb singled to load the bases. Dom Paiotti then hit a sharp ground ball to first that appeared could be an inning-ending double play. Junior Robby Rinn (Warwick, R.I.) fielded the ground ball and threw to short but the ball was dropped, allowing all runners to reach safely and a run to score. Brian Lamboy followed with a two-run single to center, Vincent Tranchina drove in a run with a single to right and a fifth run scored as the Bulldogs failed to turn a double play on a ground ball to short.

Bryant didn't go without a fight, plating two runs in the fourth and sixth innings. In the fourth, senior John Mullen (Walpole, Mass.) walked, sophomore Brandon Bingel (Peabody, Mass.) singled and junior AJ Zarozny (Shrewsbury, Mass.) doubled off the right field wall to score a run. After the Bulldogs loaded the bases, junior Dan Cellucci (Sudbury, Mass.) hit a line drive to second that was caught but the Blackbirds threw the ball away at second to allow Bingel to score from third.

In the sixth, the Bulldogs picked up two more runs to make it a one run game. Sophomore Joseph Paparelli (Preston, Conn.) was hit by a pitch with one out and classmate Cole Fabio (Mahwah, N.J.) walked two put two runners on. Sophomore Matt Albanese (East Haddam, Conn.) then knocked a two-strike pitch down the right field line to bring home two runs. The Black and Gold almost completed the comeback but LIU left fielder Luis Rios made a sliding catch on a sinking liner to end the inning.

Senior Trevor Lacosse (Watervliet, N.Y.) allowed five runs (three earned) on five hits, three walks and four strikeouts over 5.1 innings. Freshman Ross Weiner (Woodbridge, Conn.) tossed 1.2 innings of scoreless relief.

Fabio finished 2-for-3 with a run scored and Bingel also picked up two hits for the Bulldogs.

Game Two

Karinchak turned in another dominant complete game and Mountford hit a three-run home run to spark the offense in Bryant's game-two victory.

Making his third league start, Karinchak tossed his third complete game on Saturday. He allowed just one run on two hits, walked two and struck out four on the afternoon. Karinchak allowed just five baserunners on the day and has allowed just two runs in 21 innings against league opponents.

With the game scoreless in the third, Mountford jumped on a mistake pitch to give Karinchak all the run support he would need. Junior Daniel Palazzo (Rocky Hill, Conn.) and Cellucci singled to start the inning before Mountford walloped a 1-0 pitch over the right field wall for his fifth home run of the year. Albanese followed the long ball with a triple down the right field line and scored on a sac fly from Rinn to make it 4-0.

After the Blackbirds plated a run in the top of the fourth, Bryant put the game away with five runs over its final three at-bats. Bingel doubled and scored on a Palazzo single to score the first run of the fourth and the second run scored on a dropped fly in left.

Paparelli doubled home a run in the fifth and the Bulldogs tacked on two final runs in the sixth. Mountford ripped an RBI triple and scored on a sac fly.

Mountford finished with 2-for-4 with four RBI and two runs scored and Cellucci finished 3-for-3 with two runs scored. Bingel (2-3) and Palazzo (2-3, RBI) each contributed a pair of hits.

The Bulldogs and Blackbirds wrap up their series on Sunday afternoon at 1:00 p.m.