Bryant baseball runs into hard times

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After being swept by the UTSA Roadrunners in San Antonio to open their season, the Bulldogs baseball team was looking to bounce back against Liberty this past weekend. However, they were unable to take advantage of their opportunities and made some costly mistakes that allowed the Flames to sweep the series.

In game one on Friday, ace Kyle Wilcox took the mound for his second start of the season. Despite allowing several base runners, he was able to make his way out of multiple jams and didn’t allow a run in four innings of work. Freshman James Karinchak took over for Wilcox in the fifth inning and was very impressive despite being handed the loss. In 3.2 innings, Karinchak struck out seven and allowed just one hit. Unfortunately, three errors turned into three runs for the Flames and the Bulldogs were not able to overcome their miscues, losing 3-2. Matt Albanese led the way for the offense with two hits, including an RBI double.

On Saturday, senior lefthander Trevor Lacosse hoped to get Bryant’s winning ways started, but opposing starter Victor Cole pitched the game of a lifetime. Mistakes once again cost the Bulldogs the game, as three errors led to six unearned Flames runs. Lacosse went five innings striking out eight. Through two starts, his ERA is just a miniscule 0.90. Brandon Bingel worked two innings in relief and freshman Ryan Johnson threw his second straight scoreless appearance out of the bullpen.

The Bulldogs were not able to touch Cole, however, and managed just one hit on the day. Down to their final three outs, Albanese was able to break up the no-hitter with a double and was later driven in on a sacrifice fly from Captain John Mullen. The Bulldogs dropped the contest 6-1.

In the series finale, the Bryant bats stayed cold like the weather. Although the prior two games saw temperatures reach just the mid-30s, at least the sun provided some warmth. Sunday’s game was a different story, as a cold mist shrouded the field and temperatures dipped below the freezing mark.

In this less than ideal baseball weather, both teams’ pitchers had a difficult time finding the plate. The Bulldogs bullpen was busy, as six pitchers appeared, none of whom threw more than two innings. Despite racking up a combined 10 strikeouts, they also allowed a combined 11 walks.

The offense started out strong with a Jordan Mountford triple and an Albanese sacrifice fly creating an early 1-0 lead. However, after allowing four straight walks to Liberty in the second inning to tie the game, Josh Close broke the game open with a grand slam making the score 5-1.

Two more errors on the day for Bryant didn’t help their cause, but once again, the Bulldogs were limited to just one hit. They were, however, able to draw eight walks on the day, leading to four runs. Freshman Mickey Gasper started his first game behind the plate and drew two walks in two plate appearances. Albanese was able to drive in two runners on the day despite being held hitless for just the second time this season.

It was a weekend to forget for Bryant, who dropped to 0-6 on the young season. This deep offense cannot stay cold for long, though, and the blunders in the field are sure to decrease as the season continues.

Bryant will head back down the eastern seaboard this weekend as they travel to Towson, Maryland for a three game series. Over spring break, they will take on Delaware State and Duke in back-to-back one game outings before heading to South Carolina to play the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers in a three game series.

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