CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The No. 14/20 Bryant University baseball team will try and keep its season alive when it faces William & Mary in an elimination game on Saturday morning at 11:00 a.m. in the NCAA Charlottesville Regional.
The second-seeded Bulldogs (47-11) lost their opener, 9-1, to third-seeded East Carolina on Friday night. Seeded fourth, the Tribe (29-30) were defeated by top-seeded Virginia, 17-4, in Friday's first game.
Bryant will try to remain the only team in the country to not lose back-to-back games this year when it takes the field. The Bulldogs have responded well to each of their previous 10 losses, going 10-0 and outscoring their opponents 75-27.
On Friday, the Bulldogs played six scoreless innings with East Carolina before the Pirates broke the deadlock in the seventh before scoring seven runs in the eighth. Bryant finished the game with just six hits and went 0-for-15 with runners on base and 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position. It was just the second time all year that the Black and Gold scored less than two runs.
Junior Cole Fabio (Mahwah, N.J.), the MVP of the Northeast Conference Tournament, continued to swing the bat well in Friday's opener, going 2-for-4 with a walk from the leadoff spot. Senior Dan Cellucci (Sudbury, Mass.), who went 3-for-8 in the 2014 NCAA Tournament, had a hit, walked and scored Bryant's only run.
The Bulldogs will turn to junior Brandon Bingel (Peabody, Mass.) with their season on the line. Bingel enters the game with a 9-3 record and a 3.52 ERA in 13 starts. He allowed just one run over 7 1/3 innings last weekend and pitched eight scoreless innings in an NEC Tournament elimination game last season.
William & Mary won the automatic bid from the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) with an unbelievable run in the tournament. The Tribe were down eight runs in the ninth inning against UNC Wilmington but battled back to tie the game. It was then delayed 27 hours and William & Mary was able to win in extra innings before winning the "if necessary" game.
The Tribe are hitting .279 as a team and average just over six runs per game. Charley Gould leads the team with a .329 average and Cullen Large is right behind with a .328 average. Gould and Large are also both tied with 44 RBI, while Josh Smith has a team-high nine home runs and 43 RBI. Ryder Miconi led the Tribe with three hits and a run scored in Friday's opener against Virginia.
William & Mary will give the ball to right-hander Nick Brown on Saturday. Brown is 4-7 with a 5.76 ERA, 82 strikeouts and 38 walks in 89 innings pitched. He pitched twice last week in the CAA Tournament, allowing three runs against College of Charleston and six runs against UNC Wilmington.