SMITHFIELD, R.I. – LIU Brooklyn used three big innings to defeat the Bryant University baseball team, 13-4, and earn a split of the weekend series on Sunday afternoon at Conaty Park.
The Bulldogs (17-18, 8-4 NEC) drop a game out of first place with the loss, while the Blackbirds (14-26, 7-9) move into a tie for fourth place in the standings.
Bryant grabbed a 2-0 lead in the second inning of Sunday's game. Senior John Mullen (Walpole, Mass.) opened the inning with a sharp single to third and sophomore Brandon Bingel (Peabody, Mass.) dropped a single down the right field line. After a caught stealing, junior AJ Zarozny (Shrewsbury, Mass.) delivered a two-out double to left center to score a run. Classmate Buck McCarthy (Saugus, Mass.) followed with a sharp single to left to make it 2-0.
LIU erased the deficit with its second big inning of the weekend, a five-run fifth. Melvin Rios and Andrew Turner opened the inning with back-to-back doubles to plate a run. Anthony Capo then laid down a bunt and reached safely as the Bulldogs tried to get the runner at third. Charles Misiano then scored a run with a bunt single, Capo scored on a wild pitch and Bobby Webb capped the inning with a two-run single.
The Bulldogs rallied back with single runs in the fifth and sixth innings. In the fifth, junior Dan Cellucci (Sudbury, Mass.) singled through the right side and scored on a two-out double to left center.
In the sixth, Bingel singled to left to put runners on the corners with one out. He then tried to take second on a pitch in the dirt but was thrown out. Mullen, however, raced home to score during the play to make it 5-4.
The Blackbirds, however, answered with the next eight runs to put the game away. Brian Lamboy was hit by a pitch to start the seventh and Dom Paiotti's ground ball to third was thrown away, putting runners on the corners. Tom Jakubowski then scored a run with a bunt single, Webb doubled home two and Rios capped the inning with an RBI single to left.
LIU added three more runs in the eighth. Misiano singled to lead off the inning and came around to score on a single from Dom Paiotti. Webb lifted a sac fly to left and Hernandez made it 12-4 with a double to left center.
Bingel started for the Bulldogs and cruised through the first four innings before hitting trouble in the fifth. He allowed four runs on four hits over 4.1 innings. The Bulldogs used eight total pitchers on the afternoon.
Bingel and Cellucci each picked up two hits to lead the Black and Gold at the plate.
The Bulldogs return to the diamond on Wednesday, April 29 when they travel to Chestnut Hill, Mass., to take on Boston College.