TEANECK, N.J. – Senior Jack Patterson (Suffield, Conn.) struck out a career-high 11 batters and the Bryant University baseball team held on late to sweep a four-game series from Fairleigh Dickinson with a 3-2 victory on a cold and windy day in New Jersey.
Making his first start in over two weeks, Patterson scattered eight hits, allowed two runs and did not walk a batter for the first time this season. He becomes the first pitcher since James Karinchak in 2017 to strikeout 10+ batters in a game and his 11 punch outs were just two shy of tying the Division I program record.
With temperatures in the mid-30s and a steady 15 mph wind, the Bulldogs were able to scrape across enough offense to back Patterson. The two big hits came from sophomores as Chris Wright (Cumberland, R.I.) and Gaby Cruz (Miami, Fla.) delivered RBI hits in a decisive sixth inning.
Bryant 3, Fairleigh Dickinson 2
Records: Bryant (18-14-1, 10-4 NEC), Fairleigh Dickinson (8-20, 0-10 NEC)
Location: Naimoli Family Baseball Complex (Teaneck, N.J.)
Coach Owens' Comments
"Jack Patterson gave us a great start on a cold, windy day when it was really tough to score runs. He didn't give up any free passes, had a lot of strikeouts and pitched out of two jams to maintain the lead. We got solid relief appearances from Matt and Nate. We got a spark from Malik Daley and bit hits from Chris Wright and Gaby Cruz. That's all there was today. It was a tough, hard-fought game and I am happy we came out on the winning end in the fourth game of a conference weekend."
- With the game tied 1-1 in the sixth, senior Malik Daley (Northborough, Mass.) sparked Bryant's rally with a perfectly placed bunt single. He ended up on third thanks to an error and scored on a double from Wright. Cruz then drove in the eventual winning run with a two-out single to left.
- After FDU made it a 3-2 game with four-straight singles in the seventh, Patterson notched his 11th strikeout and got a fly out to end the inning.
- With two on and one out in the eighth, freshman Matthew Stansky (Douglas, Mass.) struck out FDU's top hitter, Jason Fatzinger, on a breaking ball.
How it happened
- Bryant jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the first. Redshirt freshman Ryan Ward (Millbury, Mass.) doubled to open the inning, stole third and scored on a ground out from senior Mickey Gasper (Merrimack, N.H.).
- The Knights tied the game in the bottom of the first with a pair of doubles. Mike Veit doubled with one out and scored on a two-out double from Fatzinger.
- Bryant broke the tie with two runs in top of the sixth. Daley led off with a perfect bunt down the third base line. The throw to first went down the right field line and Daley raced to third. Wright followed with a double down the left field line to make it 2-1. Cruz made it 3-1 with a two-out RBI single to left.
- FDU cut the lead to one in the bottom of the seventh. The Knights strung together four-straight singles to make it 3-2. Patterson escaped further damage with a strikeout and a fly ball to left.
- FDU out-hit Bryant, 9-8.
- Patterson allowed two runs on eight hits and struck out 11 over seven innings. He didn't walk a batter.
- Patterson struck out the side in the second and fifth innings.
- Stansky recorded two outs in the eighth inning. He struck out one.
- Junior Nathan Wrighter (Windsor, N.Y.) recorded the final four outs to earn his league-leading sixth save of the year. He walked one and struck out one.
- Ward went 2-for-5 with two more doubles and a run scored.
- Daley finished 1-for-2.
- Wright had two hits, a double, an RBI and a run scored.
- Cruz had a hit, an RBI and a walk.
- FDU's Joe Flack pitched a complete game in a losing effort. He allowed three runs on eight hits, walked two and struck out seven.
- The Bulldogs are now 35-4 all-time against FDU.
- With the victory, Bryant clinched the series sweep over FDU. The Bulldogs have now won or tied 59 of their 63 NEC series.
- This weekend marked Bryant's first series sweep of the season.
- The Bulldogs have scored 78 runs in their last six games (13 per game).
- Bryant hit .420 as a team on the weekend. The Bulldogs recorded 66 hits, 19 doubles and eight home runs in the series.
- Bryant outscored FDU, 49-15.
- Bryant pitchers combined to allow just 32 hits, walk only 11 and strikeout 34.
- Patterson matched his career high with seven innings pitched (3rd time in his career).
- Patterson's 11 strikeouts are a career high and the most since James Karinchak struck out 12 in the 2017 season opener.
- Patterson has now struck out 20 over his last two starts (13 innings).
- Wrighter's six saves are a career high and are the most in the NEC this year.
- He earned a save in each of the final two games of the series, tossing three scoreless innings.
- On the week, he recorded five scoreless innings in three relief appearances.
- Ward extended his hitting streak to 19 games and his on-base streak to 29 games. Both are the longest of his career. He has reached safely in all but one game this season.
- Ward posted his eighth-straight multi-hit game. He now has 19 multi-hit games this year.
- Ward stole his eighth base of the season.
- Ward now leads the team with 17 doubles on the year.
- Ward finished the weekend 13-for-22 (.591) with five doubles, three home runs, 10 RBI and seven runs scored.
- Wright has now doubled in each of his last six games.
- Wright has now driven in a run in eight-straight games. He has driven in 15 runs in that span.
- Wright has hit safely in 11 straight (career high) and reached safely in 13 straight.
- Wright finished the weekend 8-for-18 with four doubles, eight RBI and four runs scored.
- Gasper had a hit and finished the weekend 9-for-19 with two doubles, two home runs, five RBI and seven runs scored.
- Cruz drove in a run for the fourth-straight game and for the 10th time in 11 games.
- Cruz finished the weekend 8-for-14 with six RBI, five runs scored and a .647 OBP.
Bryant returns home for the first time in over two weeks when it welcomes Quinnipiac on Wednesday afternoon. First pitch is scheduled for 3:00 p.m. at Conaty Park.