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Bulldogs drop slugfest to URI, 16-12

Cynthia Herrick Photography
Cynthia Herrick Photography

SMITHFIELD, R.I. – Junior James Ciliento (Mahwah, N.J.) hit two home runs and drove in five but the Bryant University baseball team dropped a slugfest to Rhode Island, 16-12, on Tuesday afternoon at Conaty Park.

After playing a 2-0 game two weeks ago at URI, the two teams combined for 28 runs and 32 hits on Tuesday.

Bryant jumped out to a 5-0 lead but the Rams used a six-run third to take a 9-7 lead after five innings. The Bulldogs jumped ahead 10-9 and 11-10 before the Rams scored four times in the top of the ninth.

Ciliento went 3-for-4 with two home runs, five RBI and three runs scored to pace the offense. Redshirt sophomore Ryan Ward (Millbury, Mass.) had two hits and two runs scored, freshman Vincenzo Castronovo (Utica, N.Y.) homered and classmate Brian Nicolas (Langhorne, Pa.) added two more hits.

Game Information
Rhode Island 16, Bryant 12
Records: Bryant (24-12), Rhode Island (16-18)
Location: Conaty Park (Smithfield, R.I.)
W|L|S: Tyler Brosius (5-0) | Jack Owens (3-1)

Key Moment

  • URI took the lead in the top of the ninth on a three-run home run from Xavier Vargas.  

How it Happened

  • Bryant jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the first inning on Tuesday. The first two batters reached and redshirt sophomore Jimmy Titus (Stafford, Conn.) plated both with a double to right center. After a sac fly, Castronovo capped the inning with a two-run home run to dead center.
  • The Rams then scored the next nine runs, plating one in the second, six in the third and two more in the fourth. In the third, Jackson Coutts, Kevin Heiss and Sunny Ulliana all delivered two-out, two-RBI hits.
  • Bryant responded in the bottom of the fourth as Nicolas singled and junior Bryan Hart (Franklin, Mass.) doubled to open the inning. A balk brought home the first run but a fly ball to center turned into two outs as Hart was thrown out at the plate. Ciliento added the second run with an opposite field home run to right.
  • Trailing 9-7 in the sixth, Ward singled on a 2-2 pitch to extend the inning and Ciliento followed with a line drive over the right center field fence to give Bryant a 10-9 lead.
  • The Rams would responded with a Coutts RBI single in the top of the seventh.
  • In the bottom of the seventh, sophomore Sam Owens (Scituate, R.I.) moved to third on a failed pickoff and scored on a sac fly to give Bryant the lead back.
  • In the top of the eighth, the Rams were able to score twice without a hit as three walks, two wild pitches and a passed ball allowed two runs to score.
  • Ciliento's fifth RBI of the game tied the game at 12-12 in the bottom of the eighth but the Bulldogs stranded runners on first and third.
  • Vargas then hit a three-run home run to right center and Heiss added a solo shot to right to plate four runs in the top of the ninth.

Stats

  • URI outhit Bryant, 17-15.
  • Ward went 2-for-4 with two runs scored.
  • Ciliento went 3-for-4 with two home runs, five RBI and three runs scored.
  • Titus doubled and drove in two.
  • Junior Chris Wright (Cumberland, R.I.) had two hits and also pitched an inning of relief, striking out two.
  • Castronovo homered and drove in two.
  • Nicolas went 2-for-5 with two runs scored.
  • Freshman John MacDonald (Stamford, Conn.) allowed nine runs on six hits over three innings in a starting role.
  • Classmate Jackson Harrigan (Acton, Mass.) struck out two over two scoreless innings of relief.

Notes and Notables

  • Bryant is now 10-7 against URI at the Division I level.
  • Bryant lost for just the second time (100-2) when scoring 10+ runs under head coach Steve Owens.
  • With three home runs on Tuesday, Bryant now has 50 home runs this year. It is just the second time in DI program history the Bulldogs have hit 50+ home runs in a year. The single-season record is 57 in 2016.
  • Ward now has 19 hits over his last eight games.
  • Ward has posted multiple hits in six-straight games.
  • Ciliento posted his second-career multi-homer game. He also hit two home runs at LIU Brooklyn last April.
  • Ciliento's five RBI are a season high and the second most in his career.
  • Ciliento now has eight home runs, tying him for the league lead.
  • Ciliento also has 40 RBI and 49 runs scored, both career highs.
  • Titus now has a league-high 46 RBI.
  • Castronovo has now homered in back-to-back games and has three on the year.
  • Wright collected his 11th double, setting a new career-high.

Up Next

Bryant travels to Hamden, Connecticut, to face Quinnipiac on Wednesday. First pitch is scheduled for 3:30 p.m.