SMITHFIELD, R.I. – Paced by three hits each from senior Mickey Gasper (Merrimack, N.H.) and redshirt freshman Ryan Ward (Millbury, Mass.), the Bryant University baseball team defeated Sacred Heart 15-6 to win the series on Sunday afternoon at Conaty Park.
Gasper went 3-for-3 with three RBI and three runs scored Ward posted three hits, three RBI and two runs scored as the Bulldogs wrapped up the series with 12 hits. Bryant broke the game open with nine runs combined in the fifth and sixth innings.
The offensive outburst backed another strong start from senior Jack Patterson (Suffield, Conn.) who tossed seven innings of three-run ball. He walked one, struck out seven and scattered five hits to earn his fourth win of the year.
Bryant 15, Sacred Heart 6
Records: Bryant (22-15-1, 13-5 NEC), Sacred Heart (10-23, 5-8 NEC)
Location: Conaty Park (Smithfield, R.I.)
W|L|S: Jack Patterson (4-2) | Ryan LaMay (0-1)
Coach Owens' Comments
"We came out with a much better offensive approach. We were able to get up early in the game, expand in the middle and then again in the end. We got a big hit from Ryan Ward to jumpstart us and Mickey had some great at-bats. He took his single with the bases loaded, which gave us a huge four-run lead. Jack pitched very well for us and our defense was really good early. We turned some double plays that helped us out of jams. Sam played well at short after a tough day yesterday and Tyler Panno hit a bases-loaded triple that he really need. I was glad to see him get a big hit for the team."
- A two-out rally started in the second for Bryant after a third strike was dropped. The Bulldogs went on to score three runs after the miscue, making it 4-0.
- Junior Tyler Panno (Rivervale, N.J.) delivered the decisive blow in the sixth with a bases-clearing triple into the right field corner.
How it happened
- Bryant opened the scoring with a run in the first. Ward opened the game with a single on the first pitch and came around to score on a ground ball from sophomore Gaby Cruz (Miami, Fla.).
- In the second, sophomore Bryan Hart (Franklin, Mass.) reached on a dropped third strike to start a two-out rally. Freshman Sam Owens (Scituate, R.I.) followed with a single and Ward made it 2-0 with a single to right center. Two batters later, Gasper lined a two-run single to left field.
- The Pioneers got on the board with an unearned run in the fourth. Bryant committed an error on a potential inning-ending double play to allow Dan Schock to score.
- Bryant put the game out of reach with four runs in the fifth and five more in the sixth. Senior Malik Daley (Northborough, Mass.) ripped an RBI double to bring in the first run, sophomore Chris Wright (Cumberland, R.I.) scored on a wild pitch and Ward made it 8-1 with a two-run single through the right side.
- In the next inning, Bryant loaded the bases without the benefit of a hit and Daley picked up an RBI with a hit by pitch. Panno followed with a drive into the right field corner that cleared the bases and made it 12-1. Hart drove in Panno with an RBI single to center to cap the inning.
- The Pioneers picked up a pair of runs in the seventh on two wild pitches.
- Wright added a run for Bryant with a fielder's choice ground ball in the bottom of the seventh.
- Sacred Heart added two more on a two-run double in the top of the eighth.
- In the bottom of the eighth, Gasper drilled a 1-2 pitch into right center for a two-out RBI double.
- The Pioneers capped the scoring with a single run in the top of the ninth.
- Patterson allowed three runs (two earned) on five hits, walked one and struck out seven in seven innings.
- Senior Ross Weiner (Woodbridge, Conn.) surrendered two unearned runs in the eighth.
- Freshman Matthew Stansky (Douglas, Mass.) came on with the bases loaded in the ninth and recorded the final two outs.
- Ward went 3-for-6 with three RBI and two runs scored.
- Gasper went 3-for-3 with a double, a walk, a hit by pitch, three RBI and three runs scored. He reached safely five times.
- Wright drove in a run and scored twice.
- Daley went 1-for-1 with two RBI and two runs scored after entering the game in the fourth.
- Panno tripled, drove in three and scored twice.
- Ryan LaMay allowed seven runs (four earned) on seven hits over 4 1/3 innings. Stephen Thibault led the Pioneers with three hits.
- The Bulldogs are now 29-16 against Sacred Heart at the DI level.
- With the series victory, Bryant has now won or tied 60 of its 64 NEC series.
- Bryant improved to 11-2-1 in the month of April.
- The Bulldogs scored 10+ runs for the eighth time this season.
- Patterson recorded his second-straight start of at least seven innings.
- He recorded his third quality start of the season.
- Ward extended his hitting streak to 24 games and his on-base streak to 34 games. Both are the longest of his career. He has reached safely in all but one game this season.
- Ward posted his ninth three-hit game of the year and his 22nd multi-hit game of the season.
- Ward is now 18-for-30 leading off the game this season.
- Ward now has 73 hits on the season which is tied for the eighth-most in a single season in DI program history.
- Ward finished the series 8-for-17 with two doubles, a triple, five RBI and five runs scored.
- Gasper registered his fourth three-hit game of the year and his 17th multi-hit game of the year.
- He drove in multiple runs for the seventh time this season.
- Gasper finished the week (five games) 11-for-17 (.647) with three doubles, two triples, a home run, six RBI and nine runs scored. He walked three times, was hit by a pitch three times and posted a .739 OBP.
- Gasper has now reached safely in each of last 16.
- Gasper reached the 40-run plateau for the second-straight season and has tied his career-high for doubles (11).
- Wright extended his on-base streak to 18 games.
- Sophomore James Ciliento (Mahwah, N.J.) extended his on-base streak to 16 games.
- Daley posted his fifth-career two-RBI game.
Bryant will travel to Kingston, Rhode Island, on Tuesday afternoon to face in-state rival Rhode Island. First pitch is scheduled for 3:30 p.m.