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Bulldogs win wild Wednesday affair with Wofford, 12-11

Denise Ipsen photo
Denise Ipsen photo

SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The Bryant University baseball team scored in each of the first seven innings and then held off a late rally to earn a 12-11 victory over Wofford College on Wednesday night at Russell C. King Field.

Bryant (8-6) has now won three-straight games for the first time this season and is 4-1 on its spring break trip. The Bulldogs scored a season-high 12 runs and registered 15 hits for the second-straight day.

Redshirt sophomore Ryan Ward (Millbury, Mass.) led the way offensively, going 4-for-4 with a double, home run, two runs scored, three RBI and two walks. Junior James Ciliento (Mahwah, N.J.), freshman Jake Gustin (Peabody, Mass.), redshirt sophomore Jimmy Titus (Stafford, Conn.), sophomore Shane Kelly (Sewell, N.J.) and senior Tyler Panno (Rivervale, N.J.) all added two hits in the contest.

The fifth of nine pitchers, redshirt junior Jack Owens (Scituate, R.I.) earned the win for the second-straight night. He recorded three outs in the sixth, stranding the bases loaded to keep the game tied. Senior Nathan Wrighter (Windsor, N.Y.) earned his first save of the year, stranding runners on second and third in the ninth.

Game Information
Bryant 12, Wofford 11
Records: Bryant (8-6), Wofford (11-7)
Location: Russell C. King Field (Spartanburg, S.C.)
W|L|S: Jack Owens (2-0) | Matt Ellmyer (1-2) | Nathan Wrighter (1)

Coach Owens' Comments

"It was a great offensive day. We hit five doubles and three home runs, walked seven times. It was a good day. Pitching was a little thin but we did what we had to do to win the game. We made a nice 1st-and-3rd play, Shane made a great throw from right, Jake Gustin made two great plays and Nick's play in the ninth was great. Big defensive plays. We are going to rest and enjoy a day off."

Key Moments

  • After Wofford tied the game at 10-10 in the sixth, Jack Owens was able to keep the game tied. He posted a strikeout for the second out and then got a ground ball to second.
  • Moments later, Ciliento untied the game with a leadoff home run in the top of the seventh.
  • In the ninth, senior Nick Angelini (Bedford, N.H.) made a diving catch in deep right center with a runner on second to keep the Bulldogs ahead.   

How it Happened

  • The Bulldogs struck quickly, scoring in each of the first four innings. In the first, Gustin singled with one out and came around to score on a hard single to right from Ward.
  • Bryant opened the game up a bit with four runs in the second. Titus drove in the first two runs of the inning with a two-out, two-run single to left field. Two batters later, junior Chris Wright (Cumberland, R.I.) roped a two-run double off the top of the wall in right to make it 5-0.
  • Wofford answered with a run in the bottom of the second. John Dempsey doubled and came around to score on a sac fly.
  • The Black and Gold extended their lead with single runs in the third and fourth. Panno ripped a one-out double and came around to score on a two-out single from Gustin in the third. Ward then opened the fourth with a monstrous home run to right center to make it 7-1.
  • Wofford cut into the Bryant lead with four runs in the bottom of the fourth. The Terriers opened the inning with four-straight singles, scoring their first two runs on a bloop single from Ethan Cornelius. Mike Brown added an RBI single and Andrew Orzel made it 7-5 with a sac fly.
  • Bryant quickly responded with two runs in the top of the fifth. Panno doubled and came around to score on a single to center from Ciliento. Ciliento then worked his way around the bases, scoring on a wild pitch to make it 9-5.
  • The Terriers threatened to erase the deficit in the bottom of the inning, loading the bases with one out. Kelly then caught a fly ball in right and unleashed a cannon to home to get the runner tagging from third to end the inning.
  • Kelly then did damage with his bat in the next half inning, lacing a home run over the left field wall.
  • Wofford plated four runs in the bottom of the sixth to tie the game. Two walks opened the inning before a single to center plated the first run. A second run scored as the throw got away at third. Wofford then tied the game on a single to right and a throwing error by the Bulldogs. Jack Owens was able to limit the damage, leaving the bases loaded with a strikeout and a ground out.
  • Bryant needed just one pitch to retake the lead as Ciliento swatted the first pitch of the 7th over the left-field wall for his third of the year. Titus and Ward then followed with back-to-back doubles to make it 12-10.
  • The Terriers tried to steal a run back in the bottom of the seventh but Bryant sniffed it out. With runners on the corners, the runner drew the throw to first and the runner on third broke for home. Wright fielded the throw and fired home to get the runner.
  • Wofford was able to get within a run in the eighth with a solo home run to right.

Stats

  • Senior Craig Lacey (Westfield, Mass.) allowed five runs on six hits over three-plus innings in his first start of the year. He walked one and struck out two.
  • Sophomore Matthew Stansky (Douglas, Mass.) tossed a scoreless inning of relief.
  • Owens earned his second win with a scoreless inning.
  • Classmate Mason Palmieri (Lincoln, R.I.) recorded two outs in his first outing of the year.
  • Ciliento finished 2-for-5 with a home run, two RBI and three runs scored.
  • Gustin went 2-for-6 with an RBI and a run scored.
  • Titus went 2-for-4 with a double, two RBI and two runs scored.
  • Panno finished 2-for-4 with two doubles and three runs scored.
  • Kelly went 2-for-5 with a home run.
  • Wright went 1-for-3 with a double, two walks and two RBI.
  • Ward finished 4-for-4 with a double, home run, three RBI, two runs scored and two walks.

Notes and Notables

  • Bryant and Wofford were meeting for the first time in program history.
  • Eight of Bryant's last nine games have been decided by two runs or less.
  • Bryant won for just the second time under coach Owens when giving up 10+ runs. The Bulldogs were  1-41 when doing so before the game started. The only other time Bryant has won when giving up 10+ was Apr. 16, 2017 against LIU Brooklyn (13-11).
  • The Bulldogs also improved to 90-1 when scoring 10+ runs in a game under coach Owens.
  • Kelly registered his fourth career outfield assist. He's played just 22 games in the outfield.
  • Titus registered multiple hits for the third-straight game. His two RBI and two runs were both season highs.
  • Ciliento's home run was his third of the year and his second on the spring break trip. He now has seven in his career.
  • Ciliento tied his career high with three runs scored. He's done it nine times in his career.
  • Kelly's home run was his second of the year and the fifth of his career. He's hit both home runs on the spring break trip.
  • Panno doubled twice in one game for the third time in his career. It's the first time since Mar. 3, 2018 vs. Boston College.
  • Panno also scored a career-high three runs.
  • Wright has six RBI over the last two games.
  • Ward tied his career-high with four hits. It is the sixth time in his career he's done it and the first time since May 5, 2018.
  • Ward's home run was his first of the year and the 11th of his career. It's his first since Apr. 24, 2018.
  • Ward drove in three runs for the second time this season and for the fifth time in his career.
  • Jack Owens has earned the win in each of Bryant's last two games.
  • Wrighter earned his first save of the year and the 10th of his career.

Up Next

Bryant wraps up its spring break trip with Spider Classic in Richmond, Virginia, this weekend. The Bulldogs will face host Richmond on Friday, Quinnipiac on Saturday and Toledo on Sunday.