MCKENNA POWERS BULLDOGS TO, 8-5, UPSET WIN OVER BOSTON COLLEGE IN HOME OPENER

March 18, 2009

MCKENNA POWERS BULLDOGS TO, 8-5, UPSET WIN OVER BOSTON COLLEGE IN HOME OPENER

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SMITHFIELD, R.I. - Senior captain Pat McKenna (Orange, Conn.) went three-for-three with two homeruns to lead the Bryant baseball team past Boston College, 8-5 in their home opener on Wednesday afternoon. It was the second win for the Bulldogs over an ACC school, as the team improved to 11-5 on the season and 2-0 against the ACC.

Chris Foundas (Needham, Mass.) got his second start of the season on the mound for Bryant. The senior settled into a solid start after surrendering four runs in the first inning, going 6.1 innings while allowing four earned runs to get his first victory of the season.

The Eagles (11-5) started quickly, loading the bases and two singles and an error with nobody out in the first inning. Mickey Wiswall drove in a run with a single to left center to put the visitors on the board first. Boston College would tally three more times in the frame to take a, 4-0, lead after just a half inning.

McKenna brought some life to the Bryant dugout with a leadoff bomb to center field off of Eagle starter Taylor Lasko, cutting the deficit to 4-1. The Bulldogs got to Lasko again in the second, as Jeff Vigurs (South Windsor, Conn.) extended his hitting streak to 15 games with a leadoff single, and would come around to score on a sacrifice fly by freshman Mike DelPonte (Tewskbury, Mass.), making the score, 4-2. DelPonte finished with two hits on the afternoon out of the seven hole.

Robbie Anston pushed the Eagle lead to three with an RBI single in the top of the fourth, but that would be the last run Boston College would get off of Bulldog pitching.

The Bulldogs rallied in the bottom of fifth, scoring three times with two outs to tie the score at, 5-5. McKenna once again came up big to start things, hitting a two-out double of the bottom of the fence in left center field to bring around DelPonte. Dylan Stone (Portsmouth, R.I.) followed with a double of his own to extend his hitting streak to 12 and score McKenna to bring Bryant to within one. Nick Campbell (Raynham, Mass.) laced a game-tying single to center, tying the score and giving him 199 hits for his career.  All of the runs were charged to Eagle reliever Matt O'Brien, who had come in to relieve Lasko to start the fifth.

A big Eagle error led to the go-ahead run in the bottom of the sixth inning, as shortstop Garrett Smith missed the bag trying to turn a double play with one out. DelPonte beat the throw at first, and Jordan English (Windsor Locks, Conn.), who was safe at second on the error, made a heads-up baserunning play to go to third on the throw. Jamie Skagerlind (Holden, Mass.) brought English in on a great squeeze bunt to put Bryant on top, 6-5.

That would prove to be all the Bulldogs would need, as Brian O'Neil (North Reading, Mass.) came in with one out in the sixth to replace Foundas, and set down all five batters that he faced in order. The bullpen was dominant, not allowing a hit in 2.2 innings.

Another McKenna blast in the seventh gave the Bulldogs some padding, giving them a, 7-5, advantage. Bryant would score one more time, as Connor Carignan (Norwich, Conn.) scored on a wild pitch after pinch-running for DelPonte.

Sophomore Mark Andrews (Hillsborough, N.J.) continues to dominate out of the bullpen, pitching a scoreless ninth to get his fourth save of the season. The Bulldogs have now won 11 of their last 14 games.

Bryant is back in action on Friday, as they travel to play the Hawks of Monmouth in a four-game weekend series (3 p.m.)

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