NORWICH, Conn. – Freshman James Karinchak (Walden, N.Y.) hurled six gutsy innings and junior James Davitt (Wallingford, Conn.) followed with three innings of one-run relief to lead the top-seeded Bryant University baseball team to a 4-2 victory over second-seeded Wagner on Friday afternoon at Dodd Stadium.
The victory keeps the Bulldogs (27-24) alive in the NEC tournament, while the Seahawks finish their season with a 27-23-1 record. Bryant is 5-0 in elimination games in the NEC tournament and will play the loser of today's second game between third-seeded Sacred Heart and fourth-seeded Fairleigh Dickinson at noon on Saturday.
The Bulldogs were able to strike first on Friday afternoon. Junior AJ Zarozny (Shrewsbury, Mass.) and senior Jordan Mountford (Guelph, Ont.) both worked walks and sophomore Cole Fabio (Mahwah, N.J.) delivered a two-out, two-run double into the left field corner.
Bryant tacked on a run in the fourth as well. Sophomore Brandon Bingel (Peabody, Mass.) led off with a dribbler to the left of the mound that Wagner starter Mike Adams fielded barehanded but threw wild at first. Senior John Mullen (Walpole, Mass.) followed with a double to deep left center to score Bingel and make it 3-0.
Wagner was able to get on the scoreboard in the fifth inning. Zack Yesko doubled and Trey Nicosia single to right to put runners on the corners before Nick Mascelli delivered a sac fly to center to make it 3-1. The Seahawks then loaded the bases but a fly ball to right ended the threat.
The Black and Gold extended their lead with a single run in the eighth. Sophomore Matt Albanese (East Haddam, Conn.) doubled down the left field line with one out and came around to score on single up the middle from junior Buck McCarthy (Saugus, Mass.).
The Seahawks answered in the bottom of the eighth with one swing of the bat. NEC Player of the Year Nick Dini led off with a high fly ball that carried over the wall in left for a home run.
Karinchak gutted out six strong innings for the Bulldogs on Friday. The rookie allowed one run on three hits, walked five, struck out one and threw a season-high 118 pitches. Davitt came on the in the seventh and allowed just one run on two hits, didn't walk a batter and struck out two to earn his third save of the year.
Fabio finished the afternoon 3-for-4 with two RBI, while sophomore Joseph Paparelli (Preston, Conn.), Bingel, Mullen and McCarthy all finished with two.