April 4, 2008

Bears To Host Cornell & Princeton in First Home Ivy Weekend

April 4, 2008

Saturday, April 5
Brown (8-12, 1-3) vs. Cornell (6-11, 0-2)
Game 1, 12 p.m.: RHP Alex Silverman (3-0, 5.55) vs. LHP Matt Hill (3-1, 4.30)
Game 2, approx. 3 p.m.: RHP Will Weidig (1-3, 6.04) vs. LHP Mickey Brodsky (0-0, 7.71)

Sunday, April 6
Brown (8-12, 1-3) vs. Princeton (10-12, 2-2)
Game 1, 12 p.m.: RHP Anthony Vita (1-2, 3.18) vs. RHP David Hale (2-1, 3.25)
Game 2, approx. 3 p.m.: RHP Josh Feit (0-2, 3.94) vs. RHP Steven Miller (2-2, 4.20)

Live Stats link

After a 1-3 start in Ivy play at Columbia and Penn last weekend, the Brown baseball team (8-12) will look to turn things back in the right direction this weekend when it hosts Cornell (6-11) and Princeton (10-12) in its first home weekend of the 2008 season. The Big Red enter the weekend with an 0-2 Ivy record, while the Tigers sport an even 2-2 mark.

Last weekend, Brown began Ivy play at Columbia, losing both ends of the doubleheader, 6-3 and 11-2. The following day, the Bears split a rematch of last season's Ivy League Championship Series, beating Penn, 2-1, in the opening game before falling, 6-4, in the nightcap. Senior Alex Silverman (Wilmington, NC) got the win against the Quakers, going 6.1 innings and allowing one run on eight hits and three walks. Senior designated hitter Conor Reardon (Branford, CT) and junior center fielder Steve Daniels (Fox Point, WI) led the Bears at the plate with six hits each on the weekend.

This week, the Bears split their home-opening doubleheader with in-state rival URI on Wednesday, winning the opener, 11-3, and losing the back end, 8-2. Daniels, freshman second baseman Ryan Zrenda (Old Lyme, CT), junior shortstop Matt Nuzzo (Everett, MA), and junior third baseman Robert Papenhause (Hillsborough, CA) all went deep, more than doubling the team's total of three home runs entering the day. Papenhause and senior left fielder Ryan Murphy (Mantoloking, NJ) were both 3-for-6 with two extra-base hits for the day, while sophomore right fielder Nick Puñal (Palm Beach, FL) was 3-for-5.

For the season, freshman catcher Matt Colantonio (Garden City, NY) leads the Bears with a .433 batting average, sixth in the Ivy League, and .521 on-base percentage. He was named Ivy League Rookie of the Week on March 1. Senior JJ Eno (Kahului, HI), the team's starting first baseman who has also seen time in right field, boasts a team-high .515 slugging percentage thanks to his team-high nine extra-base hits.

Reardon has been Mr. Steady in the cleanup spot, currently second on the Bears in batting average (.371, 11th in the Ivy League), on-base percentage (.444), and slugging (.457). Daniels has been arguably the team's hottest hitter over the past two weeks, sporting an average of .341 on the year, including a .390 mark in the last 13 games. He also leads the Ivy League with 10 stolen bases, and seventh all-time at Brown with 48 career steals, needing four more to tie Tom Vallone '92 for sixth. Puñal has a team-high 17 runs batted in, while Murphy has scored 18 runs to lead the squad.

On the mound, Vita has been the team's most effective pitcher, sporting a 3.18 ERA in seven appearances. He made his first start of the year last Sunday against Penn, cruising through the first four innings before hitting a rough patch in the fifth. Opponents have hit just .206 against Vita this season, a team-low.

Scouting the Big Red
Last weekend, Cornell was swept by Dartmouth and had its doubleheader with Harvard rained out. Those games will be made up in Ithaca on Tuesday, leading to an interesting predicament for the Big Red if Saturday's doubleheader in Providence is rained out and made up on Monday. This week, Cornell dropped an 11-5 decision to LeMoyne in 10 innings on Thursday.

Junior Nathan Ford and freshman Mickey Brodsky have been Cornell's top hitters. Ford leads the team with a .413 batting average and .571 slugging percentage, driving in a team-high 16 runs. Brodsky has a .536 on-base percentage to lead the team, drawing 17 walks and hitting two home runs. On the mound, expected game one starter Matt Hill has a team high with three wins, striking out 23 batters to just eight walks. Brodsky is expected to start game two, despite pitching just 4.2 innings on the year over three appearances.

Scouting the Tigers
Princeton was swept by Dartmouth to open Ivy play last weekend before sweeping Harvard in a pair of one-run contests to even their Ivy record. The Tigers' last contest came on Tuesday, when they dropped an 11-8 decision to Monmouth.

Spencer Lucian leads the Tigers with a .462 average and .532 on-base percentage. Jack Murphy has been the team's top power hitter with five home runs and 23 RBIs, sporting a .381 average. Expected starters David Hale and Stephen Miller are 1-2 on the team with 34 and 30 strikeouts, respectively. Along with Christian Stahely, they are tied with two wins.

Looking at the Standings
Red Rolfe Division
1. Dartmouth 4-0 (10-8)
2. Yale* 2-1 (9-15-1)
3. Brown 1-3 (8-12)
4. Harvard 0-2 (1-17)

Lou Gehrig Division
1. Columbia 3-1 (7-16)
2. Princeton 2-2 (10-12)
3. Penn* 1-2 (9-9-1)
4. Cornell 0-2 (6-11-0)

* - Penn and Yale have been given temporary "non-league" ties as a result of a 9-9 suspended game due to darkness on 3/29. When the game is completed, the ties will be removed and the official League win or loss will be recorded.