SMITHFIELD, R.I. – Freshman Daniel St. George (Shelton, Conn.) and Adam Claire (Litchfield, Conn.) combined for 3 RBIs in the top of the ninth and starter Peter Kelich (Jackson, N.J.) pitched seven strong innings to lead the Bryant University baseball team past Houston Baptist, 5-2, Friday afternoon at Husky Field for the team's first win of the season.
The win marked the first of a three-game set with the Huskies as Bryant improved to 1-3 on the season while Houston Baptist fell to 0-5 with the loss.
Kelich was impressive on the mound for the Bulldogs as the sophomore allowed just one earned run in seven innings of work while striking out ten. Offensively, Joseph Carcone (New Hartford, N.Y.), Kevin Brown (Northborough, Mass.) and St. George each went 2-for-4 at the plate.
With the score tied 2-2, David Soltis (Plainville, Conn.) led off the top of the ninth with a double down the leftfield line and was then moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by Jamie Skakerlind (Holden, Mass.), setting up an RBI single by St. George for the go-ahead run. After a single by Tim Norton (Barnstable, Mass.), pinch hitter Claire came up with a big two-run double down the right field line for the 5-2 lead.
Closer Mark Andrews (Hillsborough, N.J.), who came in for the final two outs of the eighth, returned in the bottom of the ninth and closed out the game to pick up the win.
Bryant opened the scoring in the top half of the first when Brown drove in Carcone on a single through the right side. Houston Baptist would go on to score two in the bottom of the third on an RBI triple by Luke Clements, who later scored on a throwing error for the 2-1 advantage.
The visitors evened up the score in the fifth as St. George led off the inning with an infield single and then advanced to second on a Tim Norton sacrifice, allowing Dan Muscatello (Hopkinton, Mass.) to drive in the equalizer on a single through the right side.
The Bulldogs will play the second of three-game series against Houston Baptist tomorrow at 1 p.m.