The Brown baseball team (4-17, 1-5 Ivy) failed to post a win in a three-game home series against Yale (9-12, 4-2 Ivy) last weekend. The Bulldogs defeated the Bears by scores of 16-2 Friday afternoon, 8-7 Sunday morning and 15-8 Sunday afternoon.
“They obviously beat us (in) three games … but I think we beat ourselves more innings than not,” Head Coach Grant Achilles said.
The Bulldogs pounced on the Bears’ starting pitching early in the contests, scoring a total of 19 earned runs against Tobey McDonough ’23, Santhosh Gottam ’25 and Bobby Olsen ’23. Gottam was the only starter of the group to pitch past the second inning.
Brown’s pitchers also struggled to find the strike zone, issuing 30 free passes over the three games.
“Our pitching staff was subpar this weekend,” said catcher Jacob Burley ’23, who currently holds a 16-game on-base streak. Burley batted 7-13 in the series, including going 3-3 to open the series on Friday and recording the only RBI in that day’s blowout loss.
In Sunday’s doubleheader, the Bears’ bats came alive, scoring 15 runs on 21 hits across the two games.
In the first game, the offense put up four runs in the first frame, with RBIs from Mika Petersen ’26, Nathan Brasher ’25 and Jared Johnson ’25. But the Bulldogs stormed back to take a 7-4 lead by the fourth inning.
With two outs and a man on first in the top of the fifth, right-hander Paxton Meyers ’24 was called in to make his season debut, striking out the first batter he faced to end the inning. Meyers tossed 4 1/3 innings of scoreless, one-hit ball and struck out six to keep the Bears in the game.
“It felt amazing … to be back contributing on the field,” Meyers said.
“He’s a competitor,” Achilles said of Meyers. “Any time he gets on the mound, he feels like he’s gonna win.”
“This game is super mental,” Meyers added. “Just going out there and having confidence, throwing your pitches with conviction … that’s what I felt like helped me out today.”
Still down by three going into the bottom of the eighth, the Bears mounted a comeback, with clean-up hitter Ryan Marra ’23 plating Petersen on a sac-fly and Burley singling home Reece Rappoli ’24 to pull within one.
Leading off the bottom of the ninth, freshman shortstop DJ Dillehay ’26 crushed a 1-2 offering over the left-center field fence, hitting a career-first home run and tying the game 7-7. Dillehay sprinted around the bases, reaching home plate about 18 seconds after the ball hit his bat.
“I’m glad to get my first college home run under my belt,” Dillehay said. “I felt like it brought a lot of energy to the team.”
The game proceeded to extra innings. In the top of the tenth, reliever Jack Seppings ’25 surrendered a run to Yale without allowing a hit, walking three and hitting one batter. The Bears got the leadoff runner on in the bottom of the inning after a hit batter of their own, but couldn’t bring him around to score, losing the hard-fought battle 8-7.
Down 4-0 in the first inning of the third game, Dillehay connected once again for his second homer of the day, scoring Derian Morphew ’23. The Bears added one more in the frame on an RBI groundout from Johnson. Yale and Brown each tacked on one in the second, making the score 5-4, which it would stay for three innings.
Things unraveled for the Bears in the seventh inning, with the Bulldogs plating seven runs on five hits, an error and a passed ball. One of Yale’s crucial early hits, which loaded the bases with no men out, came on a botched bunt attempt. Yale catcher Robert Ciulla sent the ball straight up into the air to the right side of the infield, but since the first baseman broke in towards the plate when the batter showed bunt, the ball ended up in no-man’s land.
Yale “put together some good at-bats,” Dillehay said. “They didn’t just smoke the ball all over the place, but they had a bunch of good hits, timely hits too.”
The Bears responded in the bottom of the inning with a three-run shot from Logan Meusy ’26, making him the second Brown player to record the first long ball of his collegiate career Sunday.
“It’s challenging (as) a freshman to adjust to the college game, so to be able to see those guys come in and have some consistently good at-bats, that’s all you’re looking for,” Achilles said.
Despite adding another run in the eighth on an RBI double from Burley, the deficit built in the top of the seventh inning was too much to overcome as the Bears fell 15-8.
Following a long day of baseball, the team gathered around Achilles near the left field foul line. “We need to act like champions, and that’s what’s gonna get us in the championship,” Dillehay said of the post-game conversation.
Achilles said his message to the team was that “there’s a lot of (the) season left. … We’ve got five weekends of the regular season left to really start playing the way we’re capable of.”
“He knows that this team is better than 1-5 in Ivy Play, and he’s trying to motivate us to play six more weekends instead of just five,” Burley said, referencing the possibility of the team making it to the Ivy playoffs.
The Bears will take on Holy Cross at home Tuesday before traveling to Ithaca over the weekend to face Cornell.
“We’re coming back,” Dillehay said. “We’re gonna rally hard. We’re gonna whoop ‘em.”