May 19, 2007

Bears Break Wins Record with Sweep of NYIT

May 19, 2007

Box Score

Old Westbury, NY - Behind a pair of outstanding pitching performances, the Ivy League Champion Brown baseball team set a new school record for wins on Saturday, sweeping the New York Institute of Technology, 4-1 and 6-1, to move to 26-18 on the season. That win total passes the mark set by Brown's 2002 team, which went 25-24.

Junior Jeff Dietz (Altamonte Springs, FL), the Ivy League Pitcher of the Year, showed why he was given that honor in game one, tossing all nine innings for his seventh complete game of the season, all of which have come in his last eight starts. Dietz blew through the NYIT lineup in just 102 pitches, giving up just four hits and one walk while striking out 11. He out-dueled NYIT fireballer Joe Esposito, who lasted eight innings and gave up two runs. By picking up the win and going to 8-3 on the season, he tied Bob Thorley '71 for Brown's single-season record in victories.

At the plate, Ivy League Player of the Year Devin Thomas (Gainesville, FL) was 2-for-3 with a walk. Sophomore leadoff man Steve Daniels (Fox Point, WI) was 2-for-4 with a walk, a run and an RBI.

NYIT, also called the Bears, grabbed a run off Dietz in the second, but the Brown Bears took the lead in the sixth, as Daniels, junior Ryan Murphy (Mantoloking, NJ), and Thomas all had infield singles to load the bases. One run came in on a wild pitch, and the eventual game-winner scored on a groundout to short by sophomore Matt Nuzzo (Everett, MA), who saw his 19-game hitting streak come to an end in the game.

Brown tacked on two more in the ninth against reliever Matt Doran, as junior Brian Kelaher (Farmington, CT) successfully executed a suicide squeeze to bring home freshman Nick Puñal (Wellington, FL). A Daniels single later in the inning brought home senior Bryan Tews (Park Ridge, IL) for the game's final run.

Senior James Cramphin (Simsbury, CT) got the start in game two, earning the win to go to 6-2 on the season. He allowed just four hits and one unearned run over his five innings, striking out nine batters. Freshman Will Weidig (Katy, TX), pitching for the first time in three weeks, and junior Rob Hallberg (River Edge, NJ), each threw a scoreless inning of relief.

Thomas had another stellar game at the plate, going 3-for-4, including his 16th home run of the year and a double, with two runs scored and two RBI. Already having broken single-season records for home runs and runs batted in (63), he inched closer to two more marks, as he now sits one behind the record for runs and five behind the record for hits. Nuzzo was also 3-for-4, hitting two doubles, driving in one run and scoring two more. Murphy was 2-for-4 with two runs scored.

Thomas got the Bears on top early with a two-run blast over the left field wall in the first inning. NYIT got one back in the third, but sophomore Robert Papenhause (Hillsborough, CA) brought in Nuzzo on a sac fly in the fourth to extend the lead. In the fifth, the Brown Bears got three more, as Nuzzo doubled in Murphy and Thomas before coming home on Tews' sacrifice fly.

Brown will get two more tune-ups for the NCAA Regionals on Thursday, when the team takes on Patriot League Champion Lafayette in a double-dip held at Marist. Daniels will likely break the record for at-bats in a season during those games, needing just three more, while Thomas will attempt to break the records for runs and hits.