By Craig Lacey
The Bulldogs on the Bryant University Baseball team had a summer to remember. There were four players that were crowned champions for their respected leagues. Senior Mickey Gasper was a part of the Brewster Whitecaps who won the Cape Cod baseball league championship. Redshirt junior Justin Synder, who played in the Futures League, was crowned a champion with the Nashua Silver Knights. The final two players were redshirt freshman Nash Eppard and sophomore Gaby Cruz who won the Cal Ripken league championship. Many of the other Bulldogs were selected to play in their league’s all-star games. Sophomore shortstop Jimmy Titus was named a Northeast College Baseball League all-star. Fellow sophomore, Jack Ipsen, was nominated to play in the Hampton College Baseball League game. Redshirt pitcher Mason Palmieri, who is also a sophomore, was selected to the Futures League all-star game. Additionally, Junior pitcher Nathan Wrighter who was a part of the Perfect Game League was chosen to participate in his all-star game. The final player and captain of the team senior Mickey Gasper was voted for the Cape Cod all-star game.
On September 5th the Bryant baseball team returned back to campus to prepare for its 2017-2018 season. The coaching staff stayed the same from the previous year, led by head coach Steve Owens and his assistant coaches Brendan Monaghan and Kyle Pettoruto. The Bulldogs want to continue their success in the upcoming season by building off of their previous history in the Northeast Conference. Since joining the conference in 2010, the team has won seven regular season championships, with the last six being won in a row. Along with winning the regular season, the Bulldogs have claimed three Northeast Conference Tournament championships. The team has inquired nine new players to the roster, including eight freshmen and one junior transfer. Two of the new freshmen, Tyler Mattison and Shane Kelly, were named incoming impact players by Perfect Game. Along with these impact players veteran impact player, Mickey Gasper was named the top ranked prospect in the Northeast Conference for the 2018 Major League Baseball draft.
The schedule for the spring season has recently been released by the team. On the schedule there are top ranked conferences with teams from the PAC12, SEC, and ACC. The Bulldogs start their spring season with 23 consecutive away games. To begin, the team will have its first two weekends in Arizona where the they will play the University of Arizona and Alabama, and Auburn University. Arizona and Auburn both have shown their dominance in college baseball throughout their program histories. In the past two years, Arizona made it to the final game of the college world series and a regional appearance the following year. Auburn, who has won four national title championships, made a regional appearance last year. Coach Owens claimed, “The 2018 schedule is the hardest in program history. We will be competing against some of the nation’s top programs on their home fields”. The Bulldogs will also play teams such as Delaware, Maryland, Virginia Tech, and Boston College before starting their 28 conference games.