Sports

Baseball suffers four-game sweep on the road

High offensive output bright spot for Bruno among series of non-conference losses

By
Senior Staff Writer
Monday, March 16, 2015

The baseball team has made two trips to the southeast so far, and neither visit has gone as planned. A trip to South Alabama resulted in a four-game sweep to open the season, and the team’s fate was no different this weekend, as Bruno (1-9) lost four straight to North Florida.

The Ospreys (14-8) scored one run in each of the first six innings of the opening game, with Dave St. Lawrence ’15 pitching five innings and Jake Spezial ’17 pitching the last three. Nick Karmeris and Donnie Dewees had two solo shots to put the game out of reach. A pair of RBI singles for Brown in the sixth inning cut the deficit to three, but the Bears got only one more run and the game ended 7-3 in favor of North Florida Friday.

The first matchup of Saturday’s doubleheader looked a lot different, as both teams’ offenses started off strong. North Florida jumped all over Eddie Fitzpatrick ’15 in the first inning, as a two-run single and a three-run home run put the Bears down five early. Josh Huntley ’17 got two of Brown’s next three RBIs courtesy of a sacrifice fly and a triple, cutting the Osprey lead to just two.

North Florida’s Trent Higginbothem responded in the bottom half of the fourth, hitting his third homer of the season off of Fitzpatrick. The Bears touched up junior lefty Daniel Moritz for five runs in the ninth, but they were unable to stage the improbable comeback and fell 15-12.

Kevin Guthrie ’16 had Brown’s best start of the weekend in the second game of the doubleheader, going seven innings and allowing just two earned runs with four strikeouts.

“That was huge for us,” said Will Marcal ’15. “We knew that it would be a close game coming in because Kevin’s a great pitcher and would keep us in the game. They threw a good arm too, which is why the game was such a battle up until the eighth inning.”

Left fielder Jake Levine ’16 went deep twice to put the Bears on top, but Chris Smith ’15 and Taylor Wright ’15 could not register an out in the eighth inning. The pairs allowed six runs before Dante Bosnic ’18 got Bruno out of the inning. But the damage was done, as the Bears could not manage a run in the last frame, losing 9-4.

Reid Anderson ’18 — who has the only win on Bruno’s pitching staff this year — went four innings in the last of the four-game series with the Ospreys Sunday, giving up five earned runs. Once North Florida got runners across the plate, the Bears never came within three of the Ospreys and fell 16-6 in the second worst blowout of Head Coach Grant Achilles’ first season.

Noah Schulman ’16, the Bears’ second hitter, had quite a weekend offensively. The junior went 7-for-20 with three RBIs and a run. Along with leadoff man Robert Henry ’17, who went 9-for-16 over the weekend, Schulman will drive a top-heavy lineup for Bruno this season.

Schulman is “a little guy with a lot of boom,” Marcal said. “He’s someone we’re going to have to count on to push us forward this season. For me, he’s one of the best hitters on this team, and he’s a very executional hitter for us in the two spot.”

For all of the troubles that the Bears have had from the pitching mound — they have a 10.06 team ERA so far this season — Bruno has had much success on offense, averaging just over seven runs per game. Brown has scored over 10 runs during three games this season, but it has allowed 10 or more runs in a game four times, including a 21-1 spanking at the hands of South Alabama.

“It’s nice to have your offense doing as well as we are,” Marcal said. “The strongest part of our team is undoubtedly our offense, and I think we will blow a lot of other teams out this year. We’re solid from spot one to nine, and we always have the potential to explode for a big inning.”

Brown will take on Rhode Island Tuesday in the ninth game of its 20-game road trip.

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