SMITHFIELD, R.I. – The Bryant University baseball team wraps up the regular season this week with a home-and-home series with in-state rival Rhode Island on Thursday and Friday afternoon. First pitch is scheduled for 3:00 p.m. on Thursday at Conaty Park and 3:30 p.m. on Friday at Bill Beck Field in Kingston.
Friday – Live Stats
Thursday – James Karinchak (6-2, 3.61) vs. Matt Murphy (5-2, 2.82)
Friday – Steve Theetge (8-5, 3.89) vs. Vitaly Jangols (6-1, 1.68)
Karinchak will look to bounce back from the shortest start of his career last Thursday at Sacred Heart. He walked five and allowed five runs over 1 2/3 innings. Karinchak still leads the NEC with 72 strikeouts in 47 1/3 innings. Theetge has been outstanding his last four starts, throwing seven innings in all four outings. He allowed one run on six hits in a complete game last week and leads the league with eight wins.
Murphy leads the Rams in innings pitched this year, posting 76 2/3 innings over 13 starts. He tossed seven shutout innings in a 3-0 win over Arkansas and has allowed just three earned runs over his last four starts. Jangols joined the starting rotation midway through the season and has been superb, walking just 10 batters in 48 1/3 innings. He has allowed one earned run or less in four of his last five starts.
Bryant and URI will be meeting for the second time this season on Thursday. The Bulldogs defeated the Rams, 3-2, back on April 5 at Conaty Park and now own an 8-4 lead in the all-time series.
5TH-INNING HOMERS PROPEL BULLDOGS OVER RAMS
Trailing 2-0 in the fifth inning, freshman Gaby Cruz (Miami, Fla.) and sophomore Nick Angelini (Bedford, N.H.) both homered to give the Bulldogs a 3-2 lead. Cruz's first-career home run made it 2-1 and Angelini added a two-out, two-run shot to cap the inning. Bryant's bullpen did the rest, surrendering just one hit over the final three innings to close the door.
NOTES AND NOTABLES FOR RHODE ISLAND
The Bulldogs wrapped up their sixth-straight Northeast Conference Regular-Season Championship this past weekend. Bryant's split with Sacred Heart, coupled with two losses by Central Connecticut secured the title.
Bryant's six-consecutive regular-season crowns are second in NEC history to Mount St. Mary's women's hoops and Monmouth men's soccer (7).
The Bulldogs will play their final home game of 2017 on Thursday. Bryant's 16-1 mark at home this year is the third-best home record in the country. The Bulldogs have also won 10-straight home games.
Freshman Jimmy Titus (Stafford, Conn.) posted 10 hits last weekend and is now hitting .294 this year. He is ranked among league leaders in hits, doubles, home runs, RBI, runs scored and total bases.
Junior Logan Lessard (Cromwell, Conn.) pitched 3 1/3 scoreless innings over two appearances last weekend. He pitched three scoreless innings during a 17-inning contest before coming back the next day to lock down his seventh save with a strikeout. His three-inning performance was his longest since he went three innings against Saint Joseph's on April 3, 2015.
Sophomore Tyler Panno (Rivervale, N.J.) tied the program record with his seventh triple of the season last Thursday at Sacred Heart. He currently ranks fourth nationally in triples.
SCOUTING THE RAMS
URI enters the week with a 29-19 record on the year. The Rams lost to UConn, 4-3, on Tuesday afternoon. URI is hitting .271 as a team and have posted a 3.42 team ERA. Chris Hess leads the team with a .348 average and has 19 doubles, three triples, four home runs, 40 RBI and 37 runs scored. Mike Corin and Matt O'Neill have provided the power, hitting 16 and 13 home runs, respectively. Corin homered against the Bulldogs back in early April.