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MacDonald dominates as Bryant blanks URI, 2-0

Cynthia Herrick Photo
Cynthia Herrick Photo

KINGSTON, R.I. – Freshman John MacDonald (Stamford, Conn.) struck out six over six shutout innings in his first-career start to lead the Bryant University baseball team to a 2-0 victory over in-state rival Rhode Island on Wednesday afternoon.

Four pitchers combined to allow just three hits and strikeout nine in the Bulldogs' first shutout of the 2019 season.

MacDonald was the highlight as he allowed just two hits, walked one and struck out six over six innings to earn his first-career win. Junior Chris Wright (Cumberland, R.I.) retired the side in the ninth to earn his league-leading seventh save of the year.

Senior Nick Angelini (Bedford, N.H) led the offense with three hits, a stolen base and a run scored. Sophomore Sam Owens (Scituate, R.I.) had two hits, including a double.

Game Information
Bryant 2, Rhode Island 0
Records: Bryant (17-10), Rhode Island (11-14)
Location: Bill Beck Field (Kingston, R.I.)
W|L|S: John MacDonald (1-2) | Jon Morrison (0-1) | Chris Wright (7)

Coach Owens' Comments

"We've decided it's time for John MacDonald to get some innings in and he's an extremely talented kid. He pitches with as much as energy and confidence than any freshman we've had. It was an electric performance against a good team. Craig threw great, Nate did his job and Chris was awesome again. We threw a shutout against a good club. We didn't' have a great day offensively but they pitched well, too. We turned two double plays. We got it done in a different way today."

Key Moments

  • URI committed an error on a potential inning-ending double play in the third that led to Bryant's first run.
  • MacDonald worked out of his only jam in the fourth, posting a strikeout to strand runners on second and third.

How it Happened

  • Bryant scored the first run of the game in the third inning. Singles from Angelini and junior James Ciliento (Mahwah, N.J.) put two runners on before freshman Jake Gustin (Peabody, Mass.) hit a ground ball to third. The Rams got the first out at second but the throw to first was wild, allowing Angelini to score.
  • MacDonald kept it a 1-0 game through six innings, picking up a strikeout to strand runners on second and third in the fourth. He finished his outing by retiring the final seven batters he faced.
  • The Black and Gold extended their lead in the top of the eighth. Gustin singled through the right side and redshirt sophomore Jimmy Titus (Stafford, Conn.) walked to put two on with one out. The Rams then brought in a lefty to face redshirt sophomore Ryan Ward (Millbury, Mass.) and he stroked a single to right center to score Gustin.  


  • Bryant outhit URI, 8-3.
  • The Bulldogs played errorless defense.
  • Bryant turned two double plays in the game.
  • MacDonald allowed just two hits, walked one and struck out six over six scoreless innings. He threw just 72 pitches.  
  • Senior Craig Lacey (Westfield, Mass.) tossed 1 1/3 innings of relief after MacDonald.
  • Classmate Nathan Wrighter (Windsor, N.Y.) relieved Lacey with a man on in the eighth and induced an inning-ending 6-3 double play.
  • Angelini went 3-for-4 with a stolen base and a run scored.
  • Owens went 2-for-4 with a double.
  • Gustin singled and scored a run.
  • Ward drove in a run with his lone hit.

Notes and Notables

  • Bryant improves to 10-6 in the Division I series with URI.
  • Bryant posted its first shutout of 2019 and its first shutout since a 10-0 blanking of Mount St. Mary's on May 17, 2018.
  • Ciliento has now hit safely in each of his last 16 games.
  • Angelini posted his fifth three-hit game of the year and the 16th of his career. He now has nine multi-hit games this season and 59 in his career.
  • Angelini stole his 49th career base. He is one away from becoming just the third in DI program history to steal 50.
  • Owens posted his sixth two-hit game of the year, his eighth multi-hit game of the year and the 21st of his career.
  • MacDonald posted season highs in innings and strikeouts.
  • Wright struck out two in the ninth and now has 35 strikeouts in 17 1/3 innings this year.  
  • Wright leads the NEC with seven saves on the year.

Up Next

Bryant returns to Conaty Park this weekend when it hosts Fairleigh Dickinson in a three-game Northeast Conference series. Game one of the series is set for 3:00 p.m. on Friday.