LAS CRUCES, N.M. – Freshman Ryan Ward (Millbury, Mass.) hit the first two home runs of his collegiate career and the Bryant University baseball team used a seven-run fifth to earn a 13-7 victory over New Mexico State in game one of a doubleheader on Saturday afternoon at Presley Askew Field.
Every player in the lineup had at least one hit and eight contributed RBIs as the Bulldogs improved to 2-0 on the year. Bryant collected 18 hits off of six Aggies (0-2) pitchers.
Ward had a career day in just his second game as a Bulldog, going 2-for-6 with two home runs and four RBI. He becomes the first freshman in Bryant's DI program history to post a multi-homer game since Kevin Brown accomplished the feat in 2010.
In addition to Ward, six other Bulldogs registered multi-hit games in the victory. Senior Cole Fabio (Mahwah, N.J.) went 2-for-6 and scored twice, sophomore Nick Angelini (Bedford, N.H.) went 2-for-5, junior Mickey Gasper (Merrimack, N.H.) was 3-for-5 with three runs scored, freshman Jimmy Titus (Stafford, Conn.) had two hits and three runs, classmate Chris Wright (Cumberland, R.I.) had three hits and two RBI and senior Jacob Marotta (Bridgewater, Mass.) had two knocks.
Leading 1-0 through four, the Black and Gold sent 11 men to the plate and scored seven runs on seven hits to open up an 8-0 lead. Angelini walked to open the inning and Ward followed with an opposite-field home run to left field. Gasper then hit the very next pitch over the wall in right-center to make it 4-0.
Titus and Wright restarted the inning with back-to-back singles and Marotta's sac fly to left center brought home a run. Paparelli drove in a run with a single up the middle, Fabio plated another with a double and Angelini capped the scoring with an RBI single.
The Aggies tried to answer in the bottom of the inning, plating two runs. An error and a single put the first two runners on for Austin Botello. He laced a ball to right field that was lost in the sun and went for an RBI double. Dan Hetzel plated the second run with a ground out to third.
Bryant quickly responded with two runs in the top of the sixth. Gasper opened the inning with a triple off the wall in left center and came around to score on a balk. Sophomore Tyler Panno (Rivervale, N.J.) then scored Titus with a one-out single up the middle to make it 10-2.
New Mexico State would score four runs in the bottom of the sixth but the Bulldogs put the game away with a three two-out runs in the seventh. Ward walloped his second home run of the game, another opposite field shot, to drive in the first run of the inning. Wright then followed back-to-back singles from Gasper and Titus with a booming two-run double to right center.
Sophomore Steve Theetge (Syracuse, N.Y.) was the recipient of the run support and pitched 5 1/3 innings to pick up his first win of the year and improve his career record to 10-0. He allowed five runs (three earned) on seven hits, walked two and struck out two. Junior Matt Knych (Manville, R.I.) earned his first-career save, pitching the final 3 1/3 innings. He allowed one run on four hits, walked two and struck out three.
Mattew McHugh suffered the loss for the Aggies, allowing three runs on five hits over four innings. Leadoff man Marcus Still went 3-for-6 with two RBI and two runs scored, while Austin Botello finished 4-for-5.