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Bulldogs drop NEC opener, 8-6, to Wagner

Bulldogs drop NEC opener, 8-6, to Wagner

BROOKLYN, N.Y. –  The Bryant University baseball team held leads of 4-0 and 6-2 but Wagner College was able to rally for an 8-6 win on Saturday night at MCU Park in the Northeast Conference opener for both teams.

Trailing 6-2 heading into the bottom of the fifth, the Seahawks scored six runs in their next three at-bats to earn the win. Joe Silvestrone's RBI single through the right side tied the game and the eventual winning run scored on an error in the seventh.

Bryant posted 11 hits in the game but walked nine and tied a program record with six errors. Batting 1-2-3 in the order, redshirt freshman Ryan Ward (Millbury, Mass.), sophomore James Ciliento (Mahwah, N.J.) and senior Mickey Gasper (Merrimack, N.H.) combined for eight hits, three RBI and three runs scored.

Game Information

Bryant 6, Wagner 8

Records: Bryant (7-11, 0-1 NEC), Wagner (11-8, 1-0 NEC)

Location: MCU Park (Brooklyn, N.Y.)

W|L|S: Pat Gallagher (1-2) | Tyler Mattison (1-1) | Nick Robino (1)

Coach Owens' Comments

"We walked too many guys, gave up too many stolen bases and made enough errors for a month. We had some good at-bats but not enough in key situations. When you add all those up, you get a loss. It's one loss and we'll see how we respond tomorrow."

Key Moment

  • With a 6-3  lead in the sixth, the Bulldogs loaded the bases with no outs and were looking for the knockout punch. Gallagher, however, induced three-straight infield pop outs to get out of the inning. Wagner went on to score two in the bottom of the sixth and three in the seventh.  

How it happened

  • Bryant jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the top of the first inning. Ciliento beat out an infield single and Gasper followed with his first home run of the year, a towering shot to right field. Freshman Shane Kelly (Sewell, N.J.) and junior Nick Angelini (Bedford, N.H.) both worked two-out walks and scored as sophomore Gaby Cruz's (Miami, Fla.) fly ball to right was lost in the lights and fell for a double.
  • Wagner got two runs back in the bottom of the second. A walk and a double put runners on a second and third and Anthony Pecora scored a run with a ground out. The second run scored on an infield throwing error with two outs.
  • The Bulldogs extended their lead with single runs in the fourth and fifth. In the fourth, freshman Sam Owens (Scituate, R.I.) walked with two outs and raced around to score on a single to right center from Ward. In the fifth, Gasper doubled and came around to score on a single from Kelly.  
  • Wagner began its comeback with a two-out run in the fifth on a double from Freddy Sabido. In the sixth, Pecora walked, went to third on an errant pickoff throw and scored on a single from Nick Mascelli. The second run scored as Anthony Godino hit a slow chopper in front of the mound that was thrown wide at first.
  • In the decisive seventh, Wagner took advantage of two Bryant errors. A walk opened the inning and Will Johnson reached after his sac bunt was dropped at first. Pecora moved both into scoring position with a sac bunt and Silvestrone hit a two-strike pitch into right. It tied the game and the lead run scored as the ball was misplayed. Two batters later, Sean Mazzio made it 8-6 with a single to left.  


  • Bryant out-hit Wagner, 11-8.
  • Bryant committed six errors in the game.
  • Senior Jack Patterson (Suffield, Conn.) allowed three runs (two earned) on five hits over five innings. He walked four and struck out five.
  • Freshman Tyler Mattison (Fort Ann, N.Y.) suffered his first-career loss, allowing five runs (one earned) in two innings of relief. He walked four and struck out three.
  • Senior Ross Weiner (Woodbridge, Conn.) recorded the final three outs, picking up a strikeout.
  • Ward went 3-for-5 with an RBI.
  • Ciliento went 3-for-5 with a run scored.
  • Gasper went 2-for-5 with a double, home run, two RBI and two runs scored.
  • Kelly drove in a run and scored.
  • Angelini reached three times with two walks and a hit by pitch.
  • Cruz doubled and drove in two runs.
  • Owens reached twice with a hit and a walk.
  • Wagner starter Eric Ligda allowed six runs on seven hits over five innings. Pat Gallagher earned the win 2 2/3 scoreless innings. Nick Robino recorded the final four outs.  

Game Notes

  • Bryant's three-game winning streak came to a close. Wagner extended its winning streak to eight games.
  • The Bulldogs' six errors tied a program record.
  • Bryant has now lost three games this season when leading after six. The Bulldogs had lost just 16 times when leading after six in the previous seven years under coach Owens.
  • Ward posted his fourth three-hit game of the season and of his career. He has nine multi-hit games this season, including each of the last three.
  • Ward also extended his on-base streak to a team-high 14 games.
  • Ciliento extended his hitting streak to 12 games with his fourth three-hit game of the year.
  • Gasper extended his on-base streak to 12 games. He hit his first home run of the season and the 10th of his career. It was Gasper's first home run since May 19, 2017 at URI.  
  • Kelly extended his on-base streak to 11 games.

Up Next

Bryant and Wagner wrap up their three-game series on Sunday with a doubleheader. First pitch is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. and both games will be nine innings.