PITCHING STAFF HIGHLIGHTS BRYANT'S EIGHT ALL-NEW ENGLAND SELECTIONS
SMITHFIELD, R.I. – Currently enjoying the greatest season in program history, eight members of the Bryant University baseball team earned All-New England honors from the New England Intercollegiate Baseball Association (NEIBA) on Tuesday.
The Bulldogs' (44-16-1) eight selections were tied with Dartmouth for the most of any team in New England. Those selected will compete against the Division II/III All-Stars in the NEIBA All-Star game on Monday, June 3 at LeLacheur Park in Lowell, Mass. First pitch is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.
Headlining Bryant's selections were first team honorees Carl Anderson (Sudbury, Mass.), Peter Kelich (Jackson, N.J.), Craig Schlitter (Guilford, Conn.), Salvatore Lisanti (Bronx, N.Y.) and Trevor Lacosse (Watervliet, N.Y.). Kevin Brown (Northborough, Mass.), Dan Muscatello (Hopkinton, Mass.) and John Mullen (Walpole, Mass.) were all selected to the second team. The Black and Gold's quartet of pitchers made of 4/5ths of the first team pitching staff with Dartmouth's Michael Johnson taking the final spot.
Bryant's starting center fielder, Anderson has put together a monster offensive season to date, earning First Team All-Northeast Conference honors last week. He currently leads the team with 47 RBI and is second in batting average (.340) and stolen bases (19). Anderson has nine doubles, two home runs and is one of five players on the team to have scored more than 40 runs (41). At the NEC tournament, Anderson hit .350 (7-for-20) with four RBI and six runs scored on his way to All-Tournament team honors. Anderson had a monster eight-game hitting streak that started in the third game of a four-game series with Fairleigh Dickinson and lasted through the first game with Quinnipiac. During the stretch, he hit .567 (17-for-30) with 11 RBI and 10 runs scored.
The ace of the Bulldog staff for the past three seasons, the All-New England honor is the third in Kelich's career. The right-hander has gone 7-4 with a 2.53 ERA in a team-leading 92.2 innings. Kelich has allowed just 77 hits, has struck out a career-high 83 and issued just 18 walks. He became the program's all-time winningest pitcher on April 6 when he earned his 27th career victory in Bryant's 3-2 triumph over Siena. With a career record of 30-11, Kelich also enters this weekend's NCAA tournament just six strikeouts shy of tying the single-season program record. A First Team All-NEC selection for the second-straight year, Kelich has allowed three runs or less in all but two of his 14 starts this spring. He threw five scoreless innings against Oregon State and threw seven shutout innings against Wright State, Mount St. Mary's and LIU Brooklyn.
One of the most dominant pitchers in New England over the past month and a half, Schlitter earns his first All-New England citation. Schlitter leads the NEC with a 10-3 record and has posted a 2.53 ERA in 78.1 innings. He's allowed just 57 hits all year, has walked 16, struck out 74 and teams are hitting just .202 against him. Schlitter was a remarkable 7-0 with a 0.81 ERA in league play this season and hasn't allowed more than one run in each of his last six starts. In total, he's won his last nine decisions and is coming off an elimination game victory in the NEC tournament in which he struck out eight and allowed just one run on two hits in six innings.
Bryant's dynamic duo out of the bullpen, Lisanti and Lacosse garner their first All-New England honors this season. The NEC's top closer the last two seasons, Lisanti has put together another dominating spring. He's currently 1-2 with 10 saves and a 1.27 ERA in 22 appearances out of the bullpen. In 28.1 innings, Lisanti has allowed just six runs (four earned), has walked 10, struck out 28 and teams are hitting a measly .202 against him. Lisanti has allowed a run in just four of his 22 appearances and put together a nine-inning scoreless stretch that was snapped on April 24. This past weekend, he entered in the seventh inning against Sacred Heart and tossed 2.2 scoreless innings to earn his 10th save and send the Bulldogs into the championship game the next day. In his career, he's one of three pitchers to have accumulated at least 20 saves. Lacosse has been equally as important out of the bullpen, serving as the Bulldogs' main setup man. He's appeared in a staff-high 27 games, posting a 3-0 record and a 2.17 ERA. In 37.1 innings, he has struck out 30, walked 15 and allowed just one extra-base hit. On the season, he's worked two innings on seven different occasions, including two innings of one-hit relief against Oregon State and Ohio State. In his career, Lacosse has appeared in 49 games, posting a 2.33 ERA in 69.2 innings.
The left side of Bryant's infield makes up the left side of the second team as Brown and Muscatello both find themselves on the All-New England squad. The 2013 NEC Player of the Year and one of the best offensive players in program history, Brown has had a remarkable senior season, hitting .368 with 16 doubles, two triples, six home runs, 46 RBI and 47 runs scored. He's also walked 47 times and been hit 14 others, posting a .505 on-base percentage which is sixth in the country. Brown has also made the transition to third base from the outfield smoothly, posting a .954 fielding percentage at the hot corner. Brown's greatest week of the season came at the end of March when he reached base safely in 16-straight plate appearances, falling two shy of tying the NCAA record. He earned Louisville Slugger National Player of the Week honors for his efforts.
Bryant's starting shortstop the last two seasons, Muscatello has been the steady hand in the Bulldogs' drastically improved defense this season. The sure-handed senior has posted a .951 fielding percentage on the year, committing just 14 errors in 286 chances. His presence has helped Bryant raise its fielding percentage from .958 last year to .975 this season, good enough for 29th in the country. Muscatello has also enjoyed the best offensive season of his career this year, hitting .289 with eight doubles, one triple, one home run, 34 RBI and 31 runs scored. He's also second on the team with 26 walks, posting a .379 OBP. Muscatello had a remarkable three-week stretch at the beginning of April in which he hit safely in 12-straight games, posting a .467 (21-for-45) average, five doubles and 16 RBI.
The final All-New England selection for the Bulldogs is their designated hitter. The team's starting third baseman at the beginning of the year, Mullen suffered a shoulder injury at Wright State, relegating him to DH duties for the remainder of the year. Bryant's cleanup hitter, he has take on the role perfectly, hitting .282 with 17 doubles, two home runs, 45 RBI and 40 runs scored. Mullen has also been hit 15 times and has stolen 14 bases. He had a string of four-straight games in which he drove in two or more runs and he belted his first-career grand slam against LIU Brooklyn.
Bryant returns to the diamond on Friday when it opens NCAA tournament play in Manhattan, Kansas, against Arkansas. First pitch is scheduled for 8:00 p.m. EST and the game can be seen live on ESPN3.