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Franklin Pierce and Bryant split

RINDGE, NH — The Bryant University baseball team split Thurday’s doubleheader against regionally top-seeded Franklin Pierce University, losing 7-5 in Game One while taking Game Two, 6-5.

Thanks to a one-out double in the bottom of the eight of Game Two Thursday from senior designated hitterMark Dondero (Medfield, Mass.), who scored the go-ahead run from second, the Bulldogs (17-11, 7-2 Northeast-10) earned a split with No. 5/7 Franklin Pierce (18-3, 5-1) with a 6-5 win in Thursday’s nightcap. The Bulldogs’ win snapped the Ravens’ eight-game winning streak with the victory.

Senior Jason Alexander (Simsbury, Conn./Simsbury)went 1-for-5 with a double and two RBI for Bryant. Junior Pat O’Connor (Mattapoisett, Mass./Old Rochester)was 1-for-3 with a double and RBI, while Jeff Vigurs and Taylor Ferguson each chipped in RBIs.

In Game One, the Ravens got the scoring going in the bottom of the second, when Kyle Cabral took a Dan Lozeau (Pelham, NH) offer deep over the left field fence with the bases loaded for a quick 4-0 lead.

Franklin Pierce followed that up with a Scott Savastano homer to lead off the bottom of the third before Luke Cowan came on to replace Bryant’s struggling starter.

In the hole five runs, the Bulldogs played small ball in the fourth and took advantage of three Raven errors in the fifth to cut the lead to 5-2 entering the bottom of the fifth.

Franklin Pierce would make up one of those runs in the fifth frame off another Savastano lead-off long ball before Bryant tried to mount a comeback in the seventh.

A Jeff Vigurs groundout to second scored Nick Campbell from third to cut the home team’s lead to 6-3 just one batter before junior captain Pat McKenna took reliever Mike Adams deep for a two-run home run to left field, narrowing the deficit to 6-5. The shot was McKenna’s third of the season.

But the Ravens would tack on another run in the bottom of the frame, when Jake Christman was given home plate on a Cowan balk for a final 7-5 tally.

McKenna led the Bulldogs in Game One, going 2-for-4 from the plate with a run scored and two RBI. The only other Bulldog with a multi-hit game was Dave Muscatello, who also went 2-for-4.

Lozeau fell to 2-2 with the loss, getting taken for five runs off six hits in just two innings. Adams struck out four and allowed seven hits, moving to 5-0 on the year.

Freshman reliever Mark Andrews (Hillsborough, N.J./Hillsborough), who posted a perfect inning of relief in game one, picked up the win in game two (1-0) with two hitless and scoreless innings of relief work on just 22 pitches (19 strikes), striking out three. Sophomore Eric Polvani (Wallingford, Conn./Sheehan)collected his fourth save of the season with a scoreless ninth, working around a lead off walk.

Junior relieverCorey Muscara (Manchester, N.H./Trinity)was the hard-luck losing pitcher for Franklin Pierce (0-1) in Game Two, surrendering the one unearned run in the eighth on one hit with six strikeouts and two walks over 3.2 innings. Ravens sophomore Brian Maloney (Brockton, Mass./Brockton)allowed four earned runs on three hits with six strikeouts and four walks in four-plus innings.

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