SMITHFIELD, R.I. – The Bryant University baseball team received more preseason recognition on Friday as Perfect Game tabbed the Bulldogs as the Northeast Conference favorites this spring.
Bryant has won each of the last six NEC Regular-Season titles and has more wins (255) than any other team in the Northeast since the start of the 2011 season.
In addition, Perfect Game also named its Preseason All-NEC team, its preseason players of the year and its top prospect lists.
Senior catcher Mickey Gasper (Merrimack, N.H.) was named to the preseason All-NEC team and was also picked to repeat as NEC Player of the Year. Gasper hit .342 with seven home runs and an NEC-leading 53 RBI last spring.
Junior pitcher Steve Theetge (Syracuse, N.Y.) was also picked to repeat as NEC Pitcher of the Year in 2018. Theetge led the NEC in wins (8) in 2017 and has gone 17-5 in his first two seasons with the Black and Gold. He is also listed as one of four starting pitchers on the preseason All-NEC team.
Freshman pitcher Tyler Mattison (Fort Ann, N.Y.) was tabbed as Perfect Game's projected NEC Rookie of the Year. A Bulldog has won the award each of the last six seasons. Mattison comes to Bryant following a storied career at Fort Ann High School and a strong summer in the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League.
Joining Gasper and Theetge on the all-conference team were sophomore shortstop Jimmy Titus (Stafford, Conn.) and junior outfielder Nick Angelini (Bedford, N.H.). Titus was the NEC Rookie of the Year in 2017 after hitting .296 with eight home runs and 42 RBI, while Angelini is a two-time All-NEC First Team selection.
Gasper was also named the top pro prospect in the NEC for the 2018 draft. Angelini was listed at No. 4, Theetge was listed No. 6 and senior lefty Jack Patterson (Suffield, Conn.) was listed No. 9. Patterson won four games, saved three others and pitched to a 2.90 ERA in his return to the mound last spring.
Titus was ranked as the top prospect in the 2019 draft, while Mattison was the only prospect listed for the 2020 draft.
Bryant opens the 2018 season on Feb. 16 when it travels to Arizona for a three-game series with the Wildcats.
Bryant University Athletics has announced the Spring Sports Pass for the upcoming spring season. The Spring Sports Pass allows admission to all home men's and women's lacrosse, baseball and softball events for just $50. The Spring Sports Pass can be purchased by clicking HERE.