This weekend, Brown’s baseball team (7-17, 4-5 Ivy) achieved a three-game sweep against the Cornell Big Red (4-18, 3-6 Ivy). After a rough start to Ivy play that only yielded one win out of their first six conference matches, Bruno’s weekend sweep has propelled them above Cornell and tied them with Yale in the regular season conference standings.
The Bears took both games of Saturday’s double header, winning 12-8 in the morning and 1-0 in the afternoon, before securing the sweep with a 5-2 victory Sunday.
“Getting three wins on the road was huge,” wrote Head Coach Grant Achilles in a message to The Herald via Brown Athletics. “Gaining ground in the Ivy standings and continuing to build momentum as we head into the heart of the Ivy schedule is critical.”
The story of the weekend was Bruno’s pitching: Bears pitchers struck out 37 batters over the course of the weekend. The pitching staff showed great resilience in the second game on Saturday, in which the Bears defense helped manage a shutout over the Big Red.
Closer Jack Seppings ’25 locked down the final innings in all three games, earning his second save in Saturday's second game and his third on Sunday.
“Every pitcher, starter and reliever, did their job — and for Sepp to slam the door in all three wins just builds on our mindset of attacking,” Achilles wrote.
In game one on Saturday, Brown’s offense dominated. They forced the Big Red to use five different pitchers throughout the game, had three players with multiple RBIs and batted .300 as a team during the game.
“As a team we really did a good job of getting their starting pitcher out of the game and making them use their bullpen,” Mika Petersen ’26 wrote in a message to The Herald via Brown Athletics. “We didn’t get comfortable in our lead and kept piling on, which really set the tone for the rest of the weekend.”
An electric third inning allowed the Bears to push ahead of Cornell after being down 2-1 early. Jared Johnson ’25 crushed a 2-0 pitch for a two-run single, scoring DJ Dillehay ’26 and catcher Jacob Burley ’23 to give the Bears a 3-2 lead. Derian Morphew ’23 would follow up shortly after with a three-run double to clear the bases, bringing the score to 7-2 for the Bears.
After Morphew stole third, Petersen hit a short single to score the seventh run of the inning — his first of two RBIs on a stellar hitting weekend for the rookie.
After Cornell showed signs of making a comeback — scoring two runs in the third inning and three in the fourth to make the game 9-7 — starter Paxton Meyers ’24 was replaced by reliever Bobby Olsen ’23, who allowed only one more run and struck out seven. Seppings replaced Olsen in the ninth, striking out all three batters he faced to close out the Big Red.
In game two, the Bears struggled against Cornell’s left-handed pitcher, only managing five hits and striking out seven times over the game’s first seven innings.
“After the first game in the doubleheader, we were in a really good spot as far as the way we felt at the plate,” Petersen wrote. “For game two we got a pretty different look, as they had a lefty start the game.”
The Bears were unable to convert on any opportunities throughout the game, leaving five runners on base.
It was only off a fourth-inning bunt that Petersen was able to reach first. He was driven in by Morphew shortly after to score the game’s first and only run.
Saturday’s pitching effort by the Bears was the best of the weekend. Santhosh Gottam ’25 threw seven strong innings and struck out eight batters — both career highs for the sophomore. Saturday’s game also offered him redemption after a rough outing against Yale in which he allowed seven runs.
But despite his impressive performance, Gottam is not focused on individual accolades. “We play this game to win, and it just makes it more fun,” he wrote in a message to The Herald via Brown Athletics. “The stats are definitely cool and good memories but it’s important to understand that it’s just one game and move on the the next one.”
Gottam also credited much of his success to the play of his defense. “The confidence they gave me was indescribable,” he wrote. He specifically highlighted Mark Henshon ’26 “for making several incredible plays at second base” and Burley “for stealing strikes for me.”
Seppings pitched the final two innings against Cornell, striking out three batters and earning his second save of the season to push the Bears to a 1-0 win over the Big Red.
Achilles credited his team’s strong defense as key to their successful weekend. “We didn’t make an error all weekend, and that gave our pitchers confidence to throw strikes,” he wrote.
“In that game, we really relied on our pitching and defense, which (were) just about as good as it gets,” Petersen wrote.
Saturday’s games featured Henshon’s first two career starts. Henshon would go 4-6 with two runs and a walk, leading to his selection as Ivy League Rookie of the Week.
In Sunday’s game, starter Tobey McDonough ’23 went for 5 2/3 innings and held Cornell scoreless. He recorded eight strikeouts and yielded only three hits out of 20 at-bats.
After going scoreless through the first two innings, the Bears jumped ahead on runs by Henshon, Morphew and Petersen.
In the seventh inning, with Cornell threatening after a score off McDonough to make it a 3-1 game, Charles Crawford ’24 crushed a full-count pitch for a triple to score Burley and Dillehay, extending Bruno’s lead to 5-1.
Cornell scored one more time in the eighth, but Seppings would slam the door once again, striking out two batters and earning his third save of the season.
Brown looks to keep the momentum up as they enter a busy week, taking on the University of Rhode Island Tuesday and hosting Penn for a three-game series over the weekend.
“URI is going to be a battle, and Penn has played really good baseball all year,” Achilles wrote. They are “two good teams that we need to bring our best focus against.”
Dennis Carey is a sports senior staff writer for The Brown Daily Herald. He previously contributed to the Arts and Culture section. In his spare time, he enjoys watching Atlanta sports and collecting vinyl records.