SMITHFIELD, R.I. – Freshman James Ciliento (Mahwah, N.J.) had a career-high four hits and drove in a career-high five runs as the Bryant University baseball team scored nine unanswered runs in an 11-3 victory over Fairleigh Dickinson in game one of a Northeast Conference doubleheader on Saturday afternoon at Conaty Park.
With the win, the Bulldogs (19-21, 12-4 NEC) have won each of the first two games of the series over the Knights (10-22, 7-6 NEC). Bryant has combined to score 26 runs on 30 hits in the first two games.
Ciliento becomes the second freshman for the Bulldogs to drive in five runs this year and is the first Bulldog to collect four hits in a game. Bryant also received multi-hit games from senior Cole Fabio (Mahwah, N.J.), sophomore Nick Angelini (Bedford, N.H.), sophomore Tyler Panno (Rivervale, N.J.) and freshman Bryan Hart (Franklin, Mass.). Fabio was 3-for-5 with two RBI, Angelini was 2-for-4 with two runs, Panno doubled twice and Hart had two hits and scored twice.
FDU, however, scored first for the second-straight game. Evan McDonald plated Ryan Brennan with a double off the top of the right field wall to make it 1-0.
Bryant quickly answered as Fabio led off with a double and back-to-back walks loaded the bases. Ciliento then gave the Bulldogs the lead with a two-out, two-run single to center.
The Knights responded by scoring twice in the top of the second to regain the lead. Mike Veit tied the game with a flare into left field and Matt McCann made it 3-2 with a single up the middle.
The Black and Gold would tie the game in the bottom of the third, starting a string of nine unanswered runs to close the game. Hart reached on a bunt single and then alertly took second after Hunter Reeser made a great grab in foul territory down the right field line. He then got to third as the throw skipped into left field. Angelini followed with a two-out double down the left field line to tie the game.
Bryant took the lead for good with two runs in the third. Freshman Chris Wright (Cumberland, R.I.) singled and Ciliento scored him from first with a double into the gap in left center. Panno followed with a double down the right field line two batters later to make it 5-3.
Ciliento added a two-run single in the fourth and the Bulldogs put the game away with four runs in the seventh. Senior Jacob Marotta (Bridgewater, Mass.) reached on a bunt single, Panno doubled, Hart walked and Fabio brought home both with a single through the left side. Two batters later, Gasper capped the inning with a two-run single to right center.
Sophomore Steve Theetge (Syracuse, N.Y.) was the recipient of the run support. He allowed three runs on eight hits, walked one and struck out four over seven innings to earn his league-leading sixth win of the year. Theetge allowed six hits in the first two innings but settled down to allow only two over his final five. Freshman Jack Ipsen (Eatontown, N.J.) pitched the final two innings, retiring all six batters he faced.
Danny Demetrops allowed seven runs on 10 hits over six innings for FDU. He walked three and struck out three. Jorge Iza and Veit each finished with multiple hits.