Bears Falter In Bottom Of Ninth In 7-6 Loss To VMI

March 27, 2006

Box Score

Lexington, VA - The Brown baseball team's string of heartbreaking losses continued on Monday as the Bears surrendered a 6-5 lead heading into the bottom of the ninth in a 7-6 loss in the second and final game with VMI on Monday. Brown, which remains winless on the season, has dropped its last three games but one run. VMI on the other hand set a school record, recording its 20th win of the season in just 26 games.

Brown jumped out to an early lead with a pair of runs in the top of the first but VMI countered with two of its own in the bottom half of the inning and went on to score two more in the second to take a 4-2 lead.

Senior Paul Christian continued his hot hitting with a single up the middle to get the Bears rolling in the first. Junior Bryan Tews then knocked one through the left side and went on to score off a single by sophomore Jeff Dietz. Junior Devin Thomas, who reached on a walk, also scored on an error by the Keydets.

VMI scored its two runs off two hits in the bottom of the first and its other two in the second off just one hit and a costly error by the Bears. The Keydets went on to extend their lead to three, 5-2, with a solo homerun in the third. They threatened in the fourth with a lead-off single but senior Shaun McNamara got VMI to ground into a double play and fly out to right to end the inning with no damage done.

Christian came through once again with an RBI single in the fifth to get Brown back to within two, 5-3. On defense, McNamara was spectacular on the mound, shutting down VMI's offense from the fourth inning on, allowing just two hits.

Brown used that momentum to get its offense going as it tightened the gap with a solo homer by Dietz in the sixth. The Bears then went on to take the lead, 6-5, with two runs in the eighth off singles by freshman Matt Nuzzo and Dietz and an error by the Keydets.

VMI threatened in the bottom of the eighth, getting a runner on second with two outs. Senior Ethan Burton came in to relieve McNamara and got the final out of the inning, however.

Brown didn't have as much luck in the ninth though as VMI's Mike Robert's hit a bases-loaded walk-off double over Christian's head to earn the 7-6 come from behind win.

Christian finished 2-3 at the plate while Dietz went 3-4 with two RBI and two runs scored. Senior Danny Hughes, junior Eric Larson, Nuzzo, and Tews all added hits as well.

McNamara allowed just three earned runs, five total, in 7.2 innings. He struck-out a season-high seven batters as well and walked just three. Sophomore Rob Hallberg was charged with the loss for the second time in as many days, giving up the game-winning double.

Brown will continue its spring break trip tomorrow, taking on High Point at 2:30 p.m. before traveling to Elon for a 7 p.m. game.