The baseball team (8-22, 3-12 Ivy League) kept it close in its three-game weekend series against Penn (26-9, 12-2 Ivy) but was unable to secure a win and was swept by the Quakers in Philadelphia.
Penn 5, Brown 2
In the first game of the series Saturday, the Bears were defeated by a score of 5-2. Bruno was burned by a one-inning surge from the opposing offense, an issue they have struggled with all season. The Quakers had a five-run rally in the bottom of the fourth inning but failed to score for the rest of the game. Pitcher Charlie Beilenson ’22 slowed the Penn offense after entering in the fifth inning and threw a career-high four shutout innings while allowing just three hits in relief.
Bruno started strong, threatening to score in the early innings. Outfielder Jared Johnson ’25 hit a triple to start off the second, but Bruno was unable to bring him home. The Bears then broke through in the third with a pair of runs. A single by Ryan Marra ’23 sent Derian Morphew ’23 home, and Marra scored after Reece Rappoli ’24 hit a sacrifice fly. But the Bears were unable to capitalize on other opportunities later on, remaining scoreless for the rest of the game and failing to come back after Penn jumped ahead.
Penn 2, Brown 1
To complete the Saturday doubleheader, the Bears again kept it close against the Quakers in a game that took 13 innings to reach a conclusion. Despite their last-ditch efforts, Brown was unable to steal the win, losing by a score of 2-1.
Both teams struggled behind the plate, going a combined 7-for-38 with runners in scoring position, amid a strong pitching performance where both pitching squads combined for 26 total strikeouts.
In a statement to Brown Athletics, Head Coach Grant Achilles praised the efforts of his pitchers, especially from Tobey McDonough ’23 and Paxton Meyers ’24. "It's tough. (McDonough) did a really great job keeping their hitters off balance and uncomfortable, and then he passed the torch to (Meyers),” Achilles said. “All along, their pitchers were matching our guys pitch for pitch, and (Meyers) came in and just threw high-leverage pitches inning after inning with runners in scoring position. … You can't say enough about how proud I am.”
McDonough only gave up one run on the mound when Penn strung together a single and a double in the second inning to bring a run home. He then allowed only two hits over his final five innings and retired 14 out of the next 15 hitters faced.
Bruno struggled offensively, having no hits through the first six innings of the contest. In the seventh inning, the Bears finally got on the board off a Gunner Boree ’25 safety squeeze bunt that scored Marra from third.
"Anybody can beat anybody on any given day, and it just wasn’t our weekend. The mindset going into this weekend is to keep grinding and just showing up every single day. There’s no letting off the gas,” Boree said. “Just because there are two weekends left, we’re just as hungry as we were the first weekend of the year.”
In the top of the ninth inning, Rappoli hit a leadoff single, and nearly made it home following a double by Johnson, but the Quakers managed to throw Rappoli out at the plate, which sent the game to extra innings.
Brown’s defense came up big in the bottom of the frame, with two diving plays and a key strikeout helping to keep Bruno alive.
The Bears came up short multiple times on potential scoring opportunities in extras. In the 10th and 13th innings, Bruno had the bases loaded but was unable to score a run. Brown also stranded runners in scoring position in the 11th.
The Quakers were able to secure the win in the bottom of the 13th inning when a dropped fly ball deep in right-center field scored the winning run. Penn took a 2-1 victory in the contest, completing the Saturday doubleheader sweep.
Penn 4, Brown 2
On Sunday, the Bears took on the Quakers looking to steal a win but fell 4-2. Starting for Brown was left-handed pitcher Zach Fogell ’22, who earned a no-decision and allowed two unearned runs on four hits in five innings. Santhosh Gottam ’25 pitched three innings of relief and allowed two hits with no earned runs.
Penn got on the board early, leaving the Bears in a 2-0 hole in the bottom of the second inning. Brown was held scoreless until the top of the fifth inning, when a solo home run by Marra put the Bears on the board. The home run, part of a 3-for-5 performance, was Marra’s seventh of the year. Johnson followed suit in the sixth inning, hitting a solo home run of his own to tie the game at two.
The Quakers came back strong in the bottom of the seventh, scoring two runs to take the lead. The first runner scored on a sac fly, while the second came home due to multiple Brown defensive errors. The Quakers handed the Bears a deficit they were unable to overcome, ending the series finale with a score of 4-2.
Despite the series defeat, infielder Ray Sass ’23 said he remains optimistic about the remainder of the schedule to come. “I think the biggest focus for us is to keep playing our best baseball, continuing to grind out at-bats, staying locked in pitch to pitch and (trusting) that we have each other's backs in any scenario,” Sass said. “Obviously the series at Penn didn’t reflect well in terms of record but we had a lot of positives to pull away and build on moving forward.”
Brown will return home for its second-to-last Ivy League series this weekend against Princeton for Spring Weekend.