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Big bats, little reward in Dartmouth set

The baseball team's 41 runs in four games did not produce the results that the Bears hoped for, as the team dropped three of its four games to Dartmouth over the weekend. The series did have some bright spots, including a breakout hitting performance from first baseman Pete Greskoff '11 and a strong effort on the mound from Will Weidig '10, but Brown lacked consistency, particularly on the mound and in the field.

In the first game of Saturday's doubleheader, baserunning blunders and a lack of timely hitting hurt the Bears. In the bottom of the first, with Bruno down 2-1, shortstop Matt Nuzzo '09 was thrown out at home on an attempted double steal, with tri-captain Rob Papenhause '09 at the plate. The Bears also stranded a runner on third base in both the third and sixth innings.

Anthony Vita '08, coming off a three-hit, one-run complete game victory over Princeton last weekend, struggled on the mound, allowing six runs in six innings, and the Big Green took the series opener by a score of 8-2. Nuzzo and designated hitter Conor Reardon '08 had the only multi-hit games for Brown, each going 2-for-3.

In the second game of the doubleheader, the offense exploded, with seven players recording multi-hit games. After Weidig surrendered a solo home run in the top of the first inning, third baseman Papenhause singled in a run in the bottom of the inning to tie the score, and catcher Matt Colantonio '11 laced a double to centerfield to drive in two more runs for the Bears.

In the second inning, second baseman Ryan Zrenda '11 hit a leadoff single, then came around to score on a double by J.J. Eno '08. Zrenda and Eno, batting in the eighth and ninth spots, expanded the lead again in the fourth, when they started off the inning with back-to-back homers to make the score 6-1. Centerfielder Steve Daniels '09 followed with a triple, then came home on Nuzzo's sacrifice fly.

Daniels went three-for-five in the win, and led the team with four runs scored.

In the top of the fifth, the Big Green took advantage of three Brown errors to cut Bruno's lead to 7-5. The errors also prolonged the inning for Weidig, driving his pitch count up and forcing him to make an early exit.

But the Bears increased their lead to 8-5 in the bottom of the sixth, and scored five runs in both the seventh and eighth innings. Brown got solid work out of the bullpen from Mark Gormley '11, who allowed one run in 2.1 innings, and Peter Moskal '08, who pitched 1.2 innings of shutout ball, giving the Bears the 18-6 win.

Sunday was a day of great frustration for the Bears, who produced offensively, but came away with two losses, 9-7 and 16-14.

"I think Dartmouth is pretty good offensively, but they're not a great offensive team," said Head Coach Marek Drabinski. "When you throw balls down the middle of the plate when you're ahead, and ... walk guys and hit guys, then you're going to take a team that's pretty good offensively and make them look very good."

Starting pitcher Alex Silverman '08 walked the first two batters and proceeded to give up two homers in a four-run first inning for the Big Green, forcing Brown to play catch-up for the remainder of the game.

In the second inning, Colantonio got on with a single, and Greskoff cut Dartmouth's lead in half with his first of two home runs in the game.

"I was just seeing the ball really well," Greskoff said. "I was able to hit a bunch of them, and they went far."

But the Big Green struck for three more runs in the top of the fourth, and two more in the sixth, to build a 9-2 lead. Greskoff hit a grand slam in the bottom of the sixth to bring Brown within three, but the comeback effort ultimately fell short.

The Bears added another run in the bottom of the seventh inning, but with runners on first and third and one out, Papenhause grounded into a game-ending double play.

Greskoff put in another strong game at the plate in the second game, going 3-for-4 with two RBIs. With a potentially serious foot injury afflicting tri-captain left fielder Ryan Murphy '08, Drabinski will likely give Eno, who has played first base for most of the year, more time in left field, opening up a spot at first for Greskoff.

"Pete's going to see some more time, without question," Drabinski said. "The day he had (Sunday) was a pretty great day ... and it's good to see guys like him stepping up."

The Bears held a 3-2 lead after three innings, but the Big Green scored six runs in the bottom of the fourth off Matt Kimball '11 and Josh Feit '11 to take an 8-3 lead. Bruno also had a big fourth inning, though, scoring five runs off of Greskoff's RBI double and Eno's grand slam, to tie the game at eight.

"I was trying not to do too much, just trying to do my job and make solid contact with the ball," Eno said.

But Dartmouth struck for five more runs in the sixth inning, and held on for a 16-14 win, taking advantage of the Brown pitching staff's nine walks, two hit batsmen, and three wild pitches.

"It's frustrating, but that's just the way it goes sometimes," Eno said. "Sometimes the hitting's not there, sometimes the pitching's not there ... and the hard thing about baseball is putting all three aspects, hitting, pitching, and defense, together."

The Bears will try to return to form when they travel to Poughkeepsie, N.Y. for a doubleheader with Marist on Tuesday afternoon.


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