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8-run inning lifts Bryant to Friday win

Cynthia Herrick Photography
Cynthia Herrick Photography

SMITHFIELD, R.I. – The Bryant University baseball team scored eight runs with two outs in the bottom of the third and then held on for an 8-5 victory over the University of Hartford on Friday afternoon at Conaty Park.

Bryant entered the third inning down 3-0 and had two outs and a man on second when it started the rally. Stellar relief work from freshman Jackson Harrigan (Acton, Mass.) and junior Chris Wright (Cumberland, R.I.) secured senior Steve Theetge's (Syracuse, N.Y.) 28th career victory. Theetge's 28 wins are now tied with Craig Schlitter for the second-most in program history.  

Redshirt sophomore Ryan Ward (Millbury, Mass.) went 2-for-5 with a three-run home run in the third, sophomore Sam Owens (Scituate, R.I.) had three hits and two RBI and freshman Jake Gustin (Peabody, Mass.) finished 2-for-2 with a run scored.

Game Information
Bryant 8, Hartford 5
Records: Bryant (22-11), Hartford (12-17)
Location: Conaty Park (Smithfield, R.I.)
W|L|S: Steve Theetge (5-1) | Nicholas Dombkowski (1-4) | Chris Wright (8)

Coach Owens' Comments

"That's not exactly how I thought today's game was going to play out. Steve gutted out five innings and did what he needed to do with how the game was playing out. Offensively, our big eight-run inning was the difference. To score eight runs with two outs is very hard to do. It was a special inning for our hitters. Sam had a great game and Wardo's home run was the big blow. Jackson Harrigan was great in relief on a day we were thin in the bullpen. He continues to throw strikes and mix his pitches. Chris Wright was Chris Wright and closed the door. We'll take the win and get ready for tomorrow."

Key Moment

  • With Bryant trailing 3-2 in the third, a balk was called to advance the runners into scoring position. Owens hit the next pitch through the left side for a two-run single that gave the Bulldogs the lead.  

How it Happened

  • Hartford got on the board first, scoring three unearned runs in the top of the second. The first run scored on a throwing error, while John Thrasher provided an RBI single and Zach Ardito made it 3-0 with a double to left center.
  • The Bulldogs then scored eight runs all with two outs in the bottom of the third. Bryant had two on with no outs before a pop out and a caught stealing seemed to derail the inning. A two-out walk extended the inning, however, and junior James Ciliento (Mahwah, N.J.) brought home the first run with a two-strike single to center. Senior Nick Angelini (Bedford, N.H.) followed with a two-strike RBI single of his own and a balk advanced both into scoring position. Owens followed with a single through the left side to give Bryant a 4-3 lead. An outfield error on a Gustin single plated a run and Ward capped the inning with a three-run home run to deep center.  
  • Hartford made it a three-run game with two runs in the top of the sixth. Two walks and a wild pitch put the runners in scoring position and Chris Sullivan brought them home with a bloop single.

Stats

  • Theetge picked up the win as he allowed three unearned runs on six hits over five innings. He walked three and struck out four.
  • Harrigan allowed just one hit over 2 1/3 scoreless innings of relief.
  • Wright allowed a leadoff single but struck out the next three hitters to earn the save.  
  • Ward went 2-for-5 with a single and a three-run home run.
  • Ciliento and Angelini each had a hit, an RBI and a run scored.
  • Owens went 3-for-4 with a double and two RBI.
  • Gustin went 2-for-2 with a walk.

Notes and Notables

  • Bryant is now 8-3 all-time against Hartford.
  • Ward now has 13 hits over his last five games.
  • Ward's home run was his fourth of the year and the 14th of his career.
  • Angelini is now third in DI program history with 163 runs scored. He needs just nine more runs scored to tie the DI program record. Angelini ranks 6th in program history.
  • Theetge earned his 28th career victory, tying him with Craig Schlitter for the second-most in program history.
  • Theetge has now allowed three runs or less in 11 of his last 12 starts dating back to last year.
  • Harrigan's outing was the longest of his career.
  • Wright earned his league-leading eighth save of the year. He is 8-for-8 in save opportunities.
  • Wright has now struck out 39 batters in 19 1/3 innings.
  • Owens recorded his third three-hit game of the season.

Up Next

Bryant and Hartford continue their weekend series on Saturday afternoon at Conaty Park. First pitch is scheduled for 2:00 p.m.