A win, a loss, a tie vs. R.I. baseball rivals

By
Friday, April 3, 2009

The baseball team rallied in the final inning Wednesday afternoon to pull out a 7-6 victory over URI in the first game of a doubleheader, before tying the Rams in a shortened second game.

Brown 7, URI 6

In the first game of Wednesday’s doubleheader, URI struck for three runs off starting pitcher Conor Burke ’11 in the top of the second inning, but the Bears answered right back in the bottom of the inning. After first baseman Rob Papenhause ’09 and left fielder Dan Shapiro ’09 reached base, shortstop Graham Tyler ’12 scored both runners on a double to center field, later scoring on a single by center fielder Steve Daniels ’09 to tie the game 3-3.

Tyler had a fantastic day at the plate for Brown, going 4-for-4 with three RBI over the pair of games.

In the third inning, Brown took its first lead of the game when Papenhause singled to center field and later came around to score on an RBI single off the bat of catcher Garrett Champion ’12.

But Burke surrendered a walk and a double to start the top of the fourth, putting runners on second and third with no outs. URI capitalized on the opportunity, tying the game 4-4 on an RBI single and later taking the lead 5-4 on a sacrifice fly. With a runner on second and only one out, Burke retired the next two batters to get out of the inning with the deficit at only one run.

Tyler led off the bottom of the fourth with a single, and advanced to third with one out, but the Bears were unable to bring him home.

The Rams threatened again in the top of the fifth, and with runners at first and second with one out, Mark Gormley ’11 came on in relief of Burke. But Champion picked a runner off of first for the second out, and Gormley got the hitter to pop out to end the inning.

Brown went down one-two-three in the bottom of the fifth, but after Gormley pitched a perfect sixth inning, Shapiro led off the bottom of the inning with a single and advanced to third with one out on a sacrifice bunt and a wild pitch. Daniels came to the plate and hit a grounder towards the first baseman, whose throw to the plate skipped to the backstop, allowing Shapiro to score, tying the game, 5-5. The Bears had a golden opportunity to take a lead when co-captain and team RBI leader Matt Nuzzo ’09 came to the plate with the bases loaded, but Nuzzo grounded into a double play to end the inning.

With one out in the top of the seventh and final inning, URI’s Dan Rhault hit a line drive to left field, which Shapiro misplayed, allowing Rhault to reach second base. Rhault then advanced to third on a passed ball, and came home on a perfectly executed squeeze play, giving the Rams a 6-5 lead heading into the bottom of the seventh.

But the bottom of the inning started with back-to-back singles by designated hitter Pete Greskoff ’11 and third baseman Ryan Zrenda ’11, and with the bases loaded and one out, Joe Mellano ’10 came in to pinch hit. The move paid off, as Mellano slapped one through the left side of the infield, bringing home two runners and giving Brown a 7-6 victory.

Brown 7, URI 7

The Bears again found themselves in a hole early, giving up two runs in the top of the first inning of the second game, but the offense took advantage of two URI errors and an RBI single by Papenhause to tie the game, 2-2, in the bottom of the inning.

In the top of the second, pitcher Rob Wilcox ’10 gave up three more runs, and the Rams’ Mike LeBel blasted a two-run homer over the left field fence in the top of the fourth, giving URI a commanding 7-2 lead.

But Daniels hit a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the fourth to score designated hitter Daniel Rosoff ’12, cutting the deficit to 7-3, and in the bottom of the fifth, the Bears’ bats came alive.

Papenhause, who finished the day 4-for-6, started the rally off with a one-out double to center field, and a hit batter and a walk loaded the bases for Tyler, who drove in Papenhause with an RBI single. Daniels cut URI’s lead to 7-5 with a sacrifice fly, and with two outs, the Bears continued to fight.

Zrenda drove an RBI single to left field to make it a one-run game, and Shapiro brought home Tyler with a game-tying RBI single, Shapiro’s fourth hit of the doubleheader. Nuzzo then grounded out to end the inning, at which point the game was called on account of darkness.

Bryant 4, Brown 3

On Thursday afternoon, Brown took on Bryant, and the Bears got on the board first in the top of the third inning, when catcher Matt Colantonio ’11 led off the inning with a single, and later came around to score, giving the Bears a 1-0 lead. Papenhause widened the lead to 2-0 with an RBI single in the top of the fourth, but the Bulldogs struck for three runs in the bottom of the sixth, and added another run in the seventh inning, putting the Bears behind, 4-2.

Shapiro brought the score to 4-3 when he singled home Zrenda in the top of the eighth, but the comeback bid fell short, as the Bears failed to get another run home.

Brown will next take the field on Saturday, when the Bears will take on Penn at Murray Stadium, at 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. They will host another Ivy League foe in Columbia, in a doubleheader on Sunday.