SMITHFIELD, R.I. – The Bryant University baseball team heads to Teaneck, New Jersey, this weekend for a four-game Northeast Conference series against Fairleigh Dickinson.
This weekend's series is scheduled to begin Friday afternoon at 3:00 p.m.
Opponent: Fairleigh Dickinson
Location: Naimoli Family Baseball Complex (Teaneck, N.J.)
Times: 3 p.m | 1 p.m. (DH) | 1 p.m.
Live Stats: FDUKnights.com
Video (Sunday only): NECFrontRow
Game Notes: Bryant | FDU
Friday – Steve Theetge (2-6, 4.93) vs. Trent Valentine (1-3, 7.30)
Saturday (Gm 1) – Tyler Mattison (2-1, 5.25) vs. Evan Raiburn (1-2, 3.99)
Saturday (Gm 2) – Vito Morgese (2-1, 5.49) vs. Corey Zeller (2-3, 3.55)
Sunday – TBA vs. TBA
Bryant's first three starters this weekend will be the same as last weekend's series. The Bulldogs have yet to announce a starter for game four of the series. Junior Steve Theetge (Syracuse, N.Y.) has notched three-straight quality starts and struck out a career-high nine batters last week. Freshman Tyler Mattison (Fort Ann, N.Y.) also set a career-high in strikeouts last week, fanning seven in six innings of one-run ball. Sophomore Vito Morgese (Warwick, N.Y.) allowed three runs on eight hits over five innings in his start against FDU last season.
The Knights will counter with two freshmen and a junior. Trent Valentine has struck out 26 batters in 24 2/3 innings but has allowed 31 hits. He struck out a career-high eight batters in a start against LIU Brooklyn. Evan Raiburn is 1-2 with a 3.99 ERA and has allowed 32 hits in 29 1/3 innings. He comes in having allowed three earned runs or less in each of his last seven appearances. Corey Zeller is the veteran of the staff and allowed five runs on six hits over 5 2/3 innings last year vs. Bryant.
- Bryant holds a 31-4 lead in the all-time series with FDU, having posted a 19-1 regular-season record over the last five years.
- The Black and Gold swept last year's four-game series at Conaty Park, completing the sweep with a walk-off two-run home run from Jimmy Titus (Stafford, Conn.).
- Bryant and FDU have also met three times in the NEC Tournament, including the 2016 NEC Championship game.
Bulldog Notes and Notables
- The Bulldogs enter Wednesday's game with an overall record of 14-14-1 and an NEC record of 6-4.
- It will be Bryant's fourth NEC weekend of the year. The Bulldogs lost 2-of-3 to Wagner, won 2-of-3 against Mount and took 3-of-4 from LIU Brooklyn.
- Bryant is averaging 8.7 runs per game over its last nine contests. The Bulldogs are 6-2-1 in those games.
- The Bulldogs also enter the weekend ranked 22nd nationally with a .298 team batting average.
- Redshirt freshman Ryan Ward (Millbury, Mass.) will bring a 15-game hitting streak and a 25-game on-base streak into this weekend's series. He has reached safely in 28-of-29 games this year.
- Ward ranks third nationally in hits per game (1.76) and 14th nationally with a .408 batting average.
- Two days after being named NEC Player of the Week, sophomore James Ciliento (Mahwah, N.J.) picked up three more hits and scored twice at UConn. He's now second in the league with 43 hits and has added 18 RBI, 24 runs scored and a .457 OBP.
- Classmate Chris Wright (Cumberland, R.I.) continued his solid stretch by going 2-for-5 with an RBI and a run scored. He's now 9-for-20 with two doubles, two home runs, seven RBI and nine runs scored over his last five.
- Freshman Shane Kelly (Sewell, N.J.) picked up three hits, including his second home run of the year on Wednesday at UConn. He's now hitting .309 with six doubles, a triple, two home runs, 20 RBI and 16 runs scored.
Scouting the Knights
- FDU enters the weekend with an 8-16 overall record and an 0-6 mark in NEC play.
- The Knights have been swept by LIU Brooklyn and Central Connecticut.
- FDU is hitting .256 as a team and has posted a 7.17 team ERA.
- Mike Veit leads the team with a .291 average, while Evan McDonald has five doubles, two triples, five home runs, 18 RBI and 17 runs scored.