SMITHFIELD, R.I. – The Bryant University baseball team travels to Cary, North Carolina, this weekend to compete in the Army Invitational that is being held at the USA Baseball Complex.
Bryant will face host Army on Friday before closing the weekend against Boston College on Saturday and Niagara on Sunday.
Opponents: Army, Boston College, Niagara
Location: USA Baseball Complex | Cary, N.C.
Times: Gm 1 – 1:30pm | Gm 2 – 12pm | Gm 3 – 11am
Game Notes: Bryant
Friday – Steve Theetge (0-2, 1.69 ERA) vs. Tyler Giovinco (1-1, 5.91 ERA)
Saturday – Jack Patterson (0-1, 5.59 ERA) vs. Dan Metzdorf (0-1, 7.04 ERA)
Sunday – Vito Morgese (0-1, 5.40 ERA) vs. Ben Erwin (0-0, 2.25 ERA)
Bryant will roll out the same three starting pitchers for the third-straight weekend. The lefty trio has combined to post a 4.08 ERA and strikeout 19 batters in 28 2/3 innings. Last weekend, Morgese tossed six shutout innings and struck out a career-high eight batters against Auburn.
The Black and Gold will see a pair of left-handers in Giovinco and Metzdorf to start the weekend. Giovinco was an All-Patriot League Second Team selection last season after posting a 4.17 ERA in 12 starts, while Metzdorf went 4-6 with a 5.06 ERA in 15 starts for BC. Erwin is a freshman from Alberta, Canada.
- Bryant and Army will be meeting for the second time in program history. The Bulldogs opened the 2016 season with a 6-1 win over the Black Knights in Cary.
- Bryant and Boston College will be meeting for the 11th time, with the Eagles holding a 7-3 lead in the series. The two teams were rained out last season.
- Bryant and Niagara will be playing for the first time in program history.
Bulldog Notes and Notables
- The Bulldogs will be playing in Cary for the third time at the Division I level. Bryant is 6-1 in its previous two trips, having gone 4-0 in the first weekend of the 2016 season.
- Bryant swept the weekly Northeast Conference awards as junior Tyler Panno (Rivervale, N.J.) was named player of the week, sophomore Vito Morgese (Warwick, N.Y.) was pitcher of the week and freshman Sam Owens (Scituate, R.I.) was named rookie of the week.
- Panno went 2-for-3 with his first-career multi-hit home run game and six RBI in the series opener at Auburn. He now has three home runs and eight RBI on the season.
- Morgese recorded the fifth quality start of his career at Auburn.
- Owens went 4-for-9 against Auburn and is now 6-for-13 (.462) on the season. He leads the team with two doubles and has a .500 OBP.
- Redshirt freshman Ryan Ward (Millbury, Mass.) posted his first-career three-hit game over the weekend and is hitting .292 with a .370 OBP in the first six games.
Scouting the Black Knights
- Army is off to a solid start, posting a 3-4 record. The Black Knights have played six of their first seven games against teams from the Big Ten.
- The Black Knights are hitting .237 as a team and have posted a team ERA of 4.58.
- Jon Rosoff (.348) and Matt Hudgins (.300) are the only two regulars hitting over .300. Rosoff has walked seven times, been hit three other times and has a .545 OBP.
- Cam Opp has appeared in four of the first seven games, posting a 1.23 ERA and seven strikeouts in 7 1/3 innings.
Scouting the Eagles
- Boston College is two years removed from an appearance in the Super Regionals. The Eagles enter the weekend with a 3-3 record.
- BC is hitting .255 as a team and has posted a 7.13 team ERA.
- Brian Dempsey leads the team with a .400 batting average, while Jake Palomaki has two doubles, a triple, a home run and six RBI.
- Sean Hughes and Thomas Lane have both appeared in four of the first six games. They have combined to walk three and strike out eight.
Scouting the Purple Eagles
- Niagara opened its season last weekend at Longwood, dropping two-of-three.
- The Purple Eagles went 24-24 overall and 12-12 in the MAAC last season.
- Greg Cullen had a big opening series, going 9-for-15 with a triple, two home runs, six RBI and five runs scored.
- Niagara's three weekend starters combined to walk four and strike out 11.