AUBURN, Ala. – Sophomore Vito Morgese (Warwick, N.Y.) struck out eight over six scoreless innings but Auburn University rallied late to earn a 3-1 come-from-behind victory over the Bryant University baseball team on Saturday night at Plainsman Park.
The win completed a doubleheader sweep and a series sweep for the Tigers. Morgese's six stellar innings helped Bryant take a 1-0 lead to the seventh but Auburn was able to tie it in the seventh and then scored two runs in the eighth to earn the win.
Bryant 1, Bryant 3
Records: Bryant (0-6), Auburn (8-0)
Location: Plainsman Park (Auburn, Ala.)
W|L: Calvin Coker (2-0) | Craig Lacey (0-1)
COACH OWENS' COMMENTS
"Vito pitched great in game two. We made two defensive mistakes in the seventh which led to the tying run. Gaby caught well, Sam [Owens], Ryan Ward and Tyler [Panno] had multiple quality at-bats. Craig Lacey and Chris Wright pitched aggressively out of the bullpen."
- With the game tied 1-1 in the bottom of the eighth, Brendan Venter hit a solo home run to left field to give Auburn the lead.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Bryant was able to break the scoreless tie in the fourth inning. Junior Nick Angelini (Bedford, N.H.) singled to start the inning, moved to second on a ground out and came around to score on junior Tyler Panno's (Rivervale, N.J.) double down the right field line.
- Auburn starter Tanner Burns limited any further damage as he posted back-to-back strikeouts to end the inning. Burns would strike out eight and didn't allow a hit the rest of the night.
- In the seventh, Brett Wright greeted junior reliever Craig Lacey (Westfield, Mass.) with a fly ball to left. Redshirt freshman Ryan Ward (Millbury, Mass.) came on to make the catch but lost the ball in the lights, resulting in a double. Will Holland then attempted to move the runner to third but bunted right back to Lacey. He fielded the bunt and threw to third but Wright slid in safely. Eduardo Julien's fielder's choice ground ball then tied the game.
- Venter broke the tie in the eighth with a solo home run over the left field wall. The second run scored via four-straight two-out walks.
- Morgese allowed three hits, walked two and struck out a career-high eight batters.
- Saturday's start was the fifth-career quality start (6IP, 3R or less) for Morgese.
- Lacey suffered the loss, allowing three runs on two hits in 1 2/3 innings.
- Sophomore Chris Wright (Cumberland, R.I.) made his first appearance of the season, recording the final out of the eighth.
- Ward went 1-for-2 and walked twice.
- Angelini finished 1-for-4 and scored Bryant's only run.
- Freshman Sam Owens (Scituate, R.I.) finished 1-for-3.
- Auburn's Tanner Burns allowed one run on two hits, walked two and struck out eight over seven innings.
- Coker earned the win as he struck out four over two scoreless innings of relief.
- The Bulldogs are now 1-7 against teams from the SEC.
- The Bulldogs are 9-22-1 in the month of February over the last six years.
- Panno now has a team-high eight RBI on the year. He finished the weekend 4-for-12 with two home runs and seven RBI.
- Owens went 4-for-9 in the series and is now 6-for-13 with two doubles on the year.
- Sophomore Gaby Cruz (Miami, Fla.) saw is 18-game on-base streak come to a halt in game two.
- Angelini finished the weekend with a team-high four runs scored.
Bryant heads to Cary, North Carolina, for three games in the Army Invitational next weekend. The tournament, hosted by Army, will take place at the USA Baseball Complex in Cary. Bryant will open the weekend on Friday afternoon against Army (1:30 p.m.).