After a disappointing start to conference play last weekend, the baseball team won both games in a doubleheader against Columbia Saturday and split two games against Penn Sunday.
The Bears (6-18, 4-4 Ivy League) started their first home conference game against Columbia (12-15, 3-5) with an early 1-0 lead. Catcher Matt Colantonio '11 reached base on an error and later scored on a wild pitch. The Lions tied the game with a run in the fourth inning, but Colantonio's home run in the bottom of the fifth put the Bears back on top, and they held on to win 2-1.
Starting pitcher Matthew Kimball '11 threw a complete game, holding the Lions to one run on three hits with six strikeouts to earn his first win of the season.
After Columbia jumped out to a 1-0 lead to start the second game, designated hitter Mike DiBiase '12 singled to score Colantonio, who had led off with a double in the bottom of the first. Right fielder Josh Feit '11, who had earlier reached on a bunt single, advanced to second on DiBiase's hit, then stole third and scored on a throwing error to give Brown a 2-1 lead.
Bruno's bats were silenced after their early rally, and the Lions added four more runs to take a 5-2 lead in the eighth inning. But the Bears rallied to tie the game in the bottom of the ninth. After loading the bases with no outs, a single, a sacrifice fly and a fielder's choice allowed the Bears to score three runs to tie the game 5-5, sending it into extra innings.
The score remained unchanged until the bottom of the 11th inning, when a two-out rally put Brown on top. After left fielder Jon Suzich '12 popped out and second baseman Nate Kukowski '14 struck out to start the inning, center fielder John Sheridan '13 singled, stole second and advanced to third base on a throwing error. Colantonio was intentionally walked and Feit hit an RBI single to win the game 6-5 for Brown.
The Bears scored two runs on designated hitter Pete Greskoff's '11 first-inning home run to start game one against Penn (15-12, 6-2 conference).
The Quakers responded with a six-run rally in the third inning and had gained an 8-2 lead by the fifth. Three RBIs from DiBiase in the fifth and ninth innings were not enough to lift Bruno and the Quakers won, 14-5.
After Penn's rout in the first game, the second match-up with the Quakers was a pitchers' duel. The game was scoreless until the bottom of the sixth inning, when designated hitter Daniel Massey '14 hit a sacrifice fly to score Colantonio. An RBI single by shortstop Graham Tyler '12 later in the inning gave the Bears a 2-0 lead.
The Quakers responded with one run each in the seventh and eighth innings, but a two-run single by second baseman J.J. Franco '14 put Bruno ahead. The Bears held on to win 4-2.
Starting pitcher Heath Mayo '13 went 7.1 innings, giving up just one earned run and inducing 10 groundouts. Closer Feit earned the win, keeping the Quakers from scoring in 1.2 innings of work.
The Bears play again today, hosting Marist College for a doubleheader at Murray Stadium. Bruno's next conference games are April 16-17, when Harvard comes to Brown for a four-game weekend set.