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Panno homers twice but Bulldogs fall to Auburn in series opener

Chris Hook / HookPhoto
Chris Hook / HookPhoto

AUBURN, Ala. – Junior Tyler Panno (Rivervale, N.J.) hit two home runs and tied a career-high with six RBI but the Bryant University baseball team saw a 4-0 lead disappear in an eventual 15-7 loss to Auburn on Friday evening at Plainsman Park.

Panno finished the game 2-for-3 and drove in six of Bryant's seven runs on the night. The Bulldogs finished the night with three home runs and five extra-base hits.

GAME INFORMATION

Bryant 7, Auburn 15

Records: Bryant (0-4), Auburn (6-0)

Location: Plainsman Park (Auburn, Ala.)

W|L:  Casey Mize (2-0) | Steve Theetge (0-2)

COACH OWENS'S COMMENTS

"Our starting pitching and relief pitching was not good enough. We put some really good at-bats on Mize and did a nice job of putting up four runs early. The top of our lineup did not generate scoring opportunities for the middle guys to knock in. The amount of free passes we allowed prevented us from winning the game."

KEY MOMENT

  • Trailing 4-1 in the fourth, Auburn scored eight runs (seven unearned) to take a commanding 9-4 lead. After a home run made it 4-2, a two-out throwing error extended the inning and led to seven unearned runs. A bases-loaded walk tied the game, Will Holland's two-run single gave Auburn the lead and Steven Williams' three-run home run capped the big inning for Auburn.

HOW IT HAPPENED

  • Bryant jumped out to a quick lead with a run in the top of the first. Junior Nick Angelini (Bedford, N.H.) walked with one out and senior Mickey Gasper (Merrimack, N.H.) followed with a double off the very top of the center field fence. Panno's sac fly to center scored Angelini from third.
  • Sophomore Chris Wright (Cumberland, R.I.) extended the lead in the second as he led off with a towering home run to right field. On a 2-1 pitch, Wright got a fastball and drove it well over the wall in right field.
  • Bryant pushed its lead to 4-0 with another long ball, this time off the bat of Panno. Gasper drew a 2-out walk to extend the inning and Panno followed with a home run to dead center.
  • Auburn was able to push across its first run of the game in the third inning. With runners on the corners and two outs, Brendan Venter came home on a passed ball to make it 4-1.
  • The Tigers completely erased the lead with an eight-run fourth inning. Brett Wright made it 4-2 with a solo home run to left center before a two-out rally produced seven more runs. Jay Estes walked with two outs and a throwing error extended the inning. A passed ball and a bases-loaded walk tied the game, while Holland's two-run single through the right side made it 6-4. Williams capped the inning with a three-run home run to right.
  • Auburn added single runs in the fifth and sixth innings. Two walks and an error loaded the bases with one out allowing Josh Anthony to produce a sac fly to center. Luke Jarvis made it 11-4 with an RBI single in the sixth.
  • Panno pulled Bryant back within four with one swing of the bat in the seventh. With two outs and two on, Panno clobbered his second home run of the game down the right-field line to make it 11-7.
  • Auburn responded with a run in the seventh and three more in the eighth. A hit batter, a single and a walk loaded the bases with no outs but senior reliever Ryan Johnson (East Falmouth, Mass.) was able to get a 4-3 double play and a strikeout to limit the damage to one run in the seventh. A sac fly, RBI single and a hit batter scored Auburn's three runs in the ninth.  

STATS

  • Junior Steve Theetge (Syracuse, N.Y.) allowed five runs (two earned) on four hits over 3 2/3 innings. He walked five and didn't record a strikeout.
  • Panno finished 2-for-3 with two home runs and six RBI, tying his career high.
  • Sophomore James Ciliento (Mahwah, N.J.) went 2-for-5 and also added his first outfield assist of the season.
  • Angelini walked, was hit by a pitch and scored twice.
  • Gasper doubled, walked and scored twice, as well.
  • Auburn's Casey Mize benefited from the big offensive outburst by the Tigers to earn the win. He allowed four runs on five hits, walked two and struck out nine over five innings. Mize walked two despite walking just nine all last season.
  • Williams posted three hits and drove in three runs for Auburn.

GAME NOTES

  • Bryant and Auburn were meeting for the first time in program history. The Bulldogs are now 1-5 against teams from the SEC.
  • The Bulldogs are 9-20-1 in the month of February over the last six years.
  • Panno's three career home runs have now come against Arkansas, Arizona and Auburn.
  • Panno is the first Bryant player since Jimmy Titus (Mar. 5, 2017) to hit two home runs in a game.
  • Three of Wright's five career home runs have come against teams from the SEC (Arkansas (2), Auburn).
  • Ciliento extended his on-base streak to 11 games dating back to last season. He has also collected three-straight multi-hit games, giving him 11 in his career.
  • Sophomore Gaby Cruz (Miami, Fla.) delivered a pinch-hit single in the eighth to extend his on-base streak to 17-straight games dating back to last season.
  • Johnson's outing was his longest since he went five innings on May 13, 2015, in the final outing of his freshman season.

UP NEXT

Bryant and Auburn will wrap up their series on Saturday with a doubleheader. First pitch is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. EST. Game two will begin approximately 45 minutes after the completion of game one.