The baseball team (6-17, 2-7 Ivy League) hosted Columbia (14-13, 7-2 Ivy League) in a three-game series sweep. The Bears were unable to secure a win as they struggled to respond to late-inning surges from the heavy bats of the Lions. A six-run ninth inning in game one helped Columbia clinch the first game of the weekend 10-8 on Saturday afternoon. During game two, Columbia scored nine runs over the final three innings to secure a 15-5 victory. Sunday’s series finale followed suit, with the Lions scoring six in the late innings to take the lead and stun the Bears, who led for most of the matchup.
Despite the weekend’s underwhelming showing, Head Coach Grant Achilles believes the team has room for improvement and that there is much more the Bears have to offer as they continue league play. “Our work is important and is reflected on the production on the field,” said Achilles. “When we play like we are capable of, then we’re a good team. We just haven’t put together a complete game on a consistent basis.”
Columbia 10, Brown 8
In the first game of the series, Brown fell to Columbia after the Lions jumped ahead in the top of the second inning. The Lions scored three runs on three hits, including a two-run infield single up the middle. Bobby Olsen ’23 started on the mound and pitched six innings, allowing three runs on six hits. The Bears responded in the bottom of the second inning with a single from second baseman Reece Rappoli ’24 and a walk from third baseman Charles Crawford ’24. Jacob Burley ’23 was able to load the bases after drawing a four-pitch walk, setting up a Gunner Boree ’25 grand slam that put Brown ahead 4-3.
In the bottom of the fifth, the Bears were able to capitalize on a single and a defensive error from the Lions to get two men on base. First baseman Ryan Marra ’23 swung at the first pitch of his at-bat to send the ball over the left-field fence for a three-run home run to give the Bears a 7-3 advantage.
Columbia narrowed Brown’s lead to 7-4 in the top of the seventh. Boree answered back with another home run of his own in the bottom of the seventh, making it an 8-4 ballgame and earning Boree his first career multi-home run game. But in the ninth, the Lions erupted for six runs on six hits, with two doubles and a triple giving Columbia five runs. After Columbia’s ninth-inning outburst, Brown was unable to score again, falling to the Lions 10-8.
Columbia 15, Brown 5
In game two, Columbia again got an early lead, scoring three times on three hits in the first inning. Brown was able to earn a point thanks to the efforts of Jackson Hipp ’22, who drew a walk with the bases loaded. But Columbia’s dominance continued as they added two more runs on three hits in the top of the second, capitalizing off a Brown error to increase their lead to 5-1.
The Bears remained in the game and earned a run back in the bottom of the second when center fielder Derian Morphew ’23 hit his second home run of the season.
“I made some adjustments last week that (Achilles) helped me with,” Morphew said. “I have had better eyesight at the plate and it definitely paid off this week. I think as we keep making adjustments as a team then it’ll be a good overall series ahead.”
The Bears continued to carry their momentum into the bottom of the fifth when Ray Sass ’23 led the inning off with a single, followed by a Crawford double off the bottom of the wall in center field to score Sass from first to make it 5-3. In the sixth inning, each team scored once to make it 6-4. The Lions once again put pressure on the Bears late in the game, scoring nine times in the last three innings to increase their lead to 15-5. Brown got one run back in the bottom of the ninth with a last-chance effort off a leadoff double by Marra and an RBI single from Sass, but Bruno’s deficit was too large to overcome.
Columbia 11, Brown 6
Columbia completed the series sweep after a late inning comeback on Sunday. Before the Lions could rally back and secure the win, starter Zach Fogell ’22 dominated on the mound for the Bears, tying his career high of six strikeouts over six innings, allowing only four hits and one earned run.
Fogell’s only run was an early solo home run that helped Columbia jump ahead in the top of the first. Brown responded right away in the bottom of the frame with a solo home run by Marra to tie the game.
The Bears took the lead in the bottom of the fifth, when a Marra single brought Nathan Brasher ’25 home and a Crawford single scored two more runs, extending Bruno’s lead to 4-1. But two innings later, Columbia cut Brown’s lead to 4-2, scoring with a double and a two-out triple.
Columbia snuffed out Brown’s advantage with a six-run inning in the eighth, taking the lead 8-4. The Lions strung together six hits in the inning, including a three-run home run to complete the comeback. Columbia then added to their advantage in the ninth, scoring three times.
Brown tallied one run in the eighth on a Boree sacrifice fly and another in the ninth on a Jared Johnson ’25 home run, the first of his career. But Bruno could not mount a comeback, falling 11-6.
“When watching (Olsen) and Tobey (McDonough ’23) yesterday, I had a plan today to execute the off-speed off the fastball and it worked,” said Fogell. “We gotta turn it around from this point. We are way better than the record shows and everyone on this team knows it. We just gotta play like it and stop letting things get carried away.”
Brown will play its last non-league game of the season on April 12 when the team takes on University of Rhode Island at 3:45 p.m.
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.