WEST HARTFORD, Conn. – Junior Kyle Wilcox tossed eight shutout innings and sophomore Matt Albanese hit his third home run in two games to lead the Bryant University baseball team to a 3-0 victory over Hartford in game one of their doubleheader on Sunday afternoon at Fiondella Field.
The Bulldogs (4-11) have now won back-to-back games for the first time this season. The Hawks (7-12) have lost their last three games.
Sunday’s contest was a pitching duel from the beginning as Wilcox and Hartford starter Kyle Gauthier matched up. Wilcox turned in the best outing of his career as he allowed just two hits, walked two and struck out three over a career-high eight innings. He didn’t allow a hit until the sixth inning and faced the minimum through the first six frames. Wilcox induced 14 ground ball outs on the afternoon.
Dalton Ruch broke up Wilcox’s no-hitter in the sixth but the junior righty induced a ground ball up the middle that sophomore Cole Fabio (Mahwah, N.J.) turned into a 4-3 double play. Wilcox allowed just one baserunner through the first five innings, a second-inning walk that he promptly erased with a pickoff.
Bryant was able to break up the pitchers’ duel with three runs in the sixth. Senior Jordan Mountford (Guelph, Ont.) led off with a sharp single through the right side, stole second and went to third on a wild pitch. After a walk to classmate John Mullen (Walpole, Mass.), Albanese clobbered the first pitch he saw over the wall in left center to make it 3-0. It was his team-leading fourth home run of the season.
The Bulldogs’ only other scoring chance came in the fifth inning as junior Buck McCarthy (Saugus, Mass.) led off with a walk. Sophomore Brandon Bingel (Peabody, Mass.) bunted him to second but Hartford starter Kyle Gauthier induced a fly out and a comebacker to end the threat.
The Hawks threatened to tie the game in the ninth inning but senior Trevor Lacosse (Watervliet, N.Y.) was able to escape the jam to earn his first save of the season. Lacosse walked the leadoff batter and hit the second batter before coming back to strikeout the next two Hawks. He then went to a full count with Ryan Lukach and the lefty stroked a sinking liner to left that junior AJ Zarozny (Shrewsbury, Mass.) raced in to make a diving catch on to end the game.
Hartford received a strong performance from Gauthier and reliever Jeremy Charles. Gauthier walked three, struck out four and allowed four hits over six innings. Charles followed three perfect innings of relief and four strikeouts.
With a walk in the first and his home run, Albanese extended his on-base streak to 13 games. Mountford finished the game with two hits and McCarthy reached base twice with a walk and a single.