March 30, 2008

Silverman Out-Duels Roth to Give Bears Split With Penn

March 30, 2008

Box Score

Philadelphia, PA - Senior pitcher Alex Silverman (Wilmington, NC) out-pitched Penn ace Todd Roth, with a little help from his closer, to help the Brown baseball team (7-11, 1-3 Ivy League) pick up its first Ivy League win in a split with Penn (7-9-1, 1-2-1 Ivy League) on Sunday at Meiklejohn Stadium. Silverman went 6.1 innings before giving way to senior closer Rob Hallberg (River Edge, NJ) for the final two outs in the Bears' 2-1 game one win, before Penn's five-run rally in the fifth inning of game two led to a 6-4 Quaker win for the split.

Silverman went to 3-0 on the year with the win, allowing one run on eight hits and three walks, striking out three. Roth got the loss despite allowing two runs on six hits and one walk in seven innings, striking out three. He is now 1-2 in three complete games his career against Brown despite allowing six runs, five earned, in 22.0 innings on 20 hits and six walks, striking out 17.

The Bears got started early in both games, scoring all but one of their six runs on the day in the first two innings. Senior designated hitter Conor Reardon (Branford, CT) drove in senior left fielder Ryan Murphy (Mantoloking, NJ) in the top of the first in game one on a single to right. After junior third baseman Robert Papenhause (Hillsborough, CA) was hit by a pitch to load the bases, it appeared the Bears would break the game open early, but Roth got freshman catcher Matt Colantonio (Garden City, NY), the team's hottest hitter on its nine-day road trip, to ground into a 4-6-3 double play to end the threat.

The second inning saw Brown get the eventual game-winner, as junior center fielder Steve Daniels (Fox Point, WI) brought in senior second baseman Brian Kelaher (Farmington, CT) with a triple to right. From there, Roth settled in, allowing just one Brown runner to even reach second base.

However, Silverman proved up to the task of holding the slim lead. He got out of a bases-loaded jam in the first by striking out shortstop Dan Williams. With runners on first and second in the second inning, he got an inning-ending 5-3 double play from Penn leadoff man Steve Gable. The Quakers got their lone run in the fifth, as third baseman William Gordon drove in first baseman Kyle Armeny on a triple to left.

In the bottom of the seventh, Silverman got a ground out before allowing a double to Gable. That brought Hallberg out of the bullpen. The big right-hander got a pop-out for the second out, intentionally walked Armeny, then got Gordon to pop out to senior first baseman J.J. Eno (Kahului, HI) to pick up his second save of the year. Hallberg moved into second all-time at Brown with the save, his ninth of his career. He needs just one more save to tie Rob Monnes '93 for first all-time.

Game two began quite similarly. The Bears got ahead in the first again. Daniels led off with a double and moved over on a Murphy sacrifice bunt. Junior shortstop Matt Nuzzo (Everett, MA) brought him in on a groundball to short, reaching on an error. Penn starter John D'Agostini then walked Reardon, struck out Papenhause and walked Colantonio to load the bases. Sophomore right fielder Nick Puñal (Palm Beach, FL) then chased D'Agostini from the game, bringing in two runs on a single to left.

Penn freshman Sam Gilbert then entered the game, shutting the Bears down for the next 6.2 innings. However, Brown starter Anthony Vita (West Babylon, NY), also making his first start of the season, was cruising, allowing just two hits through four innings and striking out five.

Unfortunately for the Bears, Penn finally got to the senior right-hander in the fifth. The Quakers sent 11 hitters to the plate in the inning, scoring five runs on three hits, two walks, and an error. Freshman left hander Mark Gormley (Milton, MA) entered to get the final out, but the damage had been done. The lefty got through another 1.2 innings, allowing one run, before giving way to freshman Matthew Kimball (Nashville, TN), who got the final four outs.

The Bears rallied in the ninth against left-hander Tom Grandieri, who walked Eno, Daniels, and Murphy to start the inning, then hit Nuzzo with a pitch to score one run. However, Grandieri got Reardon to ground into a 1-2-3 double play, and Papenhause lined out to right to end the game.

Gilbert got the win in relief, allowing just five hits and two walks in 6.2 innings, and Grandieri picked up the save for his 1.2 innings of relief. Vita took the loss, going to 1-2 on the year.

Daniels led the Bears with three hits for the day, including a double and a triple, and two walks.

The games ended the Bears' 2,042-mile Spring Break trip, on which they went 4-7 over nine days. After a pair of days off, Brown will host Rhode Island on Wednesday for its home opener at Murray Stadium at 2 p.m.