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April 23, 2012

Baseball visits UCONN, Brown ppd.

BULLDOGS MEET HUSKIES TUESDAY, WEDNESDAY GAME WITH BROWN POSTPONED

SMITHFIELD, R.I. – The Bryant University baseball team is hoping the third time is the charm. The Bulldogs have won five-straight games for the third time this season and will look to extend it to a season-long six when they visit New England power Connecticut on Tuesday, April 24 at J.O. Christian Field in Storrs, Conn.

** The Bulldogs have also made a schedule change this week. Wednesday's scheduled home game against intrastate rival Brown has been postponed due to a scheduling conflict with the Bears and the Ivy League. The game will be rescheduled for a later date.**

After winning all five games they played last week, the Bulldogs (25-15) will be in search of not only the elusive sixth-straight victory, but their first victory over the Huskies (23-17) in four all-time meetings. UCONN, the second-ranked team in this week's NEIBA poll, has won each of the previous three meetings by at least five runs, including an 11-6 victory last season in Smithfield.

This season, the Huskies got off to a tough 5-11 start but have gone 18-6 since March 21. That stretch includes a seven-game win streak and a pair of four-game win streaks. UCONN has been lead by Billy Ferriter, Ryan Fuller and LJ Mazzilli. Ferriter is hitting a team-high .355 and has stolen 17 bases, Fuller has clubbed 12 doubles, four triples and three home runs and Mazzilli leads the team with nine home runs and 33 RBI. On the mound, the Huskies have posted a 4.15 team ERA, limiting opponents to a .266 average. The Bulldogs could see Pat Butler on Tuesday. Butler is 2-3 with a 6.31 ERA in 41 1/3 innings. He has struck out 25 and walked 10.

In winning all five games in a week for the second time this season, the Bulldogs hit .331 and average 10 runs per game. Senior Jamie Skagerlind (Holden, Mass.) was named the Northeast Conference Player of the Week and freshman Matt Zanotta (Schenectady, N.Y.) was named the NEC Co-Rookie of the Week. Both players hit .500, with Skagerlind collecting 12 hits, four doubles, two home runs and six RBI. The explosive week at the plate helped Bryant raise its team average to a season-high .263. Senior Brian O'Neil (North Reading, Mass.) will look for a repeat performance of his start last week when he tossed five shutout innings against Northeastern. He earned his first win of the year in the Bulldogs' 13-5 victory.

Following Tuesday's contest, the Bulldogs will have two days off before welcoming NEC opponent Fairleigh Dickinson on Friday for four games. Game one is scheduled to begin at 3:00 p.m. at Conaty Park. 

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