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Bulldogs rally, fall short in opener at No. 1 LSU

Bulldogs rally, fall short in opener at No. 1 LSU

BATON ROUGE, La. – The Bryant University baseball team brought the tying run to the plate in the top of the eighth but its late rally was not enough as No. 1 LSU held on for a 13-6 victory Friday night at Alex Box Stadium.

**Game two of the series was moved back to an 8:00 p.m. EST first pitch on Saturday due to weather.**

Trailing, 10-4, at the start of the eighth inning, sophomore Sam Owens (Scituate, R.I.) hit a solo home run and then the Bulldogs loaded the bases and redshirt sophomore Jimmy Titus (Stafford, Conn.) drew a bases-loaded walk to force in a run. The rally would be ended by a strikeout.

Owens finished 2-for-4 with a home run, double and two RBI, while junior Chris Wright (Cumberland, R.I.) chipped in two hits and two RBI. Classmate James Ciliento (Mahwah, N.J.) reached base four times with two walks and two hit by pitches and tied a DI program record with three stolen bases.   

Game Information
No. 1 LSU 13, Bryant 6
Records: Bryant (2-2), LSU (5-0)
Location: Alex Box Stadium (Baton Rouge, La.)
W|L|S: Zack Hess (1-0) | Tyler Mattison (1-1)

Coach Owens' Comments

"The team plays hard all the time. We were fortunate enough to put together some good at-bats and get back in the game. We got scrappy kids. We were a little bit behind with our at-bats early but they got better. Sam doubled and homered, Chris doubled, Jake doubled. Those are all quality things. I was pleased with how Tyler and Tyler pitched. They deserved a better fate. Both were much improved from last week. TMatt was throwing hard, competed and was in the strike zone. We need to take care of the baseball better in the infield."

Key Moment

  • Bryant made it a 4-1 game but the Tigers scored six runs in their next two at-bats to open a nine-run lead. LSU's four-run fifth was aided by a pair of Bryant infield errors.   

How it Happened

  • LSU scored in four-straight innings, starting with two runs in the second. A hit by pitch and a single opened the inning before an errant throw on a double steal brought home the first run. A single up the middle made it 2-0.
  • The Tigers then scored twice in the third without the ball leaving the infield. Two walks and a late throw on a ground ball loaded the bases before two infield singles plate a pair of runs.
  • Bryant got on the board in the fourth as Wright doubled off the base of the right field wall and scored as Owens doubled off the base of the wall in left center.
  • The Tigers responded by two runs in the fourth and four more in the fifth. Three-straight two-out singles and a wild pitch led to two runs in the fourth, while a two-run double and a two-run single produced the four runs in the fifth.
  • The Black and Gold put three runs on the board in the seventh. A wild pitch plated the first run and Wright brought home the final two runs with a single to left center.
  • In the eighth, Owens' hit a breaking ball over the left field wall for his second home run of the year. Freshman Jake Gustin (Peabody, Mass.) restarted the inning with a double to right center and three walks forced in a run and made it 10-6.
  • LSU responded in the bottom of the eighth as Cabrera hit a three-run home run to make it 13-6.    

Stats

  • LSU outhit Bryant, 14-7.
  • The Tigers didn't commit an error, while the Bulldogs finished with four.
  • Bryant hitters drew seven walks and were hit three times in the game.
  • Sophomore Tyler Mattison (Fort Ann, N.Y.) allowed 10 runs (five earned) on 10 hits over 4 1/3 innings. He walked two and didn't strike out a batter.
  • Classmate Tyler Schoff (Lee Center, N.Y.) pitched the final 3 2/3 innings. He allowed three runs on four hits, walked one and struck out three.
  • Ciliento walked twice, was hit twice and stole three bases.
  • Titus walked three times and was hit by a pitch.
  • Wright had two hits, including a double, and drove in two.
  • Owens went 2-for-5 with a home run, double and two RBI.
  • Gustin doubled and scored twice.   

Notes and Notables

  • Friday was Bryant's first game against the No. 1 team in the country.
  • It was also Bryant's first-ever game against LSU.
  • The Bulldogs fall to 16-31-1 in the month of February under head coach Steve Owens.
  • Ciliento extended his on-base streak to 11 games dating back to last year.
  • His three stolen bases tied the DI program record held by Ryan Ward, Nick Angelini, and Kevin Brown.
  • Panno saw his 17-game on-base streak come to a close.
  • Owens now has two home runs in the first four games of the year and four in his career.
  • Wright is now tied for the team lead with five RBI on the year.
  • Schoff's 3 2/3 innings of relief was a career high. He also struck out a career-high three batters.  

Up Next

Bryant and LSU continue their series on Saturday night at Alex Box Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 8:00 p.m. EST.