April 9, 2007
Providence, RI - In what was very nearly a sweep, the Brown baseball team (10-14, 5-3 Ivy) split a doubleheader with Penn on Monday to go 3-1 over a long Ivy weekend. The Bears dropped the first game, 5-3, stranding the tying run on base after putting two runners on with no outs in the seventh. The back end was a different story, as Bruno blasted out 16 hits in a 15-12 win.
Senior tri-captain Devin Thomas (Gainesville, FL) continued his hot hitting, blasting a home run in each game, driving in six runs and scoring four for the second time in as many doubleheaders. However, junior left fielder Ryan Murphy (Mantoloking, NJ) was the hottest hitter in the Brown lineup on Monday, going 6-for-9 with four runs scored out of the two-hole to raise his average to a team-high .365.
Freshman Will Weidig (Katy, TX) toed the rubber in game one, coming within one out of his second complete game of the year. He allowed just six hits and two walks in 6.2 innings, striking out four batters, but gave up five runs in falling to 2-2 on the season.
It was the Bears who got on the board first, as Murphy singled and Thomas homered to the opposite field batting from the left side for his lone hit of the game. Penn tied the game at two on a pair of sacrifice flies in the third, but Murphy helped manufacture another run in the bottom of that inning, singling on a base-hit bunt, stealing second, then coming home on junior Jeff Dietz's (Altamonte Springs, FL) single to center field.
Penn tied things up again in the top of the fourth on a solo home run, and the teams remained tied until the seventh. After a leadoff walk, Weidig got a foul pop-up on a bunt and a groundout to second for the first two outs. After intentionally walking leadoff batter Jarron Smith, who had hit the ball hard in all three of his at-bats, Head Coach Marek Drabinski went to junior closer Rob Hallberg (River Edge, NJ). Shortstop William Gordon doubled off Hallberg to bring in two runs, but was caught in a rundown between second and third for the third out.
The Bears had an excellent chance to at least tie the game in the bottom of the inning, as sophomore center fielder Steve Daniels (Fox Point, WI) led off with a double and moved to third on a Murphy single, but Penn righty Todd Roth struck out Brown's 3-4-5 hitters to end the game.
The second contest was a three-and-a-half-hour-long slugfest, as the teams combined for 31 hits, sending 95 batters to the plate and using seven pitchers. Five Bears had multi-hit games, led by senior tri-captain Bryan Tews (Park Ridge, IL), who was 4-for-5 with three RBIs, two runs scored, and a stolen base, including a clutch three-run home run in the seventh that got the Bears offense going again as the Quakers snuck back into the game.
Bruno jumped out to an 8-3 lead after three innings. In the first, Thomas drove Daniels in with a triple, then came home on a sacrifice fly by sophomore shortstop Matt Nuzzo (Everett, MA). Thomas then broke a 2-2 tie in the bottom of the third with a three-run blast to center field, his team-leading sixth of the season, giving him homers to left, right, and center batting from the left side on the weekend.
Brown starter Alex Silverman (Wilmington, NC), who went 5.0 innings and gave up four runs on four hits and five walks with six strikeouts to get his first win of the year, got out of a big jam in the third. Penn loaded the bases with no outs, scored a run on a wild pitch and reloaded the bases on a walk. However, Silverman settled himself, getting a strikeout, a foul pop-up, and another strikeout to get out of the jam relatively unscathed.
The Bears got three more in the bottom of the inning, as sophomore third baseman Robert Papenhause (Hillsborough, CA) drove in Nuzzo and Tews on a double, then came in on a single by Daniels. The Quakers did not stay down, scoring runs in each of the final five innings, but Brown did enough to stay ahead. In the sixth, Daniels got on with a walk and stole his second base of the day, giving him 17 in 24 games on the season, then came in on a Murphy single. Tews homered for three runs in the seventh, and Dietz doubled for one run, then Nuzzo singled for two in the eighth.
Hallberg threw the final 2.1 innings, giving up 5 runs on six hits, three walks, and two wild pitches, but picking up his first save of the season on his third appearance of the long weekend. He followed senior tri-captain Ethan Silverstein (Woodbridge, CT), who gave up two runs on three hits in the sixth, and freshman Rob Wilcox (Columbia, SC), who got two outs in the seventh and gave up one unearned run before giving way to Hallberg.
After the 3-1 weekend, the Bears sit at 5-3 in the Ivy League, good for a tie for first in the Red Rolfe Division with Harvard. They were scheduled to play six games on the road this week - two at Maine on Wednesday and four this weekend at Dartmouth - but due to recent snow in Northern New England, the status for all six games is up in the air. The Maine doubleheader will not be played in Maine, and will either be played in Providence or cancelled. There has been no decision made about the weekend series at Dartmouth, although New Hampshire also received snow recently.