April 21, 2008

Bears Fall to Bryant, 7-4

April 21, 2008

Box Score

Providence, RI - Junior shortstop Matt Nuzzo (Everett, MA) drove in three runs, including one on his team-leading fifth home run, but the Brown baseball team (14-23) continued its recent struggles with a 7-4 loss to in-state foe Bryant (31-14) on Monday afternoon at Murray Stadium. The Bulldogs, the top-ranked Division II team in the Northeast and the 25th-ranked team in the NCBWA Division II poll, scored three runs in the top of the first and never lost the lead to take the win.

Senior Luke Cowan got the win for Bryant to bring his record to 2-1, allowing four runs on nine hits and two walks over 6.2 innings. Senior Adam Vuolo picked up his third save, allowing just one hit and striking out three in 2.1 scoreless innings of relief. Bears freshman Conor Burke (Andover, MA) got the start, taking the loss after allowing five runs on five hits and three walks in 4.0 innings of work. Senior Rob Hallberg (River Edge, NJ) finished the game for Brown, breaking a team record with his 69th career appearance, breaking the mark held by Rob Monnes '93.

Nuzzo was 2-for-4 on the day with a double and a home run. Junior Robert Papenhause (Hillsborough, CA) broke out of a slump with a game-high three hits, scoring one run. Senior Conor Reardon (Branford, CT) had one hit to tie the team's season high with a 13-game hitting streak.

For Bryant, sophomore Jeff Vigurs and senior Jason Alexander were both 2-for-2 with a home run and two walks. Vigurs also had a double, driving in two runs and scoring one, while Alexander scored twice and drove in one. Sophomore Nick Campbell was 2-for-4 with a walk and a double, scoring once and driving in one.

The Bulldogs got to Burke right away to take the lead. Alexander led off with a single, then moved to second on a sacrifice bunt. Burke then walked sophomore Nick Campbell, and after a pop up for the second out, Vigurs brought both in with a double to right center. Sophomore Taylor Ferguson then brought him in with another double before Burke got a groundout to end the inning.

Brown chipped away in the second ant third. Sophomore first baseman Joe Mellano (Bonsall, CA) grounded to second to drive in freshman catcher Matt Colantonio (Garden City, NY) for the Bears' first run. In the third, Nuzzo drove in Papenhause with a long double to center.

Bryant extended its lead back to three in the fourth, as senior designated hitter Chris Dondero drove a pitch into the net in left field with a runner on first. That inning would prove to be Burke's last. He was replaced by freshman Davis Wedgworth (Montgomery, AL), then sophomore left-hander Matt Boylan (Danvers, MA), who each threw one scoreless inning.

In the seventh, senior Peter Moskal (Glastonbury, CT) entered. After a lineout, he gave up a line drive home run to Alexander about 10 feet inside the left-field foul pole. The Bears were able to get two runs back for him in the seventh, as Nuzzo homered into the netting as well with Reardon on first to make the score 6-4. That spelled the end for Cowan, but Vuolo then entered, allowing one baserunner the rest of the way.

In the eight, Moskal allowed two baserunners, recovering to get two outs before giving way to Hallberg. Hallberg got a flyout on his first pitch to end the threat, but allowed one run on a double by Campbell in the ninth for the 7-4 final.

The two teams will meet again on Wednesday, April 30 at 3:30 p.m. at the Bryant Baseball Complex. The Bears' next game will be Wednesday at home, as they will play two with Holy Cross at 2 p.m.