Bryant

America East Baseball News & Notes: Bryant Occupies Top Spot

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Conference play in America East featured a weekend sweep by Bryant, while both UAlbany and NJIT took two of three in their three-game sets. By weekend’s end, the Bulldogs found themselves in first place in the standings. Weather is still a problem with team’s mid-week games. However, everyone is getting their most important games in, league play. Let’s look at how last weekend went.

Bryant College (16-10,-5-1) hosted UMBC (10-14, 3-3) in a series for first place in America East. The Bulldogs used last at-bats to win the first two games. On Friday, with the game tied at 3-3, the Bulldogs used their legs to push across the winning run. 3rd baseman Justin Hackett, already in scoring position, decided to try and make it better by stealing third base. Not only did he steal the base but he got the bonus of a throwing error by UMBC catcher Danny Wyatt that gave the Bulldogs a 4-3 lead. Jack Pletter got the win with two innings of three-hit baseball. LHP Zack Nichols picked up his fifth save with a perfect ninth inning. Game two, which was also the first game of a Saturday DH, was another one-run game. Despite 4 home runs by the Bulldogs, they would need every run they could get as UMBC put up a 5-spot in the top of the ninth against Bulldog reliever Liam LeVangie. Nichols came on to get the last out to get save number 6 on the year and secure a 9-8 win. Luke Delongchamp (2-1) got the win with six innings of five-hit zero run pitching. Bryant finished off the sweep with a 6-2 win in game two of Saturday’s doubleheader.

UAlbany (4-16, 3-2) has slowly started to play better baseball. Last weekend they took two of three at home from the Maine Black Bears (6-18, 2-4). After losing the first game of the series by an 8-4 score, the Great Danes came back to win the next two. In a 17-7 win on Saturday, the Great Danes scored 12 of their 17 runs in the first three innings. 1st baseman Ryan Ferremi had a big game (4-for-6, 4RS, 2 RBI). The Great Danes banged out 12 hits and made the most of them. The benefactor of the offense was Owen Birkman (6 IP, 7 hits, 4 runs, 3 earned runs) to earn his first win of the season (1-5). On Easter Sunday, the Great Danes took the series with a 9-7 win. A 5-run fifth proved to be the difference. Will Binder and Luke Fllippi had two-hit games. Thomas McElwee had a three-hit game with a run scored. Dylan Banner (1-0) came out of the Great Danes bullpen and threw four innings of one hit, one earned run baseball. UAlbany picked up another victory earlier this week with a 17-12 win over Siena College. The offense was in good form as they scored runs in six of the nine innings played. Michael Prisco had a grand slam HR in the 6th inning. Justin Hurd also went deep in the fourth, a solo shot. Cam Fuer was the winning pitcher (1-1).

NJIT (10-16, 3-3) got good pitching by taking two of three from UMass Lowell (9-16, 2-3). Friday night, a pitching duel took place between Adan Kidd and Brendon Williams. Kidd would win the duel going six innings of three-hit, 1 earned run, 12 strikeouts, and three walks baseball. In Kidd’s final five innings, no player made it past second base. Batters were just 3-for-20 against him. Williams was solid with six innings of six-hit, four-run, three earned, with one walk and eight strikeouts. A three-run 5th by the Highlanders would be the difference. The River Hawks did have the tying and lead run on base in the ninth vs closer Liam Renner. However, he got Brendan Fish for the final out to earn his second save of the season. Kidd’s (2-1) performance earned him America East Pitcher of the Week award. On Saturday, another close game was busted open by a five-run fifth inning off of River Hawks starter Miles Cota (0-1). Brandon Williams who walked five and struck out seven in five innings. He had River Hawks base runners on in all five of those innings. But when he needed to make a pitch he did. The outing improved his record to 1-2. The River Hawks took game three with a solid outing from freshman Alfred Mucciarone who went 6.1 IP, five hits, and one earned run. He had seven strikeouts and zero walks. He is now 2-1. A 6-run fourth inning vs Holder De Jong (1-4) and relief pitcher Drew Standen did the trick for UMass Lowell.

On Wednesday night, the River Hawks lost a non-league game to Dartmouth College by a 7-2 score. UMass Lowell had 12 hits, but they left 15 on base and were 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position. They also struck out 14 times vs Big Green pitching. A grand slam home run by Jackson Hower off of Owen Hoyt was the key blow in the sixth.

The Great Danes took Player and Rookie of the Week in America East. The Player of the Week is Luke Filippi. He hit .600 with a .714 on-base percentage. He had two hits in all three games vs the Black Bears. He scored six runs and drove in four more. He stole a base and had an extra-base hit (double). The Rookie of the Week is Thomas McElwee. He batted .400 with a .500 on-base percentage. He went 4-for-9 with two runs scored and two runs batted in. He caught both wins and did not allow either a passed ball or a wild pitch.

Next week we’ll be back with a look at how these teams are doing stats-wise.

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