BULLDOGS SCORE 13, SNAP MIDWEEK LOSING STREAK
BROOKLINE, Mass. – Senior Brian O'Neil (North Reading, Mass.) tossed five scoreless innings and the bottom third of the Bryant University lineup combined for five hits, three RBI and eight runs scored as the baseball team earned a 13-5 victory over Northeastern Tuesday afternoon at Freidman Diamond.
The Bulldogs (21-15) scored eight runs over the first three innings and opened up a 12-0 lead after 5 ½ innings on the way to their first midweek victory in over a month. The Huskies (14-18) have now lost 11 of their last 12 games.
Batting 7-8-9 in the lineup, senior Jamie Skagerlind (Holden, Mass.) and freshmen Matt Zanotta (Schenectady, N.Y.) and Carl Anderson (Sudbury, Mass.) helped propel the Black and Gold's biggest offensive output in a month. Skagerlind had three hits (two doubles) and scored three runs, Zanotta drove in two scored three and reached base five times and Anderson drove in a run, scored two and reached base four times. Junior Kevin Brown (Northborough, Mass.) tied a career-high with four RBI and junior Dan Muscatello (Hopkinton, Mass.) and senior Connor Carignan (Norwich, Conn.) each scored a pair of runs on the afternoon.
Staked to a big lead early on, O'Neil produced his best outing in over a month. The right-hander allowed just three hits over five scoreless innings and walked a pair to earn his first win of the season. O'Neil allowed just a walk in the first, retired the side in order in the second and worked around a leadoff single to retire the next three hitters in the third. He left a runner on third in the fourth and then escaped danger in the fifth after consecutive two-out singles from the Huskies.
A successful team in the first inning all year, the Bulldogs took advantage of an erratic Nick Berger in their first at-bat of the afternoon. Carignan walked on four pitches to start the game, stole second and advanced to third on a Brown single to left. Freshman John Mullen (Walpole, Mass.) was then hit by a pitch and senior Mike DelPonte (Tewksbury, Mass.) followed with a flare to right-center that fell in front of the outfielder, allowing Carignan to score from third.
Bryant was unable to tack on any extra runs in the inning but they kept the momentum going in the second. Zanotta walked to start the inning and Anderson and Carignan followed with consecutive bunt singles to load the bases with no outs. Muscatello then scored Zanotta with a ground ball and Brown made it 3-0 with a sac fly to right.
The Black and Gold opened the game up in the third, plating five runs. Junior Adam Claire (Litchfield, Conn.) worked a leadoff walk, Skagerlind ripped a single up the middle and Zanotta scored both with a triple to left-center, his first career three-bagger. Following the triple, Northeastern brought on lefty Sean Lyons and he walked Anderson and then uncorked a wild pitch that allowed Zanotta to score from third, making it 6-0 Bryant. With runners on second and third and one out, Brown scored both with a double to right-center.
Held quiet in the fourth, Muscatello started a fifth-inning rally with a leadoff single to right. He advanced to second on a passed ball, to third on a Brown fly out to right and then scored on a Mullen fly to right to make it 9-0 Bryant.
The Bulldogs edged their lead to 12 with three more runs in the sixth. Skagerlind led off with his 10th double of the season and Zanotta walked, ending Matthew Goreham's afternoon. Reliever Greg Ferguson got a strikeout for the first out but walked the next three batters to force in two runs. After getting an infield fly for the second out, sophomore Jonathan Scott (Princeton, N.J.) made it 12-0 with a single through the left side.
Northeastern finally got on the board in the sixth, scoring five runs on four hits and two Bryant errors. An infield throwing error put runners on first and second and Jason Vosler put the Huskies on the board with a single up the middle. Rob Fonseca followed with a two-run double off the left field wall to make it 12-3. Northeastern capped its scoring on a Tucker Roeder sac fly and a John Puttress single.
Bryant capped their scoring in the top of the seventh with a single run. Skagerlind clubbed his second double of the game to start the inning, advanced to third on a Zanotta ground out and scored on an Anderson fly out to center.
Following Northeastern's five-run sixth, freshman Trevor Lacosse (Watervliet, N.Y.), sophomore Bryan Menduke (Oakland, N.J.) and junior Salvatore Lisanti (Bronx, N.Y.) combined to limit the Huskies to just two hits over the final three innings.
The Bulldogs return to conference play this Friday, April 20 when they travel to Hamden, Conn., to take on Quinnipiac. Game one of the four-game series is scheduled for a 3:00 p.m. first pitch.