SMITHFIELD, R.I. – A five-run fourth inning was the difference as the Bryant University baseball team defeated Central Connecticut, 9-4, in the first game of a Northeast Conference doubleheader on Saturday afternoon.
Senior Mickey Gapser (Merrimack, N.H.) hit a three-run home run and finished with four RBI, while classmate Malik Daley (Northborough, Mass.) chipped in a career-high three hits. The Black and Gold finished the game with 12 hits.
Gasper broke a 1-1 tie with a three-run home run in the fourth and freshman Sam Owens (Scituate, R.I.) delivered a two-run triple to key the Bulldogs' five-run fourth inning.
Bryant 9, Central Connecticut 4
Records: Bryant (23-16-1, 14-5), Central Connecticut (13-20, 8-10)
Location: Conaty Park (Smithfield, R.I.)
W|L|S: Steve Theetge (4-6) | Brandon Fox (1-3) | Craig Lackey (1)
- With the game tied 1-1, Gasper got the green light on a 3-0 pitch and sent it over the right field fence for a three-run home run.
How it happened
- Central took advantage of two Bryant errors to score a run in the first. Christian Layne bunted for a single and the Bulldogs made back-to-back errors to bring him home.
- The Bulldogs tied the game with a two-out single in the second. Sophomore Chris Wright (Cumberland, R.I.) doubled with one out and scored on a two-out single from Daley.
- Bryant then opened the game up with eight runs in its next two at-bats. In the third, Gasper got the green light on a 3-0 pitch and launched it well over the wall in right center to make it 4-1.
- The Black and Gold then added five more runs in the fourth to make it 9-1. Junior Tyler Panno (Rivervale, N.J.) singled to open the inning and Daley's hard-hit ground ball was thrown away to put two on. Owens followed with a line drive to left center that made its way all the way to the wall for a two-run triple. Redshirt freshman Ryan Ward (Millbury, Mass.) scored Owens with a double off the top of the right field wall and came around to score on a Gasper single. Wright scored the final run with a ground ball to first.
- CCSU was able to able to get back in the game with three in the top of the fifth. With runners on the corners, a potential double play ball was misplayed allowing a run to score. CCSU took advantage as Nick Garland followed with a two-run single up the middle.
- Junior Steve Theetge (Syracuse, N.Y.) picked up the win for the Bulldogs. He allowed four runs (one earned) on seven hits, walked three and struck out six.
- Classmate Craig Lacey (Westfield, Mass.) pitched the final three innings to earn his first save of the year. He allowed one hit, walked three and struck out three.
- Ward finished 2-for-5 with a double, an RBI and two runs scored.
- Sophomore James Ciliento (Mahwah, N.J.) picked up two hits and scored twice.
- Gasper had two hits, including a home run and four RBI.
- Wright doubled, drove in a run and scored a run.
- Owens tripled and drove in two.
- Brandon Fox allowed nine runs on 10 hits over four innings. Mike Appel tossed four scoreless in relief.
- The Bulldogs are now 29-10 against Central Connecticut at the Division I level.
- Bryant improves to 12-3-1 in the month of April.
- Theetge picked up his 21st career win, tying him with Kevin McAvoy for fourth in DI program history. He also improves to 17-1 all-time against NEC opponents.
- Lacey earned his first save of the year and the first of his career.
- Ward extended his hitting streak to 26 games and his on-base streak to 36 games. Both are the longest of his career. He has reached safely in all but one game this season.
- Ward's hitting streak is the sixth-longest in the nation this season. It is the fourth longest active streak.
- Ward became just the 10th player in program history to hit 20+ doubles in a single season.
- Ward now has 24 multi-hit games on the year.
- Ward now has 77 hits on the season, the seventh-most in a single season in DI program history.
- Senior Mickey Gasper (Merrimack, N.H.) has now reached safely in each of last 18.
- Gasper has now hit all five of his home runs in league play this season.
- Gasper drove in four runs for the second time this season and the second time in his career.
- Wright extended his on-base streak to 20 games.
- Daley posted his first-career three-hit game. He also hit his second double of the year.
- Ciliento posted his 18th multi-hit game of the year.