NORWICH, Conn. – A three-run third inning backed a strong six-inning start from sophomore Tyler Mattison (Fort Ann, N.Y.), and junior Chris Wright (Cumberland, R.I.) followed with three shutout innings to bring the Bryant University baseball team within one victory of the Northeast Conference Championship with a 3-1 victory over Central Connecticut Friday night at Dodd Stadium.
Mattison allowed the first three batters of the game to reach, surrendering a first-inning RBI double, before holding the Blue Devils off the board for the remainder of his six-inning, nine-strikeout performance. Wright punched out four in three innings of hitless work and drove in the go-ahead run in the third.
Bryant 3, Central Connecticut 1
Records: Bryant (40-18), Central Connecticut (27-21)
Location: Dodd Stadium (Norwich, Conn.)
W|L|S: Tyler Mattison (9-1) | Brandon Fox (3-5) | Chris Wright (13)
- CCSU scored the first run of the game before recording an out thanks to a pair of doubles around a walk.
- A bloop single from redshirt-sophomore Jimmy Titus (Stafford, Conn.) kickstarted a three-run third inning for the Bulldogs that proved the difference in the contest.
How it Happened
- The first three Blue Devils reached via a double, walk and double to put Central Connecticut on the board first with a 1-0 advantage.
- Mattison would strike out three batters in the inning – all looking – to strand the bases loaded with just one run surrendered.
- Titus hit a ball behind first base that dropped for a hit, with the throw skipping into left field to bring redshirt-sophomore Ryan Ward (Millbury, Mass.) around to score to make it 1-1 in the third inning.
- Wright followed with an RBI single through the right side and junior James Ciliento (Mahwah, N.J.) delivered a sac fly to put Bryant ahead 3-1 through three innings.
- Mattison kept the Blue Devils at bay for the rest of his outing, aided in part by a diving catch from Ward to take away extra bases with two on and two out in the fourth after the first two CCSU hitters reached on errors.
- A leadoff single in the top of the sixth made its way to third with one out on a wild pitch and passed ball, but Mattison induced a pop out before getting a strikeout on his 109th and final pitch of the evening to leave the runner at third.
- The Bulldogs looked to break the game open in the bottom of the eighth with a two-out double from Ciliento and intentional walk of sophomore Sam Owens (Scituate, R.I.), but a leaping catch at the wall by the Blue Devils center fielder took away extra bases from senior Tyler Panno (Rivervale, N.J.), keeping it a two-run game into the ninth.
- Wright worked around a two-out walk in the ninth to seal the victory on a fly out to center.
- Mattison went the first six innings, limiting the Blue Devils to one run on five hits and two walks with nine strikeouts.
- Wright did not surrender a hit in three scoreless innings of relief to pick up his 13th save of the year.
- Titus and Wright collected two hits each, as all seven Bryant hits came from the top five spots in the batting order.
- Mattison and Wright teamed up to allow just one hit in the final six innings.
- Bryant outhit CCSU, 7-5.
- Both teams committed two errors and left seven runners on base.
Notes and Notables
- Bryant improves to 6-1 against Central Connecticut in 2019 and 38-11 all-time.
- The Bulldogs have scored 78 runs in seven games against the Blue Devils this year.
- Bryant has allowed 16 runs over its last eight contests.
- The Bulldogs improve to 89-39 (.695) in the month of May under Coach Owens.
- Bryant has won 40 games in a season for the fourth time in the last seven years and first time since a 47-win NEC Championship campaign in 2016.
- Ward reached base for the 30th consecutive game and extended his hitting streak to 11 games.
Bryant will have its first crack at capturing the Northeast Conference Championship when the Bulldogs face either Central Connecticut or Wagner Saturday at 4 p.m. The Blue Devils and Seahawks will square off in an elimination game at noon.