BRIDGEPORT, Conn. – Redshirt sophomore Ryan Ward (Millbury, Mass.) homered twice and senior Nathan Wrighter (Windsor, N.Y.) tossed five scoreless innings as the Bryant University baseball team closed the regular season with a 13-0 victory over Sacred Heart on Saturday afternoon at Veterans Memorial Park.
With the win, the Bulldogs secured their 12th series victory in 14 tries the year and finishes the regular season at 38-18. The Bulldogs will serve as the No. 1 seed in next week's Northeast Conference Championships at Dodd Stadium in Norwich, Connecticut.
On Saturday, Ward led off the game with a home run and homered again as part of a three-run fifth, breaking the DI single-season program record in the process. Classmate Jimmy Titus (Stafford, Conn.) kept pace, hitting his 12th home run of the year. Senior Nick Angelini (Bedford, N.H.) chipped in four hits, three RBI and three runs scored, while juniors James Ciliento (Mahwah, N.J.) and Gaby Cruz (Miami, Fla.) combined for five hits and five RBI.
Making only his third career start, Wrighter was marvelous for the Black and Gold. He allowed three hits, walked one and struck out four over five scoreless innings. Wrighter faced his only real jam in the first when the first two Pioneers reached. He responded by getting a fly out and then induced an inning-ending 6-4-3 double play.
Bryant 13, Sacred Heart 0
Records: Bryant (38-18, 19-5), Sacred Heart (19-32-1, 11-13)
Location: Veterans Memorial Park (Bridgeport, Conn.)
W|L|S: Nathan Wrighter (4-1) | Matt Aufiero (2-1)
- Clinging to a 1-0 lead in the fifth, Ward and Titus widened the gap for the Bulldogs. Ward hit a solo home run and Titus added a two-run shot to make it 4-0.
How it Happened
- Ward wasted little time giving the Black and Gold the lead as he launched a 3-2 offering into the trees in right field for a leadoff home run in the first.
- It remained 1-0 until Ward clobbered a solo home run with two outs in the fifth. Angelini then beat out an infield single and Titus followed with a two-run home run to left to make it 4-0.
- The Bulldogs then put the game away with six runs in the sixth. Freshman Vincenzo Castronovo (Utica, N.Y.) opened the inning with a double and came around to score on a sac fly from classmate Jake Gustin (Peabody, Mass.). Ward then walked, stole second and scored on an Angelini single. A HBP and an error then loaded the bases and Ciliento plated two with a single up the middle. Cruz capped the big inning with a two-run single of his own.
- Bryant's final three runs came via the home run as Angelini launched a two-run shot in the seventh and Cruz hit a solo home run in the eighth.
- Wrighter allowed three hits, walked one and struck out four over five scoreless innings.
- Freshman Jackson Harrigan (Acton, Mass.) retired all six batters he faced.
- Freshman John MacDonald (Stamford, Conn.) and junior Jack Ipsen (Eatontown, N.J.) closed the game with scoreless innings of relief.
- The Bulldogs combined to retire the final 16 Pioneers on Saturday.
- Ward finished 2-for-2 with two home runs, two walks and three runs scored.
- Angelini went 4-for-5 with a home run, three RBI and three runs scored.
- Ciliento finished 2-for-5 with two RBI and a run scored.
- Cruz finished 3-for-5 with a home run and three RBI.
- Titus went 1-for-3 with a home run, two RBI and two runs scored.
Notes and Notables
- Bryant is now 31-17 against Sacred Heart at the DI level.
- Bryant has now won 12 of 14 series this season.
- The Bulldogs have now won or tied 71 of their 75 NEC series since 2010.
- The Bulldogs hit five home runs in the game and have now hit 81 home runs on the year, extending their NEC single-season record.
- Bryant has now hit five home runs in a game twice this season.
- Bryant broke its DI single-season record for runs scored on Saturday. The Bulldogs have scored 477 runs, breaking the record set in 2016 (465).
- The shutout was the third this season for the Black and Gold.
- Saturday marked the first time since 2013 that the Bulldogs played all 56 regular-season games.
- Bryant's 23 road victories lead the country.
- Ward now has 91 hits on the season, becoming the first player in school history with multiple seasons of 90+ hits. Ward's 91 hits are fourth in a single season in program history.
- Ward now has 13 home runs on the year, breaking the DI single-season program record. The 13 home runs are tied for the second most in a single season in program history.
- Ward now has 23 career home runs, moving into second in DI program history. He is fifth in program history.
- Ward's leadoff home run was the fifth of his career.
- Ward now has four multi-home run games in his career.
- Ward has now posted back-to-back seasons with 50+ RBI and 50+ runs scored. He is the first to accomplish that feat in multiple seasons.
- Ward's 57 runs scored are tied for the eighth-most in a single season in program history.
- Titus hit his 12th home run of the year, moving him into a tie for the second-most in DI single season history.
- Titus now has 20 career home runs, becoming the third Bulldog this year to reach that milestone and just the fourth in DI program history.
- Titus now has 63 RBI on the year, tying him with Robby Rinn for the second-most in a single season in DI program history. The 63 RBI rank tied for fourth in program history.
- With four hits, Angelini is sixth all time with 240.
- Angelini became the fifth player in DI program history to have 50+ RBI and 50+ runs scored in the same season.
- Angelini's home run was his 10th this season and the 23rd of his career. He is tied with Ward for second in DI program history.
- Bryant now has four players with 10+ home runs for the first time in program history.
- Angelini tied his career high with four hits. He last accomplished the feat on Apr. 16, 2017.
- With his fifth-inning single, Wright became the fifth different Bulldog to record 100+ total bases this season.
- Ciliento's 56 RBI are now tied for ninth-most in a single season in program history.
- Cruz's home run was his 9th of the season. He's hit seven of the nine in NEC games.
- Wrighter is now 4-1 on the season and 7-5 in his career with the victory.
- Wrighter has allowed just one unearned run on seven hits over 13 innings in his three starts. He has walked two and struck out 12.
Bryant will spend Memorial Day Weekend at Dodd Stadium in Norwich, Connecticut, for the 2019 Northeast Conference Championships. The Bulldogs will be the No. 1 seed and will face the fourth-seeded Pioneers on Thursday afternoon.