Rhode Island vs Bryant: Rhody Visits Smithfield for In-State Battle

Rhode Island baseball will play their first of four total games against RI teams when they square off against Bryant tomorrow afternoon.

After yet another rainout (today versus UMass-Lowell), Rhode Island baseball will get back at it tomorrow. And they’ll be looking to extend their season-best eight game winning streak. They’ll also be looking to stay perfect in the Ocean State, despite the fact that tomorrow’s game isn’t in Kingston. Rhody won’t have to travel far, however. They’ll take on the Bryant Bulldogs up the road in Smithfield.

Here’s more.

2016 Record: 47-12 (26-4), 1st in the NEC
Key Losses: OF Matt Albanese, 1B Robby Rinn, P James Davitt
Key Returners: IF Cole Fabio, OF Nick Angelini, P James Karinchak

Bryant is coming off an absolutely stellar season a year ago, but unfortunately for them, 2017 has been quite different. The Bulldogs are 6-17 so far this season, and at one point they had lost 10 straight and 17 of 18. But they’ve bounced back in the past week or so, winning three straight — including a double-header sweep of Sacred Heart. The Bulldogs are also a perfect 2-0 at home on the year.

Per Bryant’s official website, the Bulldogs will start lefty Vito Morgese on the mound tomorrow. The freshman is the reigning NEC Rookie of the Week, but he’s just 1-4 with a 6.30 ERA on the season. Morgese will be making his fourth start of the year, and he’ll be looking to build on his performance last Wednesday against Brown. The New York native allowed just two runs in six and two thirds innings in that one for his first career win.

As for the bats, the guy to watch out for is junior catcher Mickey Gasper. The switch hitter leads the Bulldogs in both average (.325) and home runs (four), while ranking second in RBI (17). He has also struck out just nine times in 23 games. Sophomore outfielder Nick Angelini (.304) is the only other Bryant player hitting over .300 among those with enough qualified plate appearances.

First pitch from Conaty Park in Smithfield is scheduled for 3:00 p.m. tomorrow afternoon. You can check out a video stream of the game here.

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