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Blackbirds stun Bulldogs with late rally

Chris Hook / HookPhoto
Chris Hook / HookPhoto

BROOKLYN – LIU Brooklyn rallied from five runs down in the sixth inning to earn a walk-off victory over the Bryant University baseball team in game one of a Northeast Conference doubleheader on Saturday afternoon.

Trailing 6-1 in the bottom of the sixth, the Blackbirds scored five times in the sixth to tie the game and Brock Hallum's ground-rule doubled ended the game in the bottom of the seventh.

Game Information

Bryant 6, LIU Brooklyn 7

Records: Bryant (13-14, 5-4 NEC), LIU Brooklyn (15-12, 6-3 NEC)

Location: LIU Field (Brooklyn, N.Y.)

W|L|S: Mike Kreiger (2-1) | Nathan Wrighter (0-2)

Key Moment

  • Hallum completed LIU's comeback with a two-out walk-off double in the bottom of the seventh inning.  

How it happened

  • Redshirt freshman Ryan Ward (Millbury, Mass.) got things going in the first inning with a leadoff double into the right field corner. He would move to third and then would score on a heads up baserunning. Senior Mickey Gasper (Merrimack, N.H.) would take off from first and as the throw went to second, Ward broke for home and slid in safely. Two batters later, sophomore Gaby Cruz (Miami, Fla.) hit a two-strike RBI single through the right side.
  • LIU Brooklyn got one of the runs back in the bottom of the first as Luis Arias lined a 3-2 pitch over the left field wall.
  • In the third, three walks loaded the bases and sophomore Chris Wright (Cumberland, R.I.) delivered a two-out, two-run single to right field to make it 4-1.
  • Bryan then extended its lead with single runs in the fourth and fifth. Freshman Sam Owens (Scituate, R.I.) singled and Ward doubled off the left field wall to open the inning. Sophomore James Ciliento (Mahwah, N.J.) followed with a sac fly to right.
  • In the fifth, junior Tyler Panno (Rivervale, N.J.) beat out an infield single with two outs. He then stole second and scored on a single through the left side from Owens.  
  • LIU Brooklyn tied the game with five runs in the bottom of the sixth. A single, hit batter and a walk loaded the bases with no outs. Joe Mercadante then singled to score a run and Brock Hallum followed with a sac fly. Bryant then brought in junior Nathan Wrighter (Windsor, N.Y.) and Edward Modica greeted him with an RBI single to center. After a strikeout, Dom Paiotti doubled home a run and Rob Griswold tied the game with a perfectly placed push bunt.
  • The Blackbirds completed the comeback in the seventh. Luis Arias walked with one out, advanced to second on a wild pitch and scored on a walk-off double from Brock Hallum.

Stats

  • Bryant and LIU Brooklyn each finished with eight hits.
  • Sophomore Vito Morgese (Warwick, N.Y.) put together a solid start but was saddled with a no decision. He allowed five runs on four hits, walked one and struck out five.
  • Morgese cruised through the first five innings, allowing just one run on two hits. He retired 13-of-14 at one point.
  • Wrighter suffered his second loss, allowing two runs on four hits over 1 1/3 innings of relief.
  • Ward finished 2-for-4 with two doubles and a run scored.
  • Ciliento drove in a run and scored a run.
  • Gasper walked twice and scored twice.
  • Cruz singled and drove in a run.
  • Wright drove in two runs.
  • Panno collected two infield singles.
  • Owens finished 2-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored.
  • Mike Kreiger earned the win with a scoreless seventh for LIU. Arias scored three runs for LIU.  

Game Notes

  • The Bulldogs are now 30-12 all-time against LIU Brooklyn.
  • Ward extended his hitting streak to 13 games and his on-base streak to 23 games. Both are the longest of his career.
  • Ward doubled twice, the first time in his career he's posted multiple doubles.
  • Ward posted his 13th multi-hit game of the year.
  • Cruz has now reached safely in 13-straight games.
  • Wright posted his fifth multi-RBI game of the year.  
  • Angelini reached safely for the 13th-straight game.
  • Panno posted his 11th multi-hit game of the year.
  • Owens registered his seventh multi-hit game of the year.