ELON, N.C. – Sophomore Shane Kelly (Sewell, N.J.) hit a grand slam to punctuate a six-run fourth inning and lead the Bryant University baseball team to a 6-4 victory over Elon on Saturday afternoon at Latham Park.
The Bulldogs have now won three-of-four and improved to 5-5 with the win over the Phoenix. Bryant and Elon will wrap up the series with a doubleheader on Sunday.
On Saturday, Bryant erased a 2-0 deficit with a six-run fourth. After four-straight walks tied the game, Kelly hit his first career grand slam to make it 6-2. He finished the day 3-for-4, a triple shy of the cycle.
Classmate Tyler Mattison (Fort Ann, N.Y.) struck out a season-high six over five innings to earn the win, while senior Nathan Wrighter (Windsor, N.Y.) and junior Chris Wright (Cumberland, R.I.) closed the door. They combined to strike out seven over the final 3 2/3.
Coach Owens' Comments
"It was a really well-pitched game by both teams. It was a very difficult game to score runs in and a tough battle right to the end. In the fourth, we had a couple of two-strike walks and put the pitcher into a tough situation. He had to throw a fastball and Shane Kelly hit a home run. Tyler was much improved today and then Nate Wrighter and Chris Wright were electric. Shane was the best player on the field. It's the third time in four weeks we've won the first game. That's a good ratio and gives us an opportunity to win a series on the road against a good team tomorrow."
- After Brnovich walked four-straight batters, Kelly stepped to the plate and lifted the first pitch he saw over the left field wall for a grand slam.
How it Happened
- Elon jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first. Cam Devaney brought home a run with a sac fly and Anthony Galason scored the second with a two-out chopper through the right side.
- Bryant erased the deficit in the fourth, sending nine men to the plate and scoring six runs. Redshirt sophomore Ryan Ward (Millbury, Mass.) opened the inning with a single and Elon starter Kyle Brnovich walked four straight batters to force in the tying runs. Kelly then launched the first pitch he saw over the left field wall for a grand slam to make it 6-2.
- The Phoenix got back in the game with a pair of runs in the bottom of the sixth thanks to a two-run double from Garrett Stonehouse.
- Wrighter and Wright then closed the door on the Phoenix. Wrighter struck out three over 2 1/3 innings of relief and Wright struck out each of the final four batters of the game.
- Elon outhit Bryant, 11-6.
- Four Bryant pitchers struck out 14, while two Phoenix pitchers struck out 16.
- Mattison struck out a season-high six batters over five innings. He allowed two runs on eight hits and walked three. Mattison allowed his only two runs in the first.
- Wrighter delivered 2 1/3 scoreless inning of relief to keep Bryant ahead. He recorded the final two outs of the sixth, set down the Phoenix in order in the seventh and struck out the first two in the eighth.
- Wright struck out all four batters he faced to earn his fourth save.
- Kelly finished 3-for-4 with a double, grand slam and four RBI.
- Sophomore Sam Owens (Scituate, R.I.) and freshman Vincenzo Castronovo (Utica, N.Y.) both drew RBI walks in the fourth.
- Elon preseason All-American Kyle Brnovich struck out 12 but allowed six runs on six and walked six over seven innings.
Notes and Notables
- Bryant improved to 1-0 all-time against Elon.
- Each of Bryant's last five games has been decided by two runs or less.
- Kelly hit the first grand slam of his career.
- It is the first grand slam by a Bulldog since Ward hit one against Delaware on Mar. 16, 2018.
- Kelly registered the fifth three-hit game of his career and his first home run since Apr. 13, 2018.
- Wright is now a perfect 4-of-4 in save opportunities.
- Wright has struck out 12 of the 17 batters he's faced this season.
- Wrighter has now pitched 2+ innings in each of his last three outings. He's allowed just two hits in his last 6 2/3 innings.
Bryant and Elon will wrap up their series on Sunday with a doubleheader scheduled to begin at 12:00 p.m.