After two wild back-and-forth battles, Brown and Dartmouth's baseball teams are still deadlocked atop the Rolfe Division of the Ivy League. The Bears (12-25 overall, 9-5 Ivy) and the Big Green (19-13 overall, 9-5 Ivy) split two games at Brown's Murray Stadium on Saturday afternoon. Dartmouth eked out a victory, 7-6, in the first matchup. But Brown came back to take the second, 9-5, behind a strong performance from starting pitcher Will Weidig '10, who stepped up on a day when he said the team "really needed the win."
Dartmouth 7, Brown 6
Bruno had victory in its grasp, but could not hold on in the final inning. Brown took a 5-3 lead into the seventh frame, helped by Kevin Carlow's '13 strong pitching and Matt Colantonio's '11 third-inning grand slam.
But the Dartmouth bats pounced on Carlow's reliever, Matthew Kimball '11. A leadoff walk and some shaky play in the infield by Ryan Zrenda '11 loaded the bases with one out. Dartmouth third baseman Ezra Josephson cut the lead to 5-4 with an infield hit, and the Big Green then took the lead on Brett Gardner's two-run single. Centerfielder Jake Carlson drove in Gardner with a single of his own, capping Dartmouth's big four-run inning.
That insurance run turned out to be huge, as the Bears made their own comeback effort in the bottom of the seventh. Zrenda ripped a triple to right field to lead off the inning and later scored on a groundout by Daniel Rosoff '12. But the Bears could not muster up another run and fell by a one-run margin, 7-6.
Brown 9, Dartmouth 5
In the second game, the Bears got out to another early lead, and made sure to keep it until the final pitch was thrown. Brown led, 4-0, after two innings, due to home runs from Pete Greskoff '11 and Chris Tanabe '10.
They added four more in the bottom of the fifth, grabbing a commanding 8-1 advantage on a solo home run from Mike DiBiase '12 and a two-run single from Cody Slaughter '13.
The Big Green bats were quiet until the bottom of the ninth inning, due to Weidig's dominance on the mound. Weidig hurled eight innings and was charged with just three earned runs.
"I was able to mostly just a throw a fastball to both sides of the plate and keep them off balance that way," Weidig said. "With the offense getting us out to a big lead, it's easier to go out there and pitch to contact."
But again, when Brown went to its bullpen in the latter stages of the game, Dartmouth was able to mount a rally. The Big Green scored four runs total in the ninth, but left-hander Brad Kottman '13 was finally able to shut the door. Kottman struck out pinch-hitter David Turnbull to end the game, ensuring that the two teams would be tied in the standings until the second set of doubleheaders on Wednesday.
"If we stay within our abilities, then we should be in good shape to have a couple of good games," Weidig said.