CARY, N.C. – The Bryant University baseball team put up 11 runs on 14 hits and freshman Tyler Mattison (Fort Ann, N.Y.) closed the door with four scoreless innings of relief as the Bulldogs closed the Army Invitational with an 11-7 victory over Niagara on Sunday morning.
Bryant had five players finish with multiple hits on the day, led by a three-hit effort from junior Tyler Panno (Rivervale, N.J.). Redshirt freshman Ryan Ward (Millbury, Mass.) was a spark at the top of the lineup, driving in three runs and stealing three bases in the victory.
On the mound, Mattison collected his first-career save as he shut down the Purple Eagles' offense over the final four innings. He scattered three singles, walked one and struck out one on the day.
Bryant 11, Niagara 7
Records: Bryant (2-7), Niagara (1-5)
Location: National Training Center (Cary, N.C.)
W|L|S: Vito Morgese (1-1) | Ben Erwin (0-1) | Mattison (1)
Coach Owens' Comments
"We played our second consecutive errorless game. We got a lot of hits, scored a lot of runs. Vito didn't have his best stuff but he gutted it out and Tyler Mattison came in and did a nice job for four innings. It's a positive way to come out of a weekend, winning two out of three, and we are looking forward to getting back to work."
- After surrendering four runs in the first, the Bulldogs wasted little time retaking the lead, scoring five times in the second inning.
- Holding a two-run lead in the eighth, the Bulldogs erased a leadoff single from Niagara as Panno started a 5-4-3 double play.
How it happened
- Bryant loaded the bases with no outs in the top of the first but Niagara starter Zachary Kolodziejski struck out back-to-back batters and got a foul pop to third to escape the jam.
- Niagara used the momentum to plate four runs in the bottom of the first. A walk and a double put two in scoring position and Peter Battaglia scored the first run with a bloop single to left center. Wyatt Olson then doubled home a pair and Owen Dziados capped the inning with a single to center.
- The Bulldogs quickly responded, scoring five runs on four hits in the top of the second. A hit batter, a walk and a wild pitch put runners in scoring position and Ward scored both with a single up the middle. Ward would eventually come around to score on a single to center from senior Mickey Gasper (Merrimack, N.H.) and junior Nick Angelini (Bedford, N.H.) scored the tying run on a wild pitch. Sophomore James Ciliento (Mahwah, N.J.) put the Bulldogs in front with a sac fly to right.
- Niagara tied the game in the third with a two-out run. A walk and a single put two with no outs but back-to-back fly outs left the Purple Eagles with runners on the corners and two outs. Dziados came through with a single through the left side.
- Bryant regained the lead with a three-run fifth. Hart beat out a ground ball to short to open the inning and moved to third on a double from freshman Sam Owens (Scituate, R.I.). Ward then delivered a sac fly and Angelini followed with an RBI single through the left side. Ciliento brought home the final run of the inning with a sac fly to left center. His drive nearly cleared the bases but Niagara's Benny Serrano made a diving catch.
- The Purple Eagles responded with two runs in the bottom of the fifth to make it a one-run game. Cullen shot a double down the left field line to start the inning and came around to score as McCauley tripled into the right field corner. Olson drove home McCauley with a ground out, making it 8-7.
- The bottom of Bryant's order produced a run in the top of the sixth. Sophomore Bryan Hart (Franklin, Mass.) started the rally with a drive down the left field line that fell out of the glove of a diving Serrano. Owens then hit the first pitch he saw back up the middle, scoring Hart from second.
- Bryant added single runs in the top of the eighth and ninth to make it 11-7. In the eighth, Kelly doubled and came around to score on a fielding error. In the ninth, Bryant loaded the bases with one out and Kelly beat out a double-play ball to score a run.
- With the Bulldogs adding to their lead, Mattison quieted the Niagara bats with four innings of scoreless relief. He allowed just two hits and didn't allow a runner past first.
- Bryant out-hit Niagara, 14-11.
- The Bulldogs finished the game with five stolen bases.
- Ward went 1-for-3 with two walks, three RBI and three stolen bases.
- Angelini went 2-for-5 an RBI, a stolen base and two runs scored.
- Gasper reached base five times with two hits, a walk and two hit by pitch. He drove in a run and scored twice.
- Panno went 3-for-5 with a double.
- Ciliento drove in two runs.
- Hart finished 2-for-4 with three runs scored.
- Owens went 2-for-5 with an RBI and a run scored.
- Sophomore Vito Morgese (Warwick, N.Y.) earned his first win of the year. He allowed seven runs on eight hits, walked two and struck out four.
- Mattison allowed three hits, walked one and struck out one to earn his first save.
- Ben Erwin, the second of five Niagara pitchers, suffered the loss. He allowed three runs on five hits over three innings of relief. Greg Cullen led the Niagara offense, going 4-for-4 with two doubles and three runs scored.
- Bryant finished the weekend 2-1 and is now 8-2 all-time in games played at the National Training Center in Cary.
- The Bulldogs posted double-digit hits for the third-straight game. They collected 41 hits on the weekend and hit .357 as a team.
- Bryant's 41 hits were the most in a three-game weekend since it posted 55 in three games at USC Upstate in 2014.
- Ward became the first Bulldog since Nick Angelini in 2016 to steal three bases in one game. His three RBI were a season-high. Ward went 6-for-14 (.429) with four RBI and four runs scored on the weekend.
- Gasper posted his third-straight multi-hit game and finished the weekend 7-for-11 (.636) with two doubles, six RBI, five runs scored and a .688 OBP. He now has 31 career multi-hit games.
- Panno posted his third three-hit game of the year and his fifth multi-hit game. He went 8-for-14 with three doubles on the weekend.
- Kelly scored two runs for the second-straight game and finished the weekend 4-for-11 with four RBI and four runs scored.
- Hart posted his second-career multi-hit game and scored a career-high three runs.
- Owens now has four multi-hit games in seven starts this season.
Bryant begins its spring break trip with three games at the University of Maryland. The Bulldogs and Terrapins open the series on Friday at 4:00 p.m.