Will Prater

Western Carolina second baseman Will Prater tags out a Bryant runner in WCU’s 11-5 loss last week. The Southern Conference has shut down all athletic events through at least March 30 due to the threat from coronavirus.

By Carey Phillips


Bryant swept two non-conference baseball games from Western Carolina last week at Childress Field/Hennon Stadium.

The Bulldogs won 7-3 on March 10 as Gabby Cruz was two of five with a three-run homer. Jake Gustin and Nick Viscariello also had two hits.

Mason Palmieri pitched the first six innings for the win.

Bryant went up 2-0 in the second on a double play and an error.

Cruz’s homer made it 5-0 in the third.

The Catamounts cut the gap to 5-2 in the bottom of the third. Kitt Capell had an RBI double, and Andrew Robinson drove in a run with a squeeze bunt.

They came within 5-3 in the fourth on Will Prater’s RBI single.

The Bulldogs added insurance runs on Shane Kelly’s fielder’s choice in the seventh and Vascariello’s RBI single in the ninth.

Prater led WCU with two hits.

Starter Corey Bright (0-2) took the loss.

Bryant won 11-5 the next day. Kelly was four of five at the plate, and Gustin was three of five. James Ciliento was two of five, and put the game away with a grand slam. Viscariello, Derek Smith and Vincenzo Castronovo also had two hits.

Luke Garofalo pitched the first six innings for the win.

The Bulldogs went up 2-0 in the first on RBI singles by Cruz and Viscariello.

Immanuel Wilder’s RBI double in the second left WCU down 2-1.

Ciliento drove in a run with a bunt single in the fourth, and Gustin had an RBI double for a 4-1 lead.

Smith had an RBI single for Bryant in the top of the sixth, and Wilder’s RBI double in the bottom of the frame left the deficit 5-2.

The Cats used solo homers by Seth Graves and Justice Bigbie to narrow the deficit to 5-4 in the seventh.

Gustin’s RBI triple put the Bulldogs up 6-4 in the eighth.

Castronovo had a bunt single for an RBI in the ninth, but the big blow was Ciliento’s grand slam for an 11-4 lead.

Daniel Walsh had an RBI single for Western in the bottom of the ninth.

Capell was three of three at the plate for WCU. Graves and Wilder had two hits apiece.

Starter Dawson Elder (0-1) took the loss.