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Baseball wins 7th-straight NEC Regular-Season title on Friday

Chris Hook / HookPhoto
Chris Hook / HookPhoto

EMMITSBURG, Md. – The Bryant University baseball team claimed a share of its seventh-straight Northeast Conference Regular-Season championship with an 18-3 victory over Mount St. Mary's on Friday afternoon.

With the win, the Black and Gold have now won the NEC Regular-Season title every year since 2012. In total, Bryant has won eight regular season titles in its nine years as a full NEC member. Bryant finished tied for first place with Wagner but will serve as the No. 1 seed in next week's NEC Tournament due to tiebreaker procedure. It will be the sixth-straight year Bryant will serve as the No. 1 seed.

Friday's victory was spearheaded by three hits from senior Mickey Gasper (Merrimack, N.H.) and three hits and four RBI from sophomore James Ciliento (Mahwah, N.J.). It backed up a 10-strikeout performance from senior Jack Patterson (Suffield, Conn.).  

Game Information

Bryant 18, Mount St. Mary's 3

Records: Bryant (31-21-1, 21-7), Mount St. Mary's (21-31, 15-13)

Location: E.T. Straw Family Stadium (Emmitsburg, Md.)

W|L|S: Jack Patterson (6-2) | Michael Collins (3-8)

Coach Owens' Comments

"We had a long day traveling down here and we've been playing in the rain for 20-straight hours. I thought our guys did a great job with it and I am really happy they came out to play today. Our starting pitchers have been horses all year for us and we are hoping to ride them into this tournament. They don't have to do anything different than what they've been doing.

To win seven consecutive regular-season titles is a very difficult task. That's happened from a lot of work from a lot of good coaches and a lot of really good committed players for a really long time. I've never done that and I've never heard of anyone doing that. I am really proud of our team and our players for having the toughness to do that."

Key Moment

  • A half inning after Mount St. Mary's made it a one-run game, the Black and Gold sent 10 men to the plate and scored six runs to make it a 10-3 game after 4 ½ innings.

How it happened

  • Bryant got on the board two batters into the game. Ciliento doubled to right center and scored as Gasper singled through the right side.
  • The Bulldogs made it 3-0 with two runs in the top of the third. Ciliento walked, Gasper singled and redshirt freshman Ryan Ward (Millbury, Mass.) slashed a single to left center to make it 2-0. Freshman Shane Kelly (Sewell, N.J.) scored the second run with a sac fly.
  • Mount answered with two runs in the bottom of the third. Myles Nicholson singled to start the inning and Alex Kriss followed with a ground ball back to the mound. The Bulldogs were unable to get an out on the play and Patrick Causa's bloop single to left made it 3-1. Back-to-back walks then made it 3-2.
  • In the top of the fourth, sophomore Bryan Hart (Franklin, Mass.) hit his second home run of the weekend, a two-out solo home run to right field.
  • Again, Mount answered. Mitch Scrignoli walked to start the inning and came around to score on a two-out double from Causa.
  • Bryant then put the game away with a six-run fifth. Gasper and Ward opened the inning with singles and freshman Sam Owens (Scituate, R.I.) plated two with a single to left field. Junior Nick Angelini (Bedford, N.H.) followed with an RBI double to center and senior Malik Daley (Northborough, Mass.) scored two with a single to center. Ciliento capped the inning with a sac fly.  
  • The Black and Gold capped their scoring with two in the seventh, one in the eighth and five in the ninth. Ciliento scored two with a single up the middle in the seventh and Daley drove in a run with a ground out in the eighth. In the ninth, redshirt junior Nolan Hayward (Glendale, R.I.) and Wright singled home runs and Angelini scored a third with a ground out. An infield single from Ciliento and a bases-loaded walk by Gasper ended the scoring.

Stats

  • Patterson allowed three runs on five hits over six innings to earn the win. He walked five and struck out 10.
  • Sophomore Vito Morgese (Warwick, N.Y.) tossed two innings of relief, posting five strikeouts. He struck out the side in the eighth.
  • Redshirt junior Justin Snyder (Georgetown, Mass.) pitched a scoreless ninth.
  • Gasper finished 3-for-4 with an RBI and three runs scored. He walked twice and was hit by a pitch.
  • Ciliento went 3-for-5 with four RBI and two runs scored.
  • Ward finished 3-for-5 with an RBI and two runs scored.
  • Owens posted two hits, drove in two runs and scored twice.
  • Wright had two hits.
  • Angelini walked twice, scored twice and drove in two.
  • Daley finished with three RBI and three runs scored.
  • Hart homered and finished with two hits.

Game Notes

  • The Bulldogs claimed at least a share of their seventh-straight NEC Regular-Season title.
  • It is the longest streak in the country.
  • Bryant will serve as the No. 1 seed in next weekend's NEC Tournament at Dodd Stadium in Norwich, Conn. It will be the sixth-straight year Bryant is the No. 1 seed.
  • Bryant is now 34-4 all-time against Mount St. Mary's.
  • Bryant won the season series with Mount, 4-2.
  • Ward now has 95 hits on the season, four shy of tying the single-season school record.
  • With his three-hit performance, Ward wrapped up the NEC batting title and became the first NEC player to finish the regular season with a batting average over .400 since 2011.
  • Ward is only the second Bryant player to win the NEC batting title, joining Robby Rinn (2016).
  • Ward posted his 27th multi-hit game of the season.
  • Gasper posted his fifth three-hit game of the year and his 21st multi-game of the year.
  • With two walks, Gasper became just the second player in DI program history and the third in program history to earn 100 walks in a career.
  • Gasper also became just the sixth player in DI program history to record 40+ RBI and 50+ runs scored in the same season. His 55 runs scored are the third-most in a single season in DI program history.
  • Wright posted his fourth-straight two-hit game and extended his hitting streak to 12 games.
  • Ciliento recorded his 21st multi-hit game of the year.
  • Hart hit his second home run of the series and his fourth of the season. Three of his four home runs this season have gone to right field.  
  • Daley's three RBI were a career-high.
  • Patterson notched his fourth-straight quality start in NEC games.
  • Patterson struck out 10+ batters for the third time this season.
  • He now has 90 strikeouts on the season, becoming just the third pitcher in program history to strike out 90+ batters in a single season.
  • Patterson now leads the team with six wins.
  • The Bryant pitching staff struck out a season-high 17 batters.

Up Next

Bryant will serve as the No. 1 seed in the NEC Tournament and face fourth-seeded Mount St. Mary's next Thursday at Dodd Stadium in Norwich, Conn.