The baseball team (0-4) kicked off their season with a four-game set at Georgia State University (5-3) this past weekend. The team failed to seize their first win in the rainy Atlanta atmosphere, falling by scores of 11-3, 10-4, 10-1 and 6-5, respectively.
The Bears’ strongest performance came in the series finale on Sunday, which they led at multiple points. Bruno out-hit the Panthers 10-8, with centerfielder and leadoff hitter Derian Morphew ’23 going an impressive 4-for-5. Morphew was locked in all weekend, going 7-for-16 with three doubles and a walk.
Morphew attributed his early success to trusting his work over the off-season. “I’ve always been a hard worker, but this past summer and leading up to this spring season I’ve been so focused on just trusting the hard work I have put in, which is a huge part of this game,” he wrote in a message to The Herald via Brown Athletics.
The game also featured strong performances from a battery making their Bears debuts. Catcher Conor Cooke ’25 went 2-for-4 with an RBI in the eighth inning, while starting pitcher Dylan Reid ’26 dazzled, tossing five innings of one-run, four-hit ball against a Georgia State offense that had scored 31 runs on 32 hits over the previous three games.
“I had all weekend to watch their hitters and learn their approaches after talking with our earlier pitchers,” Reid wrote in a message to The Herald via Brown Athletics. He emphasized the importance of “getting the first strike and putting myself ahead early to keep the hitters off balance.”
“We have some young dawgs on the team that we can trust,” Morphew wrote. “Reid came in and attacked with no hesitation, and that just showed me that he wants to win and doesn’t care who the opponent is.”
A Georgia native, Reid was also playing less than an hour from home. “I felt comfortable in the environment, and I had a very similar feeling to the high school playoff atmospheres I had been a part of the last few years,” Reid wrote. “We had a strong crowd supporting us as well, and it was great to see many familiar faces in the stands.”
The Bears held a 5-3 lead entering the bottom of the eighth inning, but Georgia State’s powerful offense stormed back with a three-run homer to take a 6-5 lead that they would not relinquish. It was the last of the Panthers’ nine home runs over the course of the four-game set.
But baseballs weren’t the only thing falling from the sky that the Bears had to worry about — delays due to rain and thunderstorms permeated the weekend, including one that prematurely ended their season opener.
The Bears found themselves in a 9-0 hole after just two innings of play on Friday afternoon. Only two of the nine runs surrendered were charged to starting pitcher and 2022 All-Ivy League selection Tobey McDonough ’23, with the other seven unearned as a result of three errors.
In the bottom of the third inning, poor weather interfered for the first time, causing an 84-minute rain delay. But when the game resumed, the Bears locked in. Peter Dubie ’26, another Bear making his debut, limited the Panthers to just one hit from the third to fifth innings while Bruno’s offense scored three runs in the fifth. But after Georgia State tacked on two more runs on a homer in the bottom of the sixth, the game entered another rain delay and was eventually called.
“We were a different team before the rain delay, and (we) came out in the bottom of the third inning playing loose and confident,” Head Coach Grant Achilles said in a statement to Brown Athletics. “Unfortunately, we ran out of time. Peter Dubie didn’t pitch like it was his college debut, and we’re very proud of him.”
The Bears dropped the second game of the series on Saturday afternoon despite tallying nine hits, including RBIs from Jacob Burley ’23 and Reece Rappoli ’24. Mika Petersen ’26 also drove in a run on a groundout for his first RBI in a Brown uniform.
The third delay of the weekend came during the back half of Saturday’s scheduled doubleheader, which was suspended due to lightning and resumed on Sunday morning in the bottom of the fifth. Second baseman Ray Sass ’23 drove in the Bears’ sole run of the game on an RBI double down the left field line, but Bruno was unable to put anything else together on offense in the defeat.
The Bears now look ahead to a series against the University of New Orleans in Louisiana next weekend. The team’s home opener will come on March 18 in a doubleheader against Bryant University, and their first Ivy matchup will take place March 25 versus Columbia in New York.
“Every game at this level will be a grind,” Morphew wrote. “We are going to have to compete at our highest level, collectively, to come out as the winning team more than we come out as the losing team.”
“The team is focused on continuing to prepare to the best of our capabilities and then trusting that preparation when we take the field every game,” Reid wrote. “Utilizing our strengths and staying within our approaches at the plate and on the mound will continue to improve our team performance and put us in the win column.”