Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.

Baseball evens Ivy record after Cornell, Princeton wins

The baseball team had an outburst of offense, averaging seven runs per game while going 4-2 in its six-game opening homestand.

The Bears got big production out of upperclassmen like shortstop Matt Nuzzo '09, as well as tri-captains Ryan Murphy '08 and Rob Papenhause '09. Brown also got some quality innings out of its bullpen, which pitched nearly five scoreless innings in Saturday's back-to-back wins over Cornell.

The team's record now stands at 11-13, 4-4 in the Ivy League.

In the first game of Wednesday's doubleheader against the University of Rhode Island, the offense got going early and built a 7-2 lead in the bottom of the third inning. In the fifth inning, first baseman J.J. Eno '08 tripled off the right field wall to score two more and later came home on third baseman Papenhause's single.

In the bottom of the sixth, Nuzzo blasted a 1-0 pitch over the wall in left centerfield for his first home run of the year, to give Bruno a commanding 11-2 lead. Brown went on to win by a final score of 11-3. Left fielder Murphy had three hits, including two doubles, to lead the Brown offense, while Papenhause added two hits and two RBI.

"Nuzzo and Papenhause hit like they're capable of, and Murphy finally got going," said Head Coach Marek Drabinski. "We worked all week on an opposite field approach, and it paid off."

In the second game on Wednesday, the Bears fell behind 2-0 in the top of the fourth, but came back in the bottom of the inning, when center fielder Steve Daniels '09 drove a home run to left centerfield, and Papenhause followed with a homer to right-center two batters later to tie the game at two.

But that was all the offense the Bears would muster, and Peter Moskal '08 and Rob Hallberg '08 struggled out of the bullpen, resulting in an 8-2 loss for Brown.

On Saturday's first game against Cornell, two hits combined with a Big Red error and a wild pitch resulted in three first-inning runs for Brown. But the Big Red came right back, putting up three runs in a two-out rally in their next turn at the plate.

In the bottom of the third, catcher Matt Colantonio '11 gave the Bears the lead when he connected with the first pitch for an RBI double to right field, and Murphy drove Colantonio home with an opposite-field single to left, on a first-pitch fastball.

"Coach stressed going after the first pitch of an at-bat and hunting for fastballs," Colantonio said. "He's worked with us on trying to get a hit on a good pitch."

After allowing a leadoff home run in the top of the fourth, starter Alex Silverman '08 retired the next three batters to maintain the one-run lead. Hallberg came on in relief with the bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the sixth and blew three consecutive fastballs past the Big Red hitter to get the Bears out of trouble. He then pitched a scoreless seventh to give Bruno the win, 5-4.

Hallberg "had his velocity back, and he was locating it down in the zone," Drabinski said. "I told him that when you throw like that, you only need one pitch."

In the second game of the doubleheader, Nuzzo hit a three-run homer as part of a five-run first inning, but the Big Red crept back into the game.

Will Weidig '10 surrendered leadoff home runs in the third, fourth and fifth innings, and the Big Red came within one run, at 7-6, after five innings. A two-run homer off the bat of first baseman Pete Greskoff '11 in the third kept the Bears on top.

"Will was having trouble keeping his fastball down, and he throws hard enough that if he leaves the ball up, someone can just stick their bat out and the ball will go far," Colantonio said.

After Weidig pitched out of a bases-loaded jam in the sixth, Mark Gormley '11, Anthony Vita '08 and Hallberg combined for three innings of shutout ball, and Brown added three more runs in the bottom of the sixth, to come away with an 11-7 win.

On Sunday, Brown faced off against Princeton in another doubleheader. In the first game, the Bears managed only two runs, but that was all they would need, as Vita pitched the full seven innings and allowed only one run in just his second start of the season. Vita has also been one of Bruno's most reliable pitchers out of the bullpen, allowing just two earned runs in 12 2-3 innings of relief work, but he has had no trouble adjusting to the starting role.

"I approach it the same way, whether I'm in relief or starting," he said. "I was basically just locating well, and keeping the ball away."

In Sunday's second game, Nuzzo gave the Bears a 7-5 lead with a grand slam in the bottom of the fourth, his third home run in six games. He now leads the team with three home runs and 24 RBIs on the season.

Brown also got four hits from Nick Punal '10, who is currently second on the team with a .354 batting average, trailing only Colantonio, who leads the team at .403.

But the Princeton offense proved to be too much for Brown in the second game, when starter Josh Feit '11 walked three batters and hit another while giving up four runs in 2 1-3 innings of work. Matt Kimball '11, after giving up just one run in his first 3 2-3 innings of work, got tagged for four runs in the seventh. Gormley and Rob Wilcox '10 also struggled in relief, and the Tigers pulled out a 14-11 win.

"I thought Josh Feit was hurt by walks, and I think Matt Kimball pitched great for four innings; I don't know if he started to tire a little," Drabinski said. "Our bullpen ... had good stuff, but the ball was up and over the plate. ... I don't care how hard you throw, it's more important where you throw it."

Brown will resume Ivy League competition when it plays host to Dartmouth for a four-game series this weekend, with a doubleheader on Saturday and another two games on Sunday.



Powered by SNworks Solutions by The State News
All Content © 2024 The Brown Daily Herald, Inc.