SMITHFIELD, R.I. – The Bryant University baseball team opens its 2018 season this weekend when it travels to Tucson, Arizona, for a three-game series with four-time national champion the University of Arizona.
Bryant and Arizona open the series on Friday night at 8:00 p.m. EST. The series concludes with an 8:00 p.m. EST first pitch on Saturday and a 2:00 p.m. EST first pitch on Sunday.
Location: Hi Corbett Field | Tucson, Ariz.
Times: Gm 1 – 8pm | Gm 2 – 8pm | Gm 3 – 2pm
Watch Live: Pac-12.com
Live Stats: ArizonaWildcats.com
Pitching Probables (*2017 stats)
Friday – Steve Theetge (8-5, 3.86 ERA) vs. Cody Deason (5-3, 3.86 ERA)
Saturday – Jack Patterson (4-0, 2.90 ERA) vs. Michael Flynn (5-0, 3.29 ERA)
Sunday – Vito Morgese (4-6, 4.89 ERA) vs. TBD
Bryant will go into the opening weekend of 2018 with three lefties in its starting rotation. It will be just the second time in DI program history that lefties will start every game of a weekend series. Last season, Theetge, Morgese and Chris Wright (Cumberland, R.I.) started in Bryant's three-game series with Maryland.
- Bryant and Arizona will be meeting for the first time in program history.
- The Bulldogs will be facing a member of the Pac-12 for the second time in program history (Oregon State – 2013).
BULLDOG NOTES AND NOTABLES
- The Bulldogs are coming off a 29-26 finish in 2017. Bryant won its sixth-straight Northeast Conference Regular-Season title but was eliminated from the conference tournament in two games.
- Bryant welcomes back seven positional starters and 88 percent of its innings pitched from a season ago. That includes the NEC Player of the Year (Gasper), NEC Pitcher of the Year (Theetge) and NEC Rookie of the Year (Titus).
- Senior Mickey Gasper (Merrimack, N.H.) was named the NEC Player of the Year after hitting .342 with 11 doubles, seven home runs, 53 RBI and a .470 OBP. He was the first non-senior to win NEC Player of the Year honors since 2009.
- Theetge (Syracuse, N.Y.) led the NEC with eight wins last year and is 17-5 in his two-year career.
- Sophomore Jimmy Titus (Stafford, Conn.) was named one of the top 30 shortstops in the country (No. 15) by D1Baseball.com. He hit .296 with eight home runs and 42 RBI on his way to Freshman All-American honors in 2017.
- Bryant also welcomes back two-time All-NEC First Team selection junior Nick Angelini (Bedford, N.H.) to its lineup. Angelini finished the 2017 season tied with Titus for the team lead in total bases (108), while also leading the team in stolen bases (19).
SCOUTING THE WILDCATS
- Arizona has won four national championships, most recently in 2012. In 2016, the Wildcats faced Coastal Carolina in the championship series, falling in three games.
- The Wildcats are coming off of a 38-21 finish in 2017. Arizona advanced to the NCAA Tournament and was eliminated in three games at the Lubbock (Texas) Regional.
- Arizona returns three players that are ranked in the top 30 nationally at their position by D1Baseball.com; Cesar Salazar (C), Alfonso Rivas (1B) and Nick Quintana (SS).
- Cody Deason will start the opener for Arizona and is coming off a season in which he went 5-3 with a 3.86 ERA. He appeared in 22 games and made 10 starts, striking out 49 in 53 2/3 innings.