Sports

Brown swept by Columbia in three-game homestand

Baseball moves to seventh place in conference standings, have three Ivy League series remaining

By
Senior Staff Writer
Sunday, April 15, 2018

Garett Delano ’20 stands on the mound against the Lions Saturday. He pitched seven innings, allowing just four hits with five strikeouts.

The baseball team was swept by Columbia at home this weekend and lost its first game Friday 8-2 before falling in both games of a doubleheader 5-4 and 2-0 Saturday. After the weekend’s contests, the Bears (7-18, 3-9 Ivy) move to seventh place in the Ivy League standings with just three conference series remaining in the season.

“Obviously we would have liked to have won at least one, much less take the series,” said Head Coach Grant Achilles. “(Columbia is) playing good baseball right now and we didn’t execute enough to beat them. (It’s) a tough weekend to walk away from, but I’m still proud of our guys and how they competed.”   

Brown 2, Columbia 8

In the series opener, the Bears were outmatched by the Lions (12-20, 8-4) from the opening pitch. Although Brown recorded eight hits — including three from catcher Parke Phillips ’20 and an RBI from shortstop Willy Homza ’19 — the team could not score enough runs to keep up with Columbia’s explosive offense. Right fielder Joe Lomuscio ’21 notched the other RBI on a groundout to shortstop in the seventh inning.

On the mound, Bruno had to dig deep into its bullpen and featured six pitchers in nine innings. The Bears gave up ten hits and six errors.

Brown 4, Columbia 5

To open Saturday’s doubleheader, the Bears jumped out to an early lead over the Lions but faded in the final innings. In the bottom of the fifth frame, Brown threatened when Homza, first baseman Hunter Carey ’18 and second baseman Rich Ciufo ’20 loaded the bases. Phillips then reached first base on an error by the Lions shortstop to send Homza and Carey across home plate. Soon after, the Bears again jammed the bases with a single, and center fielder Sam Grigo ’18 launched a two-RBI double to right field and brought Phillips and Ciufo home. The Bears’ clutch hitting in the inning extended their lead to 4-1.

“We were getting blanked before (the fifth inning), so obviously it’s good to help the team break through, break that seal and jump out in front,” Grigo said. “The rest of the day was a combination of their pitchers doing a really good job, a little bit of unluck for us, and then the wind. It was a tough combination this weekend, but their pitchers did a really good job.”

In the top of the seventh, Columbia lit up for three critical runs to tie the game. The Bears were unable to respond, and the teams entered the ninth inning tied at four. But with one out in the top of the ninth, Chandler Bengston reached third base to put the Bears in a jam, before Julian Bury bunted to bring Bengston home and give the Lions a crucial late lead. In the bottom of the inning, the Bears struck out twice and could not get on base to finish the loss.

Brown 0, Columbia 2

In the series finale, both teams’ defenses came out of the dugouts ready to play, and each put up strong early performances on the mound. Starting pitcher Garett Delano ’20 set the tone for the Bears and allowed only four hits over seven innings with five strikeouts. Delano also notched Bruno’s first hit of the game with a single in the bottom of the fourth.

“I felt pretty good, but it doesn’t really matter,” Delano said. “We lost. We got swept. So we have to come back on Tuesday on our midweek and next weekend and play hard.”

Brown loaded the bases in the bottom of the fifth with two outs but could not bring any runners home to continue the defensive duel. In the bottom of the sixth, the Lions earned a critical single that plated the first run of the day from either team and put the Bears at a deficit.

Columbia carried its one-run lead into the ninth, as Bruno only managed to record three hits in the first eight innings. In the top of the ninth, the Lions knocked in an insurance run to extend their lead to two and put the game out of Brown’s reach.

“We’re still in position where if we take care of our business and … we win, then that gives us a good chance to still be in competition at the Ivy League Championship Series, which has been our goal since day one,” Achilles said. “Just taking it one game at a time, and trying to execute as best as we can — that’s really our ultimate goal for the remaining games.”      

The Bears will take to the road for the rest of the month and will face Harvard in a three-game away series this weekend before visiting Siena College Tuesday, April 24.