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Top-seeded Bulldogs swing into winner's bracket with 21-6 victory

Steve McLaughlin Photography
Steve McLaughlin Photography

NORWICH, Conn. – The top-seeded Bryant University baseball team exploded for 21 runs on 24 hits as it eased past fourth-seeded Mount St. Mary's, 21-6, on Thursday afternoon at Dodd Stadium.

Bryant advances to the winner's bracket in the double-elimination tournament and will face the winner of second-seeded Wagner and third-seeded LIU Brooklyn on Friday afternoon at 4:00 p.m.

Every batter in the Bulldog lineup collected a hit and scored a run, while all but two drove in a run. Sophomore James Ciliento (Mahwah, N.J.) had four hits and four RBI, redshirt freshman Ryan Ward (Millbury, Mass.) had three hits and three RBI, junior Nick Angelini (Bedford, N.H.) had three hits and three RBI and sophomore Bryan Hart (Franklin, Mass.) had three hits and a career-high five RBI.

On the mound, junior Steve Theetge (Syracuse, N.Y.) notched his eighth quality start in nine outings against NEC foes this year, allowing three runs on 10 hits over six innings. He walked one and struck out three.

Game Information

Bryant 21, Mount St. Mary's 6

Records: Bryant (32-21-1), Mount St. Mary's (21-32)

Location: Dodd Stadium (Norwich, Conn.)

W|L|S: Steve Theetge (6-7) | Trey McGough (4-7)

Coach Owens' Comments

"We had a really good approach against that pitcher. The players executed the approach and we got big hits. It's the first time in a while we've gotten production from the top, middle and bottom. That's a positive going forward and hopefully we can build on that going forward into tomorrow."

Key Moment

  • Angelini and Ciliento put exclamation points on Bryant's first two big innings. Angelini drove in two with a double in the first and Ciliento plated two with a triple in the third.  

How it happened

  • Ciliento opened the game with a single and went to third as the Mount threw a potential double-play ball into right field. Ward followed with an RBI single to open the scoring, sophomore Chris Wright (Cumberland, R.I.) scored a run with a ground out and Angelini's double down the left field line made it 4-0.
  • In the third, a walk and a single opened the inning before Angelini drove in a run with a single. A throwing error brought home the second run, senior Malik Daley's (Northborough, Mass.) bloop single down the right field line scored a run and Ciliento's two-run triple to left center made it 9-0.
  • Bryant made it 13-0 with four more runs in the fifth. Freshman Sam Owens (Scituate, R.I.) doubled down the third base line to open the inning, moved to third on a fly out and scored on a single from Hart. Ciliento then scored Hart with a single and freshman Shane Kelly (Sewell, N.J.) plated two with a two-out, two-run single to center.
  • Mount got on the board with three two-out runs in the sixth. A pair of singles and a hit by pitch loaded the bases and CJ Kozorosky and Myles Nicholson delivered back-to-back run-scoring singles.
  • The Bulldogs added five more runs in the sixth, two in the seventh and one in the eighth. In the sixth, Hart hammered a three-run home run to left field to make it 16-3. Ward added an RBI single and Kelly capped the inning with a sac fly. In the seventh, Ciliento scored a run with a single and Ward drove in a run with a ground out. Hart drove in the final run of the game with a ground out in the eighth.
  • Mount closed out the scoring with three runs in the top of the ninth without the benefit of a hit.

Stats

  • Bryant outhit Mount St. Mary's, 24-11.
  • Ciliento finished 4-for-5 with two walks, four RBI and three runs scored.
  • Ward had three hits, three RBI and two runs scored.
  • Kelly went 1-for-3 with two walks, three RBI and two runs scored.
  • Wright had two hits.
  • Angelini went 3-for-6 with three RBI and two runs scored.
  • Owens had two hits, walked twice and scored four runs.
  • Daley had four hits and three runs scored.
  • Hart posted three hits, including a home run, drove in five and scored twice.
  • Theetge allowed three runs on 10 hits over six innings. He walked one and struck out three.
  • Redshirt junior Justin Snyder (Georgetown, Mass.) tossed a scoreless seventh and senior Ross Weiner (Woodbridge, Conn.) tossed a scoreless eighth.

Game Notes

  • The Bulldogs improve to 14-5 in the NEC Tournament.
  • Bryant is now 3-3 in the first game of the NEC Tournament.
  • The Black and Gold are now 35-4 all-time against Mount St. Mary's.
  • The 21 runs are the most in an NEC Tournament game since 2006 when Central Connecticut scored 25. The 24 hits are the second-most in an NEC Tournament game. Both are the most for Bryant in an NEC Tournament game.
  • The 21 runs also tie a DI program record and are the most in a game since 2016.
  • Ward now has 98 hits on the season, one shy of tying the single-season school record.
  • Ward now has 12 three-hit games and 28 multi-hit games on the year. It was his 13th multi-RBI game of the year.
  • Ward also became the third player in DI program history to record 50+ RBI and 50+ runs scored in a single season. Robby Rinn and Matt Albanese both did so in 2016. 
  • Senior Mickey Gasper (Merrimack, N.H.) scored twice and now has 57 runs scored, the second-most in DI program history. 
  • Ciliento tied his career-high in hits with four. It was his 22nd multi-hit game of the year and seventh multi-RBI game.
  • Wright posted his fifth-straight two-hit game and extended his hitting streak to 13 games. The 13-game hitting streak ties his career high.  
  • Hart set career-highs in hits (3) and RBI (5).
  • Hart has now homered in each of the last three games. He is the first player to do so since Matt Albanese homered in three straight in 2015.
  • Daley registered a career-high four hits and tied his career-high with three runs scored.
  • Daley is now 12-for-38 with eight runs scored his last 10 games.
  • In addition to his two hits, Owens scored a career-high four runs.
  • Kelly registered his sixth multi-RBI game of the year.  
  • Theetge is now 2-0 in his NEC Tournament career.
  • He recorded his eighth quality start in nine NEC outings this season.
  • Theetge's victory was his 23rd career victory.  
  • Theetge now has thrown 87 1/3 innings this season, the most by a lefty in DI program history.

Up Next

Bryant will play either Wagner or LIU Brooklyn on Friday afternoon at 4:00 p.m.