The baseball team (5-14, 2-4 Ivy League) went 0-2 against Harvard (13-9, 5-1) in a Saturday doubleheader but came back to claim the series finale on Sunday. The win puts the Bears in fourth place in the Ivy League, keeping them in the running for the postseason.
In a statement provided to Brown Athletics, Head Coach Grant Achilles noted that the young team showed resilience despite its Saturday performance in Cambridge. With a win against the Ivy League powerhouse Harvard to cap off the weekend — the Crimson’s first loss of the season in Ivy League play — Achilles said he feels even more optimistic about the Bears’ future.
“The goal is always to win as many as you can, but to avoid a sweep on the road gives you a fighting chance moving forward,” Achilles said to Brown Athletics. “You want to take care of business every step of the way and this gives us momentum heading into next week.”
Harvard 17, Brown 7
In the first game of the series, the Bears fell to the Crimson in a loss during which the Bears played from a deficit from the first inning onwards. Harvard struck early — in the bottom of the first inning, the team scored 11 runs on 11 hits, which included four doubles and two triples, sending 15 batters to the plate. The Crimson scored eight runs with two outs, adding a run in each of the following two innings.
Brown did not go down without a fight, getting one run back in the second on an RBI single to the opposite field by right fielder Jackson Hipp ’22. In the third inning, the Bears had the bases loaded and scored another run on a dropped third strike.
Brown trailed 13-2 to begin the top of the sixth, but the Bears quickly decreased the deficit with a five-run rally. Third baseman Gunner Boree ’25 hit a double to left field to plate one run, after which first baseman Ryan Marra ’23 drew a walk to load the bases. Derian Morphew ’23 then hit a sacrifice fly to deep right-center field to score Hipp, cutting the lead to 13-4.
Reece Rappoli ’24, batting cleanup, grounded one just inside third base and down the left-field line for an RBI double. The Bears then took advantage of a throwing error and scored two more runs, bringing the score to 13-7. But despite the Bears’ efforts to get back in the game, the contest ended in a 17-7 after Harvard scored four runs in the eighth inning on four hits.
“We knew Harvard was a really good team, and we would have to do all the small things right to be able to beat them on the road,” Rappoli said. “Obviously Saturday didn’t go as we wanted it to but to be able to come back Sunday and steal a win showed how tough this team can be. We really rallied around each other and we were willing to do anything that could help us get the win.”
Harvard 7, Brown 1
In game two of the three game series, Harvard again defeated Brown, this time by a score of 7-1. Tobey McDonough ’23 started on the mound for the Bears, allowing just one run on three hits through the first five innings. After a scoreless first inning for both teams, Harvard went up 1-0 in the second with an unearned run after a throwing error. The Bears got on the board in the sixth frame with two outs when Jacob Burley ’23 came home on a wild pitch, drawing the score even at one apiece. =
The Crimson came right back, scoring two runs in the bottom of the sixth thanks to two infield hits and a double to retake the lead at 3-1. Harvard tallied three hits in each inning, adding to their lead in the bottom of the seventh inning and hitting three more in the eighth — dominating the game with a 7-1 lead. Harvard’s victory in game two completed a commanding offensive performance on the day, totaling 24 runs, 32 hits, eight doubles and three triples between the two games.
Brown 7, Harvard 5
The Bears managed to complete a rally in the third game of the series, defeating Harvard 7-5 to avoid the sweep. Five of the Bears’ runs came with two outs in the seventh inning and helped hand Harvard its first loss in Ivy League play. Santhosh Gottam ’25 tossed 3/23 innings on the mound, resulting in his second win of the year. The Bears’ pitching remained strong throughout the game, with Jack Seppings ’25 striking out four hitters in two scoreless innings to earn his first career save and seal the win.
“As we start to get into the thick of Ivy League play, we are starting to learn what it takes to win in this league,” Gottam said. “There’s still a lot of work to do, and every … little win matters. We learn from each other as a team and become better for it.”
Brown got on the board in the second inning to jump to an early 1-0 lead. Baserunning proved to be key for the Bears’ offense with Charles Crawford ’24 racing to home from third base while Hipp distracted the Harvard infield during an intentional battle between first and second.
The Crimson took advantage of two hits and a wild pitch, tying the score in the bottom of the second. The team then took a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the third, capitalizing on a Brown defensive error. The Bears tied the game in the top of the fourth when Crawford hit a two-out double into the right-center gap to plate Nathan Brasher ’25, who had reached base on a walk.
“We knew that every run counted and we had to be 100% locked in on every pitch of every game,” Crawford said. “After the tough start to Harvard, we knew this would help us take one from them.”
The score remained tied until the Bears’ seventh-inning two-out magic. Crawford once again proved valuable on the basepaths, making a crucial baserunning play by getting back to second base before Harvard could turn the double play off of a Burley lineout to the shortstop.
By staying on base and avoiding being doubled off to end the inning, Crawford’s heads-up play allowed Ray Sass ’23 to step to the plate with the bases loaded. With two outs, the “Masked Man” — the nickname Sass was given by his teammates because he wore a protective face mask after breaking his nose in game two — delivered a two-run single to left field to give the Bears a decisive lead.
The rally didn’t stop there. Next up, Marra, who went 3-for-4 in the game, worked a full count that ended with a line drive to the left-center field wall. The hit plated Sass and Hipp to extend the lead over Harvard 6-2. Morphew followed with his own two-strike RBI single to bring Marra home, giving the Bears’ a 7-2 lead.
In the bottom of the seventh, The Crimson made three runs back on five hits against a pair of Brown relievers. Brasher then got Brown out of the inning unscathed with a defensive play that knocked out a runner at third base. Harvard was unable to complete the comeback in the ninth due to a shut-out closing effort from Seppings.
The Bears remain enthusiastic and aim to continually build and grow from their team culture, Gottam said — a culture he hopes will give them an edge against their Ivy League competitors.
“We are continuing to work to build a championship culture,” Gottam said. “I am confident in our team to be in the thick of things as the season winds down, and we will continue to learn and improve.”
Brown will compete against the College of the Holy Cross on Tuesday at 3:30 p.m. in a non-conference game. This weekend, the Bears will play a three-game series against Columbia at home.
Editor’s Note: A previous version of this story contained passages with identical or nearly identical language to a news article on the official Brown Athletics website. These portions have since been revised. An Editors’ Note explaining this and other changes can be found here.