SMITHFIELD, R.I. – Redshirt freshman Ryan Ward (Millbury, Mass.) finished a double shy of the cycle and sophomore Gaby Cruz (Miami, Fla.) drove in a career-high three runs as the Bryant University baseball team defeated Mount St. Mary's, 9-3, to complete a sweep of Saturday's Northeast Conference doubleheader.
The Bulldogs were able to break a 3-3 tie with four runs in the bottom of the seventh to earn the series victory over the Mountaineers.
Ward went 3-for-5 with a triple, home run, RBI and a run scored, Cruz drove in three runs and junior Tyler Panno (Rivervale, N.J.) hit his team-leading fifth home run of the year in the victory. In all, the Bulldogs had four players register multiple hits.
Bryant 9, Mount St. Mary's 3
Records: Bryant (11-13, 3-3 NEC), Mount St. Mary's (6-14, 2-3 NEC)
Location: Conaty Park (Smithfield, R.I.)
W|L|S: Craig Lacey (2-1) | Andrew Dameron (0-1)
Coach Owens' Comments
"It was a very tight game into the middle. Vito had a couple of long breaks and I don't think he had his best stuff but he was able to find a way to minimize. We had our scoring opportunities early and didn't execute but we kept grinding out at-bats and got some big hits later in the game. I am pleased we were able to play all nine innings and stay with it on a cold day and get two wins. It's a positive sign going forward."
- Moments after Mount St. Mary's tied the game, Bryant answered with four runs on four hits to retake the lead. The decisive blow in the inning came on Panno's two-out, two-run home run to right field.
How it happened
- Mount St. Mary's pushed across a run in its first at-bat. Myles Nicholson's pop up was lost in the sun and he then advanced to second on a balk. Patrick Causa scored him with a single to center.
- Ward quickly tied the game as he hit the second pitch from Andrew Malone over the right field wall.
- The Bulldogs were able to break the tie with a sac fly in the third. Sophomore James Ciliento (Mahwah, N.J.) reached on an infield single and would eventually score on a sac fly from Cruz.
- Bryant extended its lead with another sac fly in the sixth. Junior Nick Angelini (Bedford, N.H.) singled, stole second, went to third on a wild pitch and then raced home ahead of the throw on a shallow fly to left field from junior Dante Ricciardi (West Boylston, Mass.).
- Mount St. Mary's took advantage of two Bryant miscues to tie the game in the top of the seventh. With a runner on second and one out, a slow roller to third was thrown high at first, allowing a run to score. Two batters later, the Bulldogs threw high at first on a potential inning-ending double play, allowing the tying run to score.
- The Black and Gold quickly answered, scoring four runs in the bottom of the inning. Senior Mickey Gasper (Merrimack, N.H.) singled up the middle, Cruz singled on a slow roller to third and sophomore Chris Wright (Cumberland, R.I.) beat out a ground ball to short to load the bases. Andrew Dameron then balked to bring in the lead run and Angelini followed with a sac fly. Panno put an emphatic note on the inning with a two-run shot to right field.
- Bryant capped its scoring with two runs in the eighth. With runners on second and third and two outs, Cruz singled down the third base line to drive both home and make it 9-3.
- Bryant out-hit Mount St. Mary's, 12-7.
- Sophomore Vito Morgese (Warwick, N.Y.) allowed one run on six hits, walked two and struck out three over five-plus innings. He earned a no decision.
- Senior Logan Lessard (Cromwell, Conn.) came in for Morgese in the sixth and struck out back-to-back batters to end the inning.
- Junior Craig Lacey (Westfield, Mass.) allowed the two unearned runs in the seventh and earned the win after Bryant rallied. He didn't allow a hit in his two innings.
- Classmate Nathan Wrighter (Windsor, N.Y.) allowed just one hit in a scoreless ninth.
- Ward finished 3-for-5 with a triple, home run, RBI, run scored and a stolen base.
- Ciliento went 1-for-4 with two runs scored.
- Gasper finished 2-for-3 with a run scored.
- Cruz went 2-for-4 with three RBI.
- Angelini went 1-for-3 with an RBI, a run scored and a stolen base.
- Panno finished 2-for-4 with a home run and two RBI.
- Andrew Dameron suffered the loss, allowing four runs on four hits. The top three hitters in Mount's lineup all posted two hits.
- The Bulldogs are now 32-3 all-time against Mount St. Mary's.
- Bryant has now won or tied 57 of their 61 NEC series.
- Morgese allowed one run or less for the third time in his last four starts.
- Lessard has now struck out nine batters in six innings this year.
- Lacey has now won a career-high two games.
- Wrighter has recorded scoreless outings in eight of his last nine appearances.
- Ward recorded his sixth three-hit game of the year and his 11 multi-hit game.
- Ward extended his hitting streak to 10 games and his on-base streak to 20 games. Both are the longest of his career.
- Ward now has six doubles, four triples and four home runs on the year.
- He finished the weekend 5-for-12 with two triples, a home run and four runs scored.
- Panno posted his second-straight two-hit game and his 10 multi-hit game of the year. His home run was his team-leading fifth of the year and first since March 10 at Maryland.
- Gasper posted his second-straight two-hit game and now has 38 multi-hit games in his career.
- Cruz's three RBI are a career high. He had driven in two runs on five occasions. He also posted his four multi-hit game of the year and has reached safely in 10-straight.
- Angelini reached safely for the 10th-straight game and also stole his team-leading eighth base of the year.
The Bulldogs head to Kingston, Rhode Island, on Wednesday for a midweek contest against Rhode Island. First pitch is scheduled for 3:30 p.m.