Bears Late Rally Falls Short Against #16 Florida In Season-Opener
March 12, 2004
Gainesville, FL - The Brown University baseball team opened up the 2004 season at #16 Florida on Friday night. A four-run ninth inning by the Bears wasn't enough to catch up to the Gators, who took a 12-0 lead by the third inning of play, to earn a 14-8 victory. Florida has now won 12 straight games as tonight's match-up was the 19th of the season for the Gators while just the first for Brown. Junior shortstop Jeff Nichols (Medford, NJ) led the way with two hits and two runs batted in.
Senior Bobby Deeb (West St. Paul, MN) started things off for the Bears reaching first on an infield error by the Gators. Deeb then advanced to second with his 55th career stolen base. Junior Bobby Wiginton (Fresno, CA) grounded out to second to move Deeb over to third. Florida's Justin Hoyman got out of the early jam though by striking out the next two batters.
After a scoreless first inning the Gators broke out for four runs in the bottom of the second on two hits and a wild pitch. Florida tacked on eight runs in the third to take a big 12-0 lead as it hounded junior righthander Chris Davidson (Nova Scotia, Cananda) with six hits.
The Bears responded with three runs in the fourth to cut down the lead. Wiginton recorded a lead-off walk before Nichols reached on an error, advancing Wiginton to third. Junior James Lowe's (Asheboro, NC) ground out to the mound scored Wiginton for the Bears first run of the season. Sophomore Danny Hughes (Andover, MA) followed up with a two-run homer over the leftfield fence, the first home run of his career.
Freshman Ethan Silverstein (Woodbridge, CT) came in to relieve Davidson in the fourth and made an impressive debut, allowing just two runs on six hits in three and two-thirds of work. The rookie recorded zero walks and five strikeouts.
After Brown added one run in the fifth on an RBI single by Nichols that scored Deeb, who reached on a single through the left side, the Gators tallied a run in the sixth and seventh innings to go up 14-4.
Senior Jason Priede (Tampa, FL) closed out the game on the mound for the Bears, shutting down the Gators in the final one and one third. The veteran allowed no hits, striking out two of the four batters he faced.
Brown rallied in the final inning as things got started with a throwing error by the Gator's third baseman that allowed freshman Devin Thomas (Gainesville, FL) to advance to second. Junior Chris Contrino (Marlboro, NJ) drove in Thomas with a single to right field.
Another error along with a botched fielder's choice loaded up the bases with one out. Nichols came through with another RBI single, bringing in two more runs for the Bears. One more run is all Brown could muster out of the inning with Lowe recording his second RBI groundout of the night.
Brown will look to avenge the loss tomorrow as the two teams will play the second game of the three game series at 2 p.m.
Brown (0-1) 000 310 004 - 8 5 1
Florida (16-3) 048 001 10x - 14 14 5