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Four-run third enough as baseball holds on to sweep Wagner Saturday

Photo by: Rhett Hutchins
Photo by: Rhett Hutchins

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. – The Bryant University baseball team broke a 1-1 tie with a four-run third inning and then held on for a 5-4 victory over Wagner College to earn a sweep of Saturday's Northeast Conference doubleheader at Richmond County Bank Ballpark.

With the win, the Bulldogs (9-18, 4-1 NEC) have now won or tied 51 of their 54 NEC series since playing a full league schedule in 2010. The Seahawks fall to 6-16 overall and 2-4 in league play with the loss.  

Wagner got out the gates quickly in the first inning of game two. Kyle Cala reached on a throwing error, Sean Mazzio singled through the right side and Anthony Godino walked to load the bases with no outs.

Bryant starter Steve Theetge (Syracuse, N.Y.) put the breaks on the rally rather quickly, however. He got Phil Capra to hit a ground ball to the left side that freshman Jimmy Titus (Stafford, Conn.) fielded to start an 6-4-3 double play. Theetge then got a fly ball to left to get out of the inning and limit the Seahawks to one run.

The Bulldog offense used the momentum to get its offense going over the next two innings. In the second, Titus singled to right field with one out and sophomore Tyler Panno (Rivervale, N.J.) followed with a single through the left side. A walk loaded the bases and freshman Gaby Cruz (Miami, Fla.) tied the game with a sac fly to right center.

Bryant took the lead with a four-run third. Senior Cole Fabio (Mahwah, N.J.) walked and sophomore Nick Angelini (Bedford, N.H.) was hit by a pitch to start the inning, and junior Mickey Gasper (Merrimack, N.H.) scored both with a double into the right field corner. Fabio scored easily from second, while Angelini motored around from first and ran through a late stop sign at third to score with a headfirst slide.

Freshman Chris Wright (Cumberland, R.I.) kept the inning going with a seeing-eye single through the right side that scored Gasper to make it 4-1. A Titus single and a walk loaded the bases with no outs and Cruz delivered his second sac fly to cap the inning.

Wagner inched closer in the fourth as Freddy Sabido hit a high fly ball to right that caught the jet stream and carried over the wall to make it 5-2.

The Seahawks made things even tighter with two runs in the sixth. Mazzio singled with one out and Godino walked to put two on. Capra then singled to right center to score a run and put runners on the corners. Sophomore Nathan Wrighter (Windsor, N.Y.) was summoned from the pen and induced a soft ground ball to second that was unable to be turned into a double play and plated a run.

Wrighter retired the next batter and got the first two in the seventh before handing the ball to junior Logan Lessard (Cromwell, Conn.) for the final out.

Theetge allowed four runs (three earned) on just four hits, walked two and struck out five over 5 1/3 innings to improve to 3-5 on the year. After getting out of the first-inning jam, Theetge allowed just one hit over the next four innings before the Seahawks chased him in the sixth. Wrighter retired all four he faced and Lessard picked up his fourth save.

Titus was the lone Bulldogs to finish with multiple hits, while Gasper and Cruz both drove in two. Fabio stole two bases in the game and now has 54 in his career, two shy of the Bryant DI record.

Chris Mormile started for Wagner and allowed five runs on five hits before leaving with an injury in the third. Eric McGough and Steven Bowley combined to shutout the Bulldogs over the final five innings. Mazzio had two hits and Sabido drove in two for the Seahawks.

Bryant and Wagner wrap up their series on Sunday with a first pitch scheduled for 1:00 p.m.