The baseball team is 3-18 against non-conference opponents this season. But when it comes to Ivy League baseball, no squad is playing better. The Bears (11-20, 8-2 Ivy) swept their doubleheader against the Harvard Crimson (11-20, 4-6) Sunday afternoon, and extended their in-conference winning streak to seven straight games.
Head Coach Marek Drabinski called the division contests "huge." Brown won both games by comfortable margins over the error-prone Harvard team, defeating the Crimson in the opener, 10-3, and in the second matchup, 7-1.
Brown 10, Harvard 3
Kevin Carlow '13 hurled a complete game in the opener, but it did not look like he would stick around long in the first inning. Carlow loaded the bases after getting just one out, with Harvard's number-five hitter coming up to bat.
But Harvard catcher Tyler Albright lined into a double play to second baseman Chris Tanabe '10, which helped Carlow escape the jam.
"He battled," Drabinski said. "I really like the way he competes. He seems to get stronger when the situation gets tougher."
In the top of the third inning, the Bears scored three runs after getting some help from the Crimson defense. Harvard third baseman Jeff Reynolds could not make the play on a ground ball and Bruno took advantage of the extra out. Cody Slaughter '13 hit a two-RBI double and Matt Colantonio '11 drove in Slaughter with a base hit.
Last week's Herald Athlete of the Week Ryan Zrenda '11 again contributed at the plate. Zrenda hit his eighth home run of the year, a solo shot, in the fourth inning, and went a perfect three-for-three at the plate overall.
Brown 7, Harvard 1
The Bears got a sterling pitching effort from Will Weidig '10 in the second game. Weidig came into the game with an 11.33 ERA but pitched extremely well at O'Donnell Field yesterday afternoon. He scattered five hits and pitched six scoreless innings before being charged with the Crimson's only run in the bottom of the seventh.
"Will pitched fantastic," Drabinski said. "He had some real quick innings, and would throw up zeroes after every time we scored."
As in the first game, the Bruno bats took advantage of some sloppy Crimson defense. On the very first play of the game, Graham Tyler '12 capitalized on a Harvard fielding error to advance to second base on a single. He came around to score later in the inning. In the second, Tyler reached base on another fielding error. Nick Punal '10 scored an unearned run on the play, giving the Bears a 2-0 lead.
Harvard threatened in the bottom of the seventh, with Brown holding a 5-0 lead. Weidig loaded the bases on two hits and a hit batter and was replaced by Andrew Bakowski '11. Bakowski walked the first batter he faced, but then struck out the next two to preserve a four-run lead for Bruno.
"Andrew was great," Drabinski said. "He walked the batter on a 3-2 pitch, which I thought could have been called strike three. But he got us out of the bases-loaded situation."
Because of inclement weather, the Bears must return to O'Donnell Field on Monday afternoon for two more games against their division opponent. But Drabinski is already considering the looming threat of the Dartmouth Big Green, the 2009 Ivy League champions who sit two games behind Brown in the Rolfe Division.
"We have to keep winning, and put as much distance between ourselves and Dartmouth before they come in next weekend."