Sportman hit a pinch-hit three-run home run in the seventh
inning to cap a six-run comeback for the Blue Devils as they topped
Bryant 10-9 on Friday afternoon in New Britain. The game was the
Northeast Conference opener for both squads. Junior Mitch
Wells had three hits and a pair of RBI in the win. Central is
now 3-5-1 overall and 1-0 in the NEC. The two teams meet again on
Saturday with a doubleheader beginning at 1 p.m.
The Blue Devils struck first with three runs in the bottom of the first inning. Junior Jake Matuszak was hit by a pitch and went to third when senior Sean Miller-Jones singled to right field and advanced on an error. Senior Pat Epps and Wells each drove in a run with a single. A sacrifice fly off the bat of sophomore Andy Lalli completed the scoring.
Bryant answered back in the top of the second. Adam Claire singled to lead off the inning and scored on a two-run home run from Mike DelPonte. A sacrifice fly in the bottom of the second from Matuszak made it 4-2. He plated junior Danny Hickey who led off the inning with a double.
Bryant took a 9-4 lead with seven runs in the top of the third. Jordan English and DelPonte each had a pair of RBI in the inning for the Bulldogs.
Central took a 10-9 lead with six runs in the bottom of the seventh inning. Wells, freshman Dylan Dela Cruz and Lalli all drove in runs with singles and one out in the inning. With men on first and second, Sportman hit his first career home run, a three-run shot, over the right field fence to give the Blue Devils a 10-9 lead. All six runs came with two outs in the inning.
Harry Glynne picked up the win in relief for the Blue Devils, pitching 4.2 innings allowing three hits and just one run while striking out two. Freshman Nick Boyd earned his first collegiate save pitching the final two innings and allowing only two hits while striking out one.
Wells was 3-for-5 with a pair of RBI. Miller-Jones had a pair of hits and Lalli drove in two in the victory.
Central and Bryant continue the weekend series with a doubleheader beginning Saturday at 1 p.m.