PROVIDENCE, R.I. – In a back-and-forth contest against one of the best teams in the BIG EAST Conference, the Brown Bears came out on top in grand fashion against UConn, getting a walk-off RBI single from senior co-captain Graham Tyler (Cranston, R.I.) to secure the victory, 8-7. Brown's offense carried the way as the Bears tallied 18 hits against Husky pitching.
Even though head coach Marek Drabinski decided to use eight different pitchers to preserve arms for this weekend's showdown against Dartmouth, Brown pitching struck out 10 batters, while reigning Ivy League Rookie of the Week Will Marcal (Lexington, Mass.) went 4-for-4 with two runs and an RBI. Marcal is now 8-for-8 in the past two games with five runs and three RBI.
Brown (6-21) came back from two, two-run deficits in the first and third innings and later plated two runs for the third time in a frame during the fifth to take a 7-5 lead. Connecticut was able to tie up the game in the sixth inning before pitching dominated the next three frames.
With the game tied at seven in the bottom of the ninth, and pitching options becoming limited, the Bears knew it was their time to strike.
Junior first baseman Cody Slaughter (New Port Richey, Fla.) started the inning off by legging out a single on a hot shot to shortstop. Marcal then followed with a sac bunt to move pinch-runner Nate Kukowski (Brentwood, Tenn.) into scoring position. Sophomore Wes Van Boom (Trabuco Canyno, Calif.) followed with a single to right field to put runners on the corners for Tyler.
Despite the Huskies bringing in their closer to face Brown's captain in a tough situation, Tyler came through with a single to left field to plate Kukowski and give the Bears an 8-7 win over UConn.
Bruno will take the momentum into a pivotal four-game showdown with Ivy League rival this weekend against Dartmouth at Murray Stadium. The two doubleheaders start Saturday and Sunday, April 14-15, at noon.