Bats go quiet, baseball loses two pitchers’ duels

By
Sports Staff Writer
Wednesday, April 14, 2010

After an offensive explosion over the weekend, the Bears’ bats went quiet on the road against the Marist Red Foxes. The Bears (9-19) lost two one-run decisions to Marist (19-11), failing to get the offense going in the cavernous confines of McCann Baseball Field, which Head Coach Marek Drabinski called a “huge ballpark.”

Brown lost the opener 1-0 on a walk-off single and dropped the second game of the doubleheader, 3-2.

Marist 1, Brown 0

The first game of the doubleheader was an absolute pitchers’ duel. No runs were scored until the bottom of the seventh inning, when the Red Foxes finally broke through. Marist first baseman Mike Orefice singled through the left side of the infield with one out, bringing home Jon Schwind as the game’s decisive — and only — run. 

Before those late-game heroics, both offenses were ineffective. Neither side got a hit until the sixth inning, when Red Fox infielder John Prano singled to center field. In the top of the seventh, Ryan Zrenda ’11 picked up Brown’s only hit of the afternoon, also with a base hit to center.

Despite the disappointing results at the plate, Bruno did receive a dominating pitching performance from a key starter coming off an injury. In his first appearance of the season — due to recovery from both arm surgery and arthroscopic knee surgery — Conor Burke ’11 was impressive. He shut down the Marist lineup, not allowing any hits during his three innings of work.

“He was very good,” Drabinski said. “He was throwing a lot of strikes, and his fastball and changeup were good. Hopefully, he can step right into the rotation for us starting next weekend.” 

On the other side, right-hander Brendan Chapin baffled the Bruno batters. He threw five innings of no-hit ball and cooled the previously red-hot bats in the Brown lineup. 
Despite the limited offense, Drabinski said he was not disappointed by his team’s effort at the plate. 

“I thought we swung the bats better than they did,” he said. “We hit eight to 10 hard-hit balls. Their field is huge, 420 (feet) to center without wind. If we’re playing at home, it’s a different game.” 

Marist 3, Brown 2

The Bears fell in the second game as well, despite outhitting the Red Foxes, 8-4. Bruno grabbed a 2-1 lead in the second inning, after an RBI double by Graham Tyler ’12 and a sacrifice fly by Mike DiBiase ’12.

But an RBI single by Prano in the fourth gave Marist a one-run lead, 3-2, that the team would not relinquish. 

Three innings later, Prano came up big on defense, too. With Brown attempting to mount a comeback in the final frame, the second baseman made a nice play to grab a hard-hit ball by Pete Greskoff ’11 and threw him out at first, preserving his team’s slim lead and sealing the victory.

“I know we lost both games, but I thought we pitched very well and hit well, too,” Drabinski said. “It’s one of those weird days when you go, ‘Didn’t we hit the ball better than they did? How’d that just happen?’ But that’s baseball, and it’s part of the game.”

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