March 23, 2008
Asheville, NC - In a pair of games that took 6 hours and 41 minutes to complete, the Brown baseball team maintained its .500 record, moving to 5-5 in a split with UNC Asheville (11-13) at Greenwood Field on Sunday. After dropping the opener, 9-3, the Bears rapped out 20 hits and took advantage of seven Bulldog errors in a 13-12 victory.
For the second day in a row, the Bears got production from throughout the lineup. In the game two win, each Brown hitter had at least one hit, with all but one either scoring or driving in a run and all but two recording multiple hits. Senior first baseman J.J. Eno (Kahului, HI) was 5-for-9 on the day, hitting his first home run of the season. Junior leadoff man Steve Daniels (Fox Point, WI) continued to break out of his early-season slump, going 5-for-11 and scoring five runs, stealing three bases. Freshman catcher Matt Colantonio (Garden City, NY) also swung a hot bat on Sunday, going 4-for-8.
The Bears took an early lead in the first, as junior shortstop Matt Nuzzo (Everett, MA) drove in Daniels on a single to center. However, the host Bulldogs got to starter Will Weidig (Katy, TX) for three runs in the third and two more in the second to take a 5-1 lead. Weidig took the loss to go to 1-2, allowing five runs, three earned, in four innings of work.
The Bears got a pair of runs back in the top of the fifth. Junior left fielder Ryan Murphy (Mantoloking, NJ) first scored from second on a throwing error by the pitcher on a failed pickoff attempt. Then senior designated hitter Conor Reardon (Branford, CT) drove in Nuzzo with a sacrifice fly. However, those runs would be Brown's last, as Asheville got to freshman Matthew Kimball (Nashville, TN) for two runs in the fifth and to sophomore left-hander Matt Boylan (Danvers, MA) for two unearned runs in the eighth.
In game two, Brown again started quickly, scoring four times in the first and three times in the second. Daniels scored twice during the two-inning rally, while Nuzzo and junior third baseman Robert Papenhause (Hillsborough, CA) each drove in a pair of runs. However, again, the Bulldogs came back, touching starter Alex Silverman (Wilmington, NC) for five runs in the bottom of the second, sending 10 runners to the plate. Silverman would eventually earn the win to go to 2-0 on the year, allowing nine runs in 5.1 innings.
However, the senior right-hander settled down, working his way into the sixth. In the meantime, the Bears extended the lead with three runs in the top of the fourth on four hits, adding another in the sixth as Colantonio drove in Reardon to make the score 11-5. Again, UNC-A rallied, as catcher Reed Kreiser capped a four-run rally with a two-run homer to left. After a hit batter, senior Anthony Vita (West Babylon, NY) relieved Silverman, getting a strikeout and flyout to end the inning.
With the lead cut to two, the Bears were able to tack two key runs on in the seventh. Eno drove in the first with his home run to right. Daniels then reached on a bunt single, moving all the way to third when Bulldog pitcher Justin Schumer threw away a pickoff attempt. Murphy then drove him in for what would be the winning run on a groundout to second.
Vita threw a scoreless seventh before allowing one run in the eighth, earning a hold for his 2.2 innings of work. Senior closer Rob Hallberg (River Edge, NJ) entered in the ninth in his first save opportunity of the year. He allowed one run on a wild pitch, then got two outs before allowing a second run. With runners on first and second, Hallberg induced a ground ball to second baseman Ryan Zrenda (Old Lyme, CT). Zrenda booted the ground ball, but was able to recover and throw out the tying run at home, ending the game.
With hits in both games, Nuzzo extended his team-high hitting streak to nine games, while Murphy and Daniels extended their streaks to eight and seven games, respectively.
On Monday, the Bears continue their six-day, seven-game road trip with a game against the Camels of Campbell University. Freshman right-hander Josh Feit (Woodcliff Lake, NJ) (0-0, 1.50) will get the start.