SMITHFIELD, R.I. – Bryant University baseball senior Mickey Gasper (Merrimack, N.H.), classmate Jack Patterson (Suffield, Conn.) and freshman Tyler Mattison (Fort Ann, N.Y.) all played key roles in a weekend sweep of Central Connecticut and were honored on Monday for those performances.
Gasper was named the Northeast Conference Player of the Week, Patterson picked up NEC Co-Pitcher of the Week honors, while Mattison was named NEC Co-Rookie of the Week. Bryant has now 21 weekly awards over the first 11 weeks of the season.
Gasper earned his way onto base 11 times during Bryant's four-game sweep of defending NEC champion Central Connecticut. The switch-hitting catcher connected on three extra-base hits during the series and drew six walks. For the week, which included a 1-for-5 showing in a non-league bout with Rhode Island, Gasper batted .429 (6-for-14) with two home runs, one double, six walks, five RBI and six runs scored. Reaching base at a .600 clip, the veteran backstop scored at least one run in four of the five contests. Gasper accounted for a pair of run-scoring knocks in the series opener against CCSU, a 9-4 victory. The senior broke a 1-1 tie by launching a three-run bomb over the right-centerfield fence in the third inning. He sent an RBI single up the middle during his next plate appearance one frame later. Helping the Bulldogs put together a 4-0 win in Game 2, Gasper doubled, walked twice and scored one run. He opened the scoring in Game 3, blasting a two-out solo homer in the first inning of Bryant's eventual 6-1 win. Gasper drew two walks in the series finale, including one during the three-run fifth inning that proved to be the difference in the Bulldogs' 3-0 triumph.
Winning his third consecutive start, Patterson went 9.0 innings for the first time this season. The senior closed the book on Bryant's four-game sweep of defending NEC champion Central Connecticut by spinning a three-hit shutout Sunday. Patterson allowed only three singles, two of which didn't leave the infield, en-route to becoming Bryant's first starter to spin a 9-inning complete game since Craig Schlitter in 2014. The righty struck out a career-high 12 batters and issued three walks. Following a sixth-inning leadoff single by CCSU's all-NEC infielder Dean Lockery, Patterson did not surrender another hit the rest of the way. He retired nine batters in a row immediately following Lockery's base knock. He struck out eight men over the final 4.0 frames and registered five of the game's last six outs via strikeout. Patterson needed 117 pitches to complete the shutout with 77 of those pitches resulting in strikes.
Mattison took the ball for the second half of Saturday's doubleheader against Central Connecticut and recorded the longest outing of his rookie season. Quieting the defending NEC champions, the first-year Bulldog went the distance in a 4-0 victory. He allowed only four hits and three walks during the 7-inning complete-game performance. Central Connecticut opened the game with its first two batters reaching safely, but Mattison responded by recording a strikeout followed by a double-play ball back to the box. The rookie righty issued a leadoff walk in the second inning, but proceeded to pick off that runner in the midst of retiring five consecutive batters. Mattison held CCSU hitless over the final two frames and did not let the ball leave the infield during that span. He has allowed only one earned run over his last three starts.
The Bulldogs are back in action on Wednesday afternoon when they travel to Boston to face Northeastern. First pitch is scheduled for 3:00 p.m.