STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. – Senior John Mullen (Walpole, Mass.) hit his first home run of the season and drove in three but Wagner overcame two deficits to defeat the Bryant University baseball team, 6-4, in game one of Friday's doubleheader at Richmond County Bank Ballpark.
The Bulldogs (25-22, 16-6 NEC) and the Seahawks (26-20-1, 14-8) have now split the first two games of the weekend series. Bryant is two games ahead of Wagner for first place in the league standings and needs one win to claim the NEC Regular-Season title outright.
Bryant got things going quickly in game one, scoring twice in the top of the first. Sophomore Brandon Bingel (Peabody, Mass.) doubled with one out and came around to score on a two-out double from Mullen. Junior Buck McCarthy (Saugus, Mass.) followed with a single to left, scoring Mullen from second.
Wagner quickly answered with a two-out rally in the bottom of the first. Ben Ruta fell behind 0-2 but was able to slap a two-out single to left field. With the inning extended, Nick Dini tied the game with a two-run home run to left field.
The Black and Gold retook the lead with two more runs in the top of the third. Sophomore Cole Fabio (Mahwah, N.J.) walked to start the inning and Mullen followed with a line drive home run over the left field wall, his first of the season, to give Bryant a 4-2 lead.
Once again, however, the Seahawks responded with a two-out rally in the bottom of the third. Nick Mascelli worked a two-out walk to start it and Ruta followed with an RBI triple to left field. Following a walk, Tommy Mazurkiewicz and Anthony Godino lined consecutive singles to center to give Wagner a 5-4 lead.
Wagner then added a key insurance run in the fourth inning. Mascelli walked and Ruta moved him to third with a single to start the inning. Dini followed with a fly ball to center to bring home Mascelli and make it 6-4.
The Bulldogs put together one final rally in the seventh but could not score. Fabio worked a leadoff walk then beat out an infield ground ball from Mullen to put the first two on. McCarthy followed with an infield single to load the bases with no outs. Wagner closer Steven Bloodworth came back to get a strikeout and Mascelli went up the middle to turn an unassisted 6-3 double play to end the game.
Freshman James Karinchak (Walden, N.Y.) suffered his first loss in league play for the Bulldogs, allowing six runs on eight hits over six innings. He walked three and matched his season high with 10 strikeouts.
Mullen finished 2-for-4 with three RBI and two runs scored, while McCarthy and junior Daniel Palazzo (Rocky Hill, Conn.) each chipped in a pair of hits.