SMITHFIELD, R.I. – The Bryant University baseball team opens Northeast Conference play this weekend with a three-game series against Wagner College.
Bryant and Wagner were scheduled to play the three-game series Friday, Saturday and Sunday at Richmond County Bank Ballpark at St. George but will now play all three games at MCU Park in the Coney Island section of Brooklyn. The series will be played over two days with a single game on Saturday and a doubleheader beginning at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday.
Location: MCU Park (Brooklyn, N.Y.) - Directions
Times: Gm 1 – 6:30pm | Gm 2 – 1pm | Gm 3 – 4pm
Live Stats: Sidearm
Game Notes: Bryant | Wagner
Saturday – Jack Patterson (2-1, 5.06) vs. Eric Ligda (3-1, 3.00)
Sunday (Gm 1) – Steve Theetge (0-5, 7.06) vs. Neil Abbatiello (2-0, 4.10)
Sunday (Gm 2) – Vito Morgese (1-1, 6.85) vs. Koby Bishop (2-0, 6.19)
Bryant will go with three lefties this weekend against Wagner. Senior Jack Patterson (Suffield, Conn.) will get the ball on Saturday night, while junior Steve Theetge (Syracuse, N.Y.) and sophomore Vito Morgese (Warwick, N.Y.) will split Sunday's doubleheader. Patterson has allowed just three hits over his last two starts, winning both. Theetge will look to get back on track with the beginning of NEC play. The junior is 13-0 with a 2.07 ERA in 14 career regular-season NEC starts. Theetge's only no decision came against Wagner in 2016 when he allowed just one run on three hits over six innings.
Wagner will trot out three juniors this weekend in Eric Ligda, Neil Abbatiello and Koby Bishop. Ligda and Bishop are both JUCO transfers. Ligda has allowed two earned runs or less in each of his last four starts, while Bishop has allowed one run on four hits and struck out 10 over 10 innings in his last two starts. Abbatiello started the final game of last year series against Bryant, allowing three runs on three hits over four innings.
- Bryant and Wagner have met every year since 2010 and have squared off in the NEC Tournament in three of the last four seasons.
- The Bulldogs own a 26-9 lead in the all-time series, including a 2-1 mark in the postseason. The Seahawks ended Bryant's season with a walk-off win in 2017.
- Bryant won three of the five games between the two schools last spring, posting three one-run victories.
- Of the 35 games played between the two schools, 30 have been decided by four runs or less.
Bulldog Notes and Notables
- The Bulldogs enter the weekend on a three-game winning streak following an 8-6 victory over Hartford on Tuesday afternoon. Bryant is now 7-4 in the month of March.
- Bryant begins NEC play as the six-time defending regular-season champion.
- The Bulldogs have posted a 177-54 (.766) record in eight years of NEC play.
- Bryant has not lost an NEC series since April 19-21, 2013 at Sacred Heart. In total, the Black and Gold have won or tied 56 of their 59 NEC series.
- The Bulldogs enter the weekend with a .297 team average, the best in the NEC and fourth in the East region behind NC State, Georgia Tech and Navy.
- Redshirt freshman Ryan Ward (Millbury, Mass.) has reached safely in each of his last 13 games. He's gone 7-for-10 with a double, two triples, three RBI and four runs scored in his last two games. Ward's hitting .356 with 13 RBI on the year.
- Senior Mickey Gasper (Merrimack, N.H.) has put together incredible numbers since the beginning of the 2016 season. Over his last 209 games, college and summer ball, Gasper is hitting .353 (240-680) with 53 doubles, 25 home runs, 167 RBI, 152 runs scored, 153 walks and just 103 strikeouts.
- Junior Nathan Wrighter (Windsor, N.Y.) has worked five-straight scoreless outings. He recorded the final six outs on Tuesday and now has two saves and is holding opponents to a .136 average.
Scouting the Seahawks
- Wagner enters the weekend as the hottest team in the NEC, having won each of its last seven games.
- The Seahawks are hitting .259 and have posted a team ERA of 6.25.
- Junior Phil Capra and senior Anthony Godino are Wagner's top two hitters so far this season. Capra is hitting .357 and leads the NEC in home runs (7) and RBI (24), while Godino has scored 18 runs, has a .423 OBP and leads the team with seven stolen bases.
- Freddy Sabido is hitting just .250 but has six doubles, three home runs, 15 RBI and is 4-for-4 in stolen bases.
- Nick Robino has been the most-used reliever, appearing in nine games. He has a 3-1 record and a 4.43 ERA in 22 1/3 innings. Robino has struck out 29 on the year.