CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The historic season for the No. 14/20 Bryant University baseball came to a close on Saturday as the Bulldogs dropped a 4-3 decision to William & Mary in game three of the NCAA Charlottesville Regional at Davenport Field.
The Bulldogs finish the season 47-12, setting a school record for victories, but went 0-2 in the regional for the second time in three appearances. The Tribe (30-30) remain alive in the double-elimination tournament and will face the loser of Saturday's second game between top-seeded Virginia and third-seeded East Carolina on Sunday.
Bryant falls to 1-6 all-time in the NCAA Tournament and has now lost its last six after defeating Arkansas in the first game of the 2013 Manhattan Regional. One of the most prolific offenses in the country entering the weekend, the Black and Gold scored just four runs in two games and went 0-for-22 with runners on base and 0-for-11 with runners in scoring position on the weekend. It is the first time all year Bryant has lost back-to-back games.
Saturday, William & Mary broke a scoreless deadlock with three runs in the third inning. Zach Pearson started the inning with a double down the third base line and came around to score the first run of the game on a double from Ryder Miconi. Cullen Large followed with a single to left center and Miconi was able to beat the relay throw home. Large then stole second and scored on an infield single to make it 3-0. Senior Dan Cellucci (Sudbury, Mass.) knocked down a hot smash from Hunter Smith but threw wide of first. Large never stopped running from second and slid around the tag at home to make it 3-0.
Bryant answered back with a run in the top of the fourth. Senior Robby Rinn (Warwick, R.I.) worked a 3-2 count before lofting a fly ball to right center that just cleared the wall and the leap of W&M right fielder Charles Ameer. It was the sixth home run of the season for Rinn and made it 3-1.
The Tribe extended their lead with a solo home run in the fifth but the Bulldogs clawed back with single runs in the seventh and eighth. In the seventh, senior Zach Wood (Griswold, Conn.) clobbered a solo home run well over the seating in left field to make it 4-2. It was his seventh of the season.
In the eighth, junior Cole Fabio (Mahwah, N.J.) walked to start things, stole second and took third on a wild pitch. Senior Buck McCarthy (Saugus, Mass.) plated him with a sac fly to center to make it 4-3.
Junior Brandon Bingel (Peabody, Mass.) started for the Bulldogs and allowed four runs on six hits over five innings. He walked one and struck out four. Freshman Steve Theetge (Cicero, N.Y.) pitched the final three innings, allowing no runs on just two hits.
Wood finished with two of Bryant's four hits, while Rinn finished wrapped up his historic career with 259 hits, 66 doubles, 15 home runs and 168 RBI.