Central Connecticut held off Bryant for a 9-7 win on Sunday afternoon in Northeast Conference baseball action. The win gave the Blue Devils a split in the weekend series of the league's top two teams and improves CCSU to 21-16 overall and 12-5 in the NEC.
Bryant slips to 17-21 overall and 10-4 in the league.
The Blue Devils pounded out 13 hits as a team and had five players collect at least two hits. Junior Nick Garland went 3-for-4 with a double and a homerun. He drove in two runs and score two more. Junior Ryan Costello had two hits and two RBIs, while senior Tyler Coleman drove in two more.
Central would use a four-run eighth inning to build a 9-4 cushion entering the final frame. The Bulldogs loaded the bases with nobody out and pushed across three runs before sophomore Tom Curtin would put a stop to the rally and seal the Blue Devils' win.
Bryant scored a run in the top of the first before Central would take the lead in the third inning. Garland led off with a solo homerun to left field to make it 1-1. Junior Nick Landell followed with a double and moved to third on a bunt single by junior Dean Lockery. Costello would bring Landell home with a sacrifice fly to make it 2-1.
CCSU added to the lead in the fourth when Garland drove in Coleman from second base with a single to left field to make it 3-1.
The Bulldogs got a run in the sixth to get within a run before the Blue Devils came back with two runs in the bottom of the inning. Garland doubled with one out and came home on a single by Lockery to make it 4-2. A single by freshman Chris Kanios pushed Lockery to third and he would score on a balk to make it 5-2.
Bryant loaded the bases in the top of the eighth and a single by Jacob Marrotta brought home two runs to make it 5-4. The Bulldogs would again load the bases with two outs, but sophomore Jared Gallagher came in and got a fly out to end the inning.
CCSU would get insurance with four runs in the bottom of the inning. Costello would single home Landell with one out to make it 6-4. Freshman TT Bowens would then walk to load the bases and a ground out by junior Mitch Guilmette would score a run to make it 7-4. With two outs and runners on second and third, Coleman singled through the middle to clear the bases and make it 9-4.
Bryant loaded the bases with no outs in the ninth inning. Mickey Gasper brought home a run on a sacrifice fly and another run scored on a single by Gaby Cruz to make it 9-6 with one out. A single would load the bases for Jacob Marrotta who would hit into a grounder to bring home a run, but CCSU got a force out on the play to make it 9-7 with two outs and runners on first and third. Curtin would get a fly ball for the final out to close out the game for CCSU.
Sophomore Patrick Mitchell picked up the win in relief for CCSU. He entered with two on and one out in the fifth and promptly retired two batters. He would allow three runs in 3.1 innings of work, while allowing five hits. Freshman Ron Grant started for Central and tossed 4.1 innings. He allowed a run on two hits in the first inning, but only one more hit the rest of the way. At one point he retired six Bulldogs in a row.
Craig Lacey took the loss for Bryant. He allowed three runs on seven hits in 3.2 innings of work as the Bulldogs used five pitchers on the day.
Jimmy Titus had three hits and scored three runs for the Bulldogs, who collected 12 hits as a team. Jacob Marotta drove in three runs.
The Blue Devils return to action on Tuesday, April 25, with a non-conference contest at Albany.