SMITHFIELD, R.I. – The Bryant University baseball team scored in all but one inning as it defeated Central Connecticut, 6-1, in the first game of a Northeast Conference doubleheader at Conaty Park.
Bryant score its six runs on just seven hits and received home runs from senior Mickey Gasper (Merrimack, N.H.) and junior Tyler Panno (Rivervale, N.J.). Gasper went 2-for-3 with three runs scored and Panno finished 2-for-2 with two RBI.
Sophomore Vito Morgese (Warwick, N.Y.) held the Blue Devils at bay as he allowed one unearned run over 5 1/3 innings. He allowed four hits, walked four and struck out six to earn his fourth win of the year. Junior Nathan Wrighter (Windsor, N.Y.) recorded the final five outs to earn his eighth save.
Bryant 6, Central Connecticut 1
Records: Bryant (25-16-1, 16-5), Central Connecticut (13-22, 8-12)
Location: Conaty Park (Smithfield, R.I.)
- Central Connecticut brought the tying run to the plate with one out in the sixth but Wrighter was able to get the Bulldogs out of trouble. He struck out the first batter he faced on three pitches before getting a fly ball to center to end the inning.
How it happened
- Bryant opened the scoring with one swing of the bat from Gasper in the first. Gasper was ahead in the count 3-1 when he walloped a fastball well over the right field wall for his sixth home run of the year.
- The Bulldogs extended their lead with two runs in the third. CCSU intentionally walked Gasper to face sophomore Gaby Cruz (Miami, Fla.) and Cruz delivered a two-out RBI single to left field. Classmate Chris Wright (Cumberland, R.I.) followed with a single up the middle to drive in Gasper to make it 3-0.
- CCSU got a run back in the top of fourth. Nick Garland led off with a double and came around to score on a two-out throwing error.
- Panno then single-handedly put Bryant up 5-1. He powered a 2-0 pitch to deep right center for his sixth home run of the year in the fourth and then delivered a two-out RBI single to center in the fifth.
- CCSU threatened in the sixth as three-straight walks loaded the bases with one out. Wrighter was summoned from the bullpen and got a strikeout and a fly ball to center to end the threat.
- Bryant extended its lead to 6-1 in the bottom of the inning as redshirt freshman Ryan Ward (Millbury, Mass.) extended his hitting streak to 28 games with an RBI single.
- Bryant out-hit Central, 7-4.
- Morgese allowed one unearned run on four hits over 5 1/3 innings. He walked four and struck out six.
- Mattison retired all five batters he faced to earn his eighth save.
- Ward drove in a run with a single.
- Gasper finished 2-for-3 with a home run, an RBI and three runs scored.
- Cruz and Wright both delivered RBI singles.
- Panno finished 2-for-2 with a home run, a walk and two RBI.
- The Bulldogs are now 31-10 against Central Connecticut at the Division I level.
- Bryant improves to 14-3-1 in the month of April.
- Bryant clinched the series with the win and has won or tied 61 of its 65 NEC series.
- Morgese struck out six or more batters for the fourth time this year.
- Wrighter's eighth save leads the NEC.
- Ward extended his hitting streak to 28 games and his on-base streak to 38 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 now has 79 hits on the season, tied for the sixth-most in a single season in DI program history.
- Gasper has now reached safely in each of his last 20 games.
- Gasper has now homered twice in the series and all six of his home runs have come in league play.
- Panno hit his first home run since March 31 against Mount St. Mary's.