Baseball goes 1-3 in home, four-game series against Harvard

Bears top Harvard Saturday afternoon, fall in trio of one-run games during weekend

Senior Staff Writer
Sunday, April 23, 2017

Rich Ciufo ’20 steps to the plate for the Bears, which won Saturday against the Crimson, but were unable to take another win during the series.

The baseball team continued Red Rolfe division play with a four-game series at home against Harvard this weekend, splitting Saturday’s contests and falling to the Crimson twice Sunday.

Harvard 3, Brown 2

Saturday, the Bears (12-21, 5-11 Ivy) were unable to recover from an early deficit against the Crimson (16-20, 5-11). Outfielder Rob Henry ’17 led Bruno with a 4-4 showing at the plate, scoring two runs.

Harvard opened scoring in top of the second with three runs. Outfielder Sam Grigo ’18 and catcher Josh Huntley ’17 had RBI’s in the third and fifth, respectively, but Bruno was unable to generate enough offense to match the Crimson.

“We had opportunities that we didn’t capitalize on, and they did,” Henry said. “That’s happened to us all year. We just have to find a better way to execute one through nine.”

“We had too many strikeouts in key spots with guys in scoring position,” said Head Coach Grant Achilles. “They had that one big inning, and we just couldn’t bounce back and continue to score.”

Starter Christian Taugner ’17 took the loss, allowing three runs and striking out three over seven innings.

Brown 7, Harvard 3

The afternoon’s contest saw Bruno mount a comeback from an early three-run deficit. Huntley led the Bears with three hits and two RBIs — including his third home run of the season — while Henry notched a trio of hits and scored twice. Brown posted 11 hits in the victory.

Harvard struck first, recording three runs in the opening two innings to claim the early advantage. But Brown responded with six runs in the bottom of the third, capitalizing on two errors, to put the game out of reach.

Henry crossed the plate on an error before Huntley hit a two-run home run to even the score at three. Outfielder Garett Delano ’20 and third baseman Willy Homza ’19 added back-to-back RBIs before Homza scored on an error.

“You’ve got to respond when they score,” Henry said. “When you score, you’ve got to shut them down the next inning, and we take pride in that as hitters.”

Starter Will Tomlinson ’20 allowed three runs with six strikeouts over six innings before Sam Hauser ’17 and Dante Bosnic ’18 combined for three scoreless innings in relief.

“We got a great team win,” Achilles said. “For the guys to be able to throw seven straight zeros after giving up three in the first two innings was clutch.”

Harvard 4, Brown 3

Sunday, the Crimson edged the Bears in a closer matchup. Harvard starter Simon Rosenblum-Larson kept Bruno off the basepaths with eleven strikeouts and allowed only one run in six innings.

The Crimson opened scoring with two runs in the top of the second before adding runs in the sixth and the seventh to secure the victory.

After scoring twice in the bottom of the seventh to bring the game within a run, the Bears hit into a double play with the bases loaded to end the game.

“I have, in my years of playing and coaching, never seen a game end like that,” Achilles said. “The best thing for me was how our guys competed.”

Starter Max Ritchie ’17 allowed four runs with two strikeouts over seven innings.

Harvard 7, Brown 6 (F/11)

The afternoon contest saw Bruno overtaken by the Crimson in a tight, extra-innings contest. Henry led the Bears with two hits and a pair of runs scored, while Grigo posted one hit and two RBIs.

Harvard scored two runs in the first three innings, but Bruno responded in the bottom of the seventh when Homza sent Cameron Deere ’20 home on an RBI groundout. The Crimson answered with a three-run eighth inning, but Deere narrowed the deficit with an RBI single in the bottom of the inning.

Brown had a run taken off the board in the eighth inning after the umpire ruled that Huntley failed to touch third base before crossing home on a single from Delano, sending Brown into the ninth inning down three runs. Achilles was ejected from the game following an appeal of the call.

“If anything, what that (call) did is it brought our guys closer,” Achilles said. “It brought them to a point where they weren’t going to let anything affect them negatively that they couldn’t control.”

Harvard added a run in the top of the ninth, but Bruno answered with four runs — led by Grigo, Marc Sredojevic ’17 and Huntley — to send the game into extra innings tied at six. Trent Bryan hit a home run to left center in the top of the eleventh, securing the victory for the Crimson.

Delano started the game on the mound and limited Harvard to two runs with five strikeouts over seven innings before Hauser and Reid Anderson ’18 combined for four innings of relief.

“They continued to battle,” Achilles said. “Our guys were always delivering, (but) we just didn’t get the big one when we needed it.”

The Bears will return to action Tuesday with a home doubleheader against Siena College, before finishing the season with a pair of doubleheaders against Yale Saturday and Sunday.

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