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Bryant shocks Brown

PROVIDENCE, RI – The Bryant University baseball team, in preparation for next year’s move up to the Division I ranks, took to the road for a test run Monday afternoon, an endeavor that couldn’t have been more successful as the Bulldogs scattering 10 hits over nine innings to top Brown University, 7-4, at Murray Stadium.

The Bulldogs (31-14) took advantage of the temporary switch from the Northeast-10 Conference’s wooden sticks to Division I’s aluminum bats, ripping a pair of home runs in the victory while staying perfect on defense.

Sophomore Jeff Vigurs (South Windor, Conn.) got the scoring started in the top of the opening frame, knocking in the first two tallies with a two-out double to right center to plate senior co-captain Jason Alexander (Simsbury, Conn.) and sophomore Nick Campbell (Raynham, Mass.), who got on board via a leadoff single and a walk, respectively.

Taylor Ferguson (Charlton, Mass.) followed Vigurs with a double of his own to bring home another run for the 3-0 lead after one.

Brown (14-23) came back with a single run in both the second and third to narrow the deficit to 3-2 before Bryant picked up two more in the top of the fourth. Those came off the bat of senior designated hitter Mark Dondero (Medfield, Mass.), who took rookie starter Conor Burke over the leftfield fence with one on and one out for his second homer of the season.

The score would stick at 5-2 for the next two-and-a-half frames, with the Bears going to their fourth hurler of the day to open the seventh. And on a 2-0 pitch from new pitcher Peter Moskal, Alexander upped Bryant’s lead to four runs, ripping the offering deep over the fence in left with just one away in the inning.

In the home half of the frame, with senior starter Luke Cowan (Houston, Tex.) over 100 pitches, Matt Nuzzo was just feet foul of bringing in two for the Bears with a deep ball down the left line. But the junior completed the task three pitches later, roping Cowan’s last toss of the day to left centerfield for a line-drive home run.

Cowan’s day would end there in favor of senior co-captain Adam Vuolo (Walpole, Mass.), who got the next batter to end the inning with a strikeout looking.

Junior Dave Muscatello (Hopkinton, Mass.) drove a first-pitch single to left center to lead off the ninth, and Bryant tacked on an insurance run three batters later when Campbell lined a two-out double down the left field line for the 7-4 final.

Vuolo would finish out the game for the Bulldogs, pitching to four Bears and allowing one hit for his third save of the season.

Cowan moved to 2-1 with the win, letting up nine hits and four runs in 6.2 innings of work. The senior fanned two and walked two.

Burke took the loss for Brown, moving to 1-1 on the year in the four-inning appearance, handing out five runs off five hits with a trio of strikeouts.

Alexander, Campbell and Vigurs all two-hit on the afternoon, with Alexander leading the offense with a 2-for-2 day (RBI, 2 runs scored, 2 walks). Robert Papenhause led Brown at the plate, going 3-for-5 with one run scored while Nuzzo registered three RBI.

The Bulldogs return to the Bryant Baseball Complex and Northeast-10 Conference play Tuesday, April 22, when they host UMass Lowell in a 3:30 bout in Smithfield, RI. Brown will make the return visit to Bryant on Wednesday, April 30 for the final game of the two-contest set.

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