HAMDEN, Conn. – Junior Mickey Gasper (Merrimack, N.H.) capped a four-run eighth inning with a go-ahead three-run home run to lead the Bryant University baseball team to a come-from-behind 7-6 victory over Quinnipiac on Tuesday afternoon at the QU Baseball Field.
The win is the Bulldogs' (15-19) 16th in 17 all-time meetings against the Bobcats (11-23). Bryant has now won 12 of its last 14 games.
Trailing 4-3 in the eighth, freshman Bryan Hart (Franklin, Mass.) led off with a double down the third base line. A sac bunt moved him to third and senior Cole Fabio (Mahwah, N.J.) tied the game with a single to right center. Sophomore Nick Angelini (Bedford, N.H.) then walked and Gasper worked a full count before launching a three-run home run over the wall in right center to make it 7-4.
The Bobcats got a run back in the eighth as Ryan Nelson doubled to start the inning and came around to score on a two-out single from Matt Batten.
In the ninth, Matt Oestreicher walked to start the inning and a passed ball and a wild pitch moved him to third. After a strikeout, Brian Moskey drilled a ground-rule double to left center to make it 7-6. Junior closer Logan Lessard (Cromwell, Conn.) rebounded by striking out the next two batters to earn his sixth save of the season.
Bryant and Quinnipiac traded runs in the first to open Tuesday's game. Fabio walked on four pitches, stole second, advanced to third as the throw went into center and scored on a sac fly from Angelini.
Quinnipiac used back-to-back two-out walks to tie the game in the bottom of the first. Joseph Burns and Matt Batten both walked and Liam Scafariello knotted the game with a ground-rule double to left field.
The Bulldogs answered with single runs in the second and fifth innings. In the second, senior Jacob Marotta (Bridgewater, Mass.) walked to open the inning and then beat the throw to second on a sac bunt by Hart. Freshman James Ciliento (Mahwah, N.J.) then loaded the bases by beating out a bunt and Marotta broke the tie as he scored on a passed ball.
In the fifth, freshman Gaby Cruz (Miami, Fla.) walked and sophomore Tyler Panno (Rivervale, N.J.) extended his hitting streak to eight games with a single to center. Marotta followed with a drive to left center that fell out of the reach of a diving Moskey to make it 3-1.
QU rallied to score three runs in the fifth to take its only lead of the day, 4-3. Mike Palladino reached on an infield single to open the inning, he took second on a ground out and went to third on a Batten single. Batten eventually stole second and the Bulldogs chose to intentionally walk Scafariello to load the bases. Oestreicher followed by dropping a 1-2 pitch in between three players in shallow right to make it 3-2. A safety squeeze tied the game and back-to-back two-out walks forced in the third run of the inning to make it 4-3.
Freshman Chris Wright (Cumberland, R.I.) started for the Bulldogs and surrendered one run on two hits, walked three and struck out four in two innings. Classmate Jack Ipsen (Eatontown, N.J.), the fourth of six Bryant pitchers, earned his first collegiate victory with two scoreless innings of relief. He pitched scoreless innings in the sixth and seventh, striking out two. Ipsen, sophomore Nathan Wrighter (Windsor, N.Y.) and Lessard combined to strike out seven batters over the final four innings. Wrighter and Lessard each struck out the side in their inning of work.
It was a historic afternoon for Fabio as he stole his 57th career base, taking over sole possession in Bryant's DI program history. He also walked twice, tying the all-time program mark of 113. Panno posted his first-career three-hit game, Cruz reached base safely three times and Marotta had two hits and two walks.
Blake DeCarr pitched the first four innings for QU, limiting the Bulldogs to two unearned runs on just two hits. Mike DellaMadaglia suffered the loss, allowing five runs on six hits in 3 1/3 innings. Moskey had three hits, while Batten, Scafariello and Oestreicher all chipped in two hits.
The Bulldogs return to the state of Connecticut this weekend for a four-game Northeast Conference series against Central Connecticut beginning on Friday afternoon at 3:00 p.m.