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Bulldogs drop series opener to LIU, 7-5

Bulldogs drop series opener to LIU, 7-5

SMITHFIELD, R.I. – The Bryant University baseball team fell to LIU Brooklyn, 7-5, in the opening game of a Northeast Conference series on Friday afternoon at Conaty Park.

The Blackbirds scored three times in the first and three times in the ninth before holding on for the victory. Four of LIU's seven runs were unearned on the afternoon.

Redshirt sophomore Ryan Ward (Millbury, Mass.) had three hits and two runs scored, while junior James Ciliento (Mahwah, N.J.) drove in three runs.  

Game Information
LIU Brooklyn 7, Bryant 5
Bryant (34-16, 15-4), LIU Brooklyn (19-28, 9-10)
Location: Conaty Park (Smithfield, R.I.)
W|L|S: Zach Pederson (4-5) | Steve Theetge (7-2) | Mike Kreiger (7)

Key Moment

  • Alex Briggs hit a two-run double to cap a three-run first and Andrew Smith hit a two-run single to cap a three-run ninth for the Blackbirds.

How it Happened

  • A walk and an error put the first two on for LIU in the first before Brock Hallum delivered an RBI single and Briggs followed with a two-run double.
  • Bryant got two runs back in the third as redshirt sophomore Jimmy Titus (Stafford, Conn.) scored Ward with a triple to right center before crossing the plate on an RBI ground out.
  • The Blackbirds made it 4-2 in the fifth with three-straight two-out singles.
  • Ward then tripled and scored on a ground out in the seventh to make it 4-3.
  • LIU added three key insurance runs in the ninth. A two-out error extended the inning and Smith's two-run single was the big blow.
  • Bryant rallied in the bottom of the ninth as Ciliento plated two with a single to center. Titus followed with a drive to the warning track in left center but it was caught.


  • LIU Brooklyn outhit Bryant, 10-7.
  • Senior Steve Theetge (Syracuse, N.Y.) allowed four runs (three earned) on eight hits, walked two and struck out seven in a losing effort.
  • Sophomore Matthew Stansky (Douglas, Mass.) allowed on unearned run over 2 2/3 innings of relief.
  • Ward finished 3-for-4 with a walk, a triple and two runs scored.
  • Ciliento went 1-for-5 with three RBI.
  • Titus tripled and drove in a run.
  • Freshman Vincenzo Castronovo (Utica, N.Y.) had a pinch-hit double in the ninth.

Notes and Notables

  • Bryant is now 33-15 all-time against LIU Brooklyn. The season series is now tied 2-2.
  • Bryant has lost back-to-back games for the first time since being swept by LSU in February.
  • Bryant's magic number to clinch a share of the NEC Regular-Season title remains at two. 
  • Junior Chris Wright (Cumberland, R.I.) walked, extending his on-base streak to 38 games.
  • Ward now has 79 hits on the season, tied for the seventh-most in a single season in program history.
  • Ward has also scored 51 runs, joining Cole Fabio and Matt Albanese as the only players in DI program history to score 50+ runs in two different seasons.
  • Ciliento became just the fourth player in DI program history to have 50+ RBI and 50+ runs scored in the same season.
  • The loss is just the second this season for Theetge and just his second in 27 starts against NEC opponents (22-2).
  • Theetge is second in DI program history with 323 2/3 career innings and third in strikeouts with 253.

Up Next

The Bulldogs and Blackbirds continue their weekend series on Saturday. First pitch is scheduled for 3:00 p.m.