Late Duke Rally Sinks Bears in 7-6 Extra-Inning Loss

March 25, 2008

Box Score

Durham, NC - Despite holding a slim lead for much of the game, the Brown baseball team (5-7) was unable to hold on, falling to Duke (20-5) in 10 innings, 7-6, at Jack Coombs Field on Tuesday afternoon. Freshman catcher Matt Colantonio (Garden City, NY) went 4-for-5 with a run scored, while junior shortstop Matt Nuzzo (Everett, MA) and junior center fielder Steve Daniels (Fox Point, WI) were both 3-for-6. Senior reliever Anthony Vita (West Babylon, NY) threw three innings of scoreless relief before allowing the tying run in the ninth.

The teams traded runs for the first four innings, with the Bears coming out ahead, 6-5. Freshman right-hander Matthew Kimball (Nashville, TN), making his third start of the year, threw a scoreless fifth to finish his outing, giving way to Vita in the sixth. The senior faced just one batter over the minimum in the sixth, seventh, and eighth, but hit some trouble when he went back out for the ninth. Vita gave up a one-out, full-count walk to Duke second baseman and cleanup hitter Gabriel Saade, who then stole second. After a fly out to left, Blue Devil third baseman Ryan McCurdy singled through the left side, just the second hit off Vita in the outing, to score Saade with the tying run.

Vita was able to retire the next batter, but Duke carried the momentum into the 10th inning. Senior reliever Rob Hallberg (River Edge, NJ) entered the game, getting a fly out, allowing an 0-2 single, then getting another fly out before allowing another 0-2 single to give the home team runners on first and third with two out. Left fielder Jeremy Gould then handed the Bears their second walk-off loss of the season with a single down the left field line.

Kimball went five innings, allowing five runs, four earned, on eight hits and one walk, striking out one. Vita allowed just two hits and one walk over four innings, striking out two batters.

Nuzzo had a team-high with two runs batted in, while senior left fielder Ryan Murphy (Mantoloking, NJ) scored twice, going 2-for-5. Daniels scored once and drove in a run, also stealing his sixth base of the season to give him 44 career thefts, good for eighth all-time at Brown.

The teams traded runs in the first, with Brown taking a 1-0 lead on an RBI single by senior designated hitter Conor Reardon (Branford, CT) that brought in Daniels and Duke tying the score with a run scoring on a Nuzzo error. The Bears got four runs in the top of the second, as Murphy brought in Colantonio on a bases-loaded single, sophomore right fielder Chris Tanabe (Jupiter, FL) squeezed home sophomore first baseman Joe Mellano (Bonsall, CA), and Nuzzo brought in Murphy and freshman second baseman Ryan Zrenda (Old Lyme, CT) on a double to center. However, a pair of RBI singles in the bottom of the second and a Saade solo home run in the bottom of the third closed the gap to 5-4 before the teams traded runs in the fourth, with Daniels singling home Murphy for the Bears' run.

After a 2-3 mark in five games in North Carolina, the Bears continue northward on Wednesday for a game at Richmond at 3 p.m. Sophomore right-hander Rob Wilcox (Columbia, SC) (0-0, 0.00) is slotted to make his first start of the season in the contest.