NORWICH, Conn. – Sophomore Brandon Bingel (Peabody, Mass.) delivered eight shutout innings and the top-seeded Bryant University baseball team advanced to the championship round of the Northeast Conference Tournament for the third-straight year with a 7-0 victory over fourth-seeded Fairleigh Dickinson on Saturday afternoon at Dodd Stadium.
The victory puts the Bulldogs (28-24) back into the championship round for the third-consecutive year. They will take on third-seeded Sacred Heart at 4:00 p.m. this afternoon. The Black and Gold will need to defeat the Pioneers twice in order to win the title. Bryant is now 6-0 in elimination games since 2013.
After missing out on a chance in the second, Bryant was able to get on the scoreboard in the third. Junior Dan Cellucci (Sudbury, Mass.) singled to right lead off the inning and then made his way around the bases without the benefit of a hit. He went to second on a wild pitch, took third on another wild pitch and scampered home as the throw to third sailed into left field.
The Bulldogs extended their lead with a big four-run fifth inning. Sophomore Cole Fabio (Mahwah, N.J.) singled, stole second and advanced to third on a Bingel single to open the inning. With two outs, junior Robby Rinn (Warwick, R.I.) laced a double past the dive of the FDU first baseman to score Fabio. Senior John Mullen (Walpole, Mass.) followed with a flare to center that fell in front of the outfielders and scored two runs. Junior Buck McCarthy (Saugus, Mass.) capped the inning with an RBI single to left to make it 5-0.
Bryant added two more runs in the seventh inning with one swing of the bat. With a runner on first and two outs, McCarthy yanked a 3-0 pitch well over the left field wall to make it 7-0. It was McCarthy's sixth home run of the season.
Bingel did the rest for the Bulldogs. The right-hander pitched a career-high eight innings, walked six, struck out six and surrendered just six hits. Bingel walked two but stranded them in the fourth, stranded runners on the corners in the sixth, left two more in the seventh and got a strikeout to strand the bases loaded in the eighth. Freshman Justin Snyder (Georgetown, Mass.) tossed a perfect ninth to close the door.
Fabio and Rinn each finished with three hits and McCarthy added two hits and three RBI.