April 26, 2007
Worcester, MA - Behind strong hitting from its entire lineup, the Brown baseball team defeated Holy Cross (11-19), 11-6 on Thursday to even its record at 17-17. Senior Bryan Tews (Park Ridge, IL), led the offensive effort, going 4-for-5 with two RBIs and a run scored. Sophomore shortstop Matt Nuzzo (Everett, MA) extended his hitting streak to 11 games by going 3-for-5, driving in two runs and scoring two more.
The Bears wasted no time getting on the board, as they jumped right out to a 2-0 lead in the first. Sophomore Steve Daniels (Fox Point, WI) had his third consecutive triple to lead off a game, then scored on a double down the left field line by junior Ryan Murphy (Mantoloking, NJ). Murphy later scored on a single by Nuzzo.
The Crusaders did not stay down though, getting two in the first and one in the second to retake the lead on Brown starter Paul Costa (East Providence, RI). Costa gave up four hits and a walk in his two innings.
However, the Bears stormed back in the third, sending 10 batters to the plate and scoring six runs. Senior catcher Devin Thomas (Gainesville, FL) was hit by a pitch to lead off, and junior Jeff Dietz (Altamonte Springs, FL) followed with a single to right. With runners on first and second for Nuzzo, Head Coach Marek Drabinski put the hit-and-run on, and Thomas and Nuzzo worked it perfectly, as the sophomore third baseman drove the ball through the left side for an RBI. Tews then loaded the bases with a perfectly placed base-hit bunt to the area between the pitcher and second baseman. Sophomore Robert Papenhause (Hillsborough, CA) then ripped the ball right over third base for a bases-clearing double. After two outs, Daniels brought Papenhause in with a double to left-center, later scoring himself when Holy Cross catcher Brendan Akashian threw the ball away when the speedy sophomore stole third.
Not content to sit on the lead, Brown struck again for a run in the fourth. Dietz led off with a double to right center that one-hopped the wall. He came in on a Tews hit up the middle two batters later to make it 9-3 Brown. In the meantime, freshman Will Ellis (Lauderdale-By-The-Sea, FL), pitching for the first time in almost a month, threw two scoreless innings, scattering three hits and two walks. He picked up his first collegiate win with the effort, going to 1-1 on the year.
Freshman southpaw Matt Boylan (Danvers, MA) relieved Ellis in the fifth, giving up a run on a walk and a double to center, but getting the Brown pitching staff's first two strikeouts. However, Thomas got that run right back to start a rally for the Bears in the sixth, driving his team-leading ninth home run of the season over the left field fence with one out. Two batters later, Nuzzo drove a single up the middle, and after he stole second, Tews brought him in with a single to center.
Boylan threw one more inning, finishing his two innings allowing one run on two hits and one walk, striking out two. Another freshman, Rob Wilcox (Columbia, SC), came in to pitch the seventh, tearing through three batters in 13 pitches, getting a fly out, a gound out and a strikeout looking. Junior Alex Silverman (Wilmington, NC) followed him, allowing two runs in the eighth. A leadoff home run got the rally started, and the Crusaders got another run in before loading the bases with two outs. However, Silverman got a strikeout to end the threat. He finished his inning having given up five hits and no walks, getting two punch-outs. Junior Peter Moskal (Glastonbury, CT) threw the final inning and was dominant, retiring the side on nine pitches, eight of which were strikes.
Drabinski's Bears will now set their sights on this weekend's four-game home-and-home series with Yale. If Brown can get a sweep, the team will win the Red Rolfe Division and advance to the Ivy League playoffs the following weekend. A 3-1 record in those four games would guarantee a share of the Division crown, possibly leading to a midweek playoff with Harvard depending on the Crimson's games with Dartmouth. Saturday's games will be in New Haven at 1 p.m., then the teams will play two in Providence on Sunday with the Division Title at stake on Senior Day, also starting at 1 p.m.