NORWICH, Conn. – The top-seeded Bryant University baseball team saw its season come to a close on Saturday as second-seeded Wagner College earned a 6-1 victory in the fifth game of the Northeast Conference Baseball Championships at Dodd Stadium.
Bryant wraps up the 2018 season with a 32-23-1 overall record.
The Seahawks scrapped out the win with two runs in the third, a run in the sixth and two key insurance runs in the eighth.
Redshirt freshman Ryan Ward (Millbury, Mass.) picked up two hits on the afternoon, finishing the year with a program and NEC record 101 hits. His first-inning single broke a tie with Jeff Renga for the most in school history and made him the first to reach the century mark. Ward's 6th-inning single pushed him past Central Connecticut's Keith Stegbauer and Sean Allaire for the most in NEC history.
Bryant 1, Wagner 6
Records: Bryant (32-23-1), Wagner (38-17)
Location: Dodd Stadium (Norwich, Conn.)
W|L|S: Pat Gallagher (4-3) | Vito Morgese (5-2)
- Leading 2-0, Kyle Brey gave the Seahawks a key insurance run with a two-out, two-strike single up the middle in the sixth. The single came after he fouled off three two-strike pitches.
How it happened
- The Seahawks got on the boar with two runs in the top of the third. After a hit batter and a walk, the Seahawks chose to sacrifice and Bryant tried to get the runner at third. The throw, however, went into left, allowing a run to score. Nick Mascelli's check-swing ground out scored the second run.
- In the sixth, Wagner had runners on the corners with one out when it tried to steal a run. On a throw over to first, Freddy Sabido took off for home but was tagged out. Anthony Pecora and Brey then delivered back-to-back singles to make it 3-0.
- Bryant answered with a run in the bottom of the inning. Sophomore James Ciliento (Mahwah, N.J.) singled, Gasper was hit by a pitch and Ward singled to load the bases with no outs. Wagner reliever Brad Currao came on and got a soft line drive for the first out but uncorked a wild pitch on a strikeout to score the first run. A fly ball to right ended the threat.
- Wagner then added three two-out runs in the eighth to extend its lead. After there were two outs in the inning, a single and a walk extended the inning. A wild pitch put both runners in scoring position and Brey hit a soft ground ball back up the middle. Ward fielded the ground ball and made a jump-throw to first that Brey beat out. During the play, both Wagner runners were able to come around and score. Kyle Cala made it 6-1 with a single back up the middle.
- Wagner outhit the Bulldogs, 11-4.
- Sophomore Vito Morgese (Warwick, N.Y.) suffered just his second loss of the season. He allowed three runs (two earned) on eight hits, walked one and struck out five over 5 2/3 innings.
- Junior Nathan Wrighter (Windsor, N.Y.) allowed three runs on three hits over 2 2/3 innings of relief.
- Ciliento finished 2-for-4 with a run scored.
- Senior Mickey Gasper (Merrimack, N.H.) reached base three times with a hit by pitch and two walks.
- Ward finished with two hits.
- The Bulldogs are now 14-7 in the NEC Tournament.
- Bryant has been eliminated by Wagner each of the last two seasons.
- Ward ends the season with 101 hits, the most in school and NEC history. He is the first player in program history to have 100+ hits in a single season.
- Ward finished the tournament 6-for-14.
- Ciliento finished the season with a career-high 72 hits. He went 7-for-13 with four RBI and five runs scored in the tournament.
- Playing in his final game as a Bulldog, Gasper walked twice to give him 42 on the year.
- He wraps up his Bryant career with 174 hits, 32 doubles, 17 home runs, 119 RBI, 127 runs scored and 102 walks.
- Morgese allowed two earned runs or less for the sixth time in his last seven outings.