Colantonio Hits Walk-Off Home Run to Complete Sweep
April 5, 2009
Providence, R.I. - Brown took a pair of tight games against Ivy rival Columbia on Sunday afternoon, as Bruno's bats continued to swing well. Sophomore Matt Colantonio (Garden City, N.Y.) blasted a two-run walk-off home run to center field in the second game, bringing the fans to their feet and the team streaming out onto the field as the Bears ran their league win streak to six consecutive games. With the victory, Brown improves to 11-12-1 overall and 7-1 in Ivy League play.
In the opener, Columbia struck first, scoring three runs on a double in the first inning. The Bears looked to be in trouble early, as they were unable to answer, and saw the visitors score twice more in the second to take a 5-0 lead. However, after a pair of singles to lead off the bottom of the second, senior Robert Papenhause (Hillsborough, CA) hit a three-run home run, his fourth of the weekend, trimming the margin to two.
Columbia scored another pair of runs in the third, driving starter Josh Feit (Woodcliff Lake, N.J.) out of the game. However, junior Matt Boylan (Danvers, MA) came in and shut down the Lions, throwing 3.1 innings of shutout baseball to pick up the win. The offense also came to life, as the Bears scored six runs over the final four innings, highlighted by two home runs from senior captain Matt Nuzzo (Everett, MA). Sophomore closer Matt Kimball (Nashville, TN) came in to pitch the seventh, and recorded a 1-2-3 inning to pick up his fifth save of the season.
In the rematch, Brown struck the first blow, as senior Steve Daniels (Fox Point, WI) reached on an error and came around to score. After Columbia scored a pair in the second, the Bears came back again with back-to-back home runs by freshman Graham Tyler (Cranston, R.I.) and Daniels to regain the lead. Bruno picked up another run in the third before more fireworks in the fourth. After two quick outs, Nuzzo walked, followed by another set of back-to-back home runs, this time by sophomore Pete Greskoff (Paoli, PA) and senior Dan Shapiro (Basking Ridge, N.J.).
With Brown up 7-2 through four innings, the Bears appeared to be in good position to comfortably take home the game. However, Columbia chipped into the lead with a run in the fifth, and then hit a big grand slam in the sixth to tie the game, swinging the momentum of the game back in favor of the visitors. The teams then traded runs over the next two innings, setting up a 10-10 tie heading into the ninth.
After a quick first out in the top of the frame, Columbia regained the lead once again with a solo home run, bringing the Lions streaming out of the dugout. Though Brown escaped without further incident, the Bears looked to be in trouble after starting the bottom of the inning with a pair of outs. With the game on the line, Daniels worked a full count before hitting a hard double that just missed clearing the wall in left center. Colantonio then stepped to the plate with a chance to win or tie. After working his way to another full count, the sophomore catcher crushed a ball over the fence for the walk-off win, giving the Bears a weekend sweep.
Brown will be back in action on Tuesday, when they host Marist for a doubleheader starting at 3:00 p.m.