June 1, 2007

Bears Ready to Tangle with Texas

June 1, 2007

NCAA Austin/Round Rock Regional, Game Two
Brown (27-19) vs. #5 Texas (44-15)
Dell Diamond, Round Rock, Texas
7:00 p.m., Friday, June 1

Bears on a Tear: Brown, the only New England team to make the NCAA Tournament, ended the season by winning 13 of its final 15 games ... Since opening the season 1-8, Brown has lost no more than two consecutive games, and has gone 26-11.

Postseason Honors: The Bears had five seven All-Ivy selections at the season's close. Senior tri-captain Devin Thomas was unanimously voted the League's Player of the Year and First Team All-Ivy catcher. Junior Jeff Dietz was named the Ivy Pitcher of the Year, First Team All-Ivy at pitcher, and Second Team as a first baseman. The Bears' other First Team honorees were senior tri-captain Bryan Tews at second base, junior Ryan Murphy in left field, and sophomore Matt Nuzzo at shortstop. Junior closer Rob Hallberg was Second Team All-Ivy as a relief pitcher ... Junior J.J. Eno was named a Second Team ESPN The Magazine Academic All-American on Tuesday. A neuroscience concentrator, Eno will graduate into Brown's Warren Alpert Medical School as a member of the University's Program in Liberal Medical Education.

Brown vs. Regional Opponents (since 1926): The Bears have never played their opponent this evening, Texas. They have also never faced #2 seed UC Irvine. In five contests with Wake Forest, Brown in 0-5-0. Brown Head Coach Marek Drabinski has never faced Texas, UC Irvine, or Wake Forest.

Tale of the Tape: Here's how tonight's teams stack up. National rankings in parentheses.

			Brown		Texas
Batting Average		.320 (20th)	.317 (25th)
Earned Run Average	5.05 (141st)	3.47 (14th)
Fielding Percentage	.953 (232nd)	.977 (3rd)
Scoring			7.2 (38th)	7.2 (42nd)
Home Runs Per Game	0.96 (42nd)	1.10 (25th)
Triples Per Game	0.41 (15th)	0.42 (12th)
Doubles Per Game	1.89 (99th)	1.98 (71st)
Slugging Percentage 	.487 (18th)	.501 (10th)
Stolen Bases Per Game	1.85 (23rd)	1.46 (50th)
Double Plays Per Game	0.57 (268th)	0.81 (138th)
Win-Loss Percentage	.587 (77th)	.746 (11th)
Strikeouts Per 9 inn.	7.8 (30th)	7.1 (86th)

Just a Tune-Up: After sweeping Penn, 1-0 and 20-6, on May 5 to win the Ivy League Championship, the Bears had two weeks off for final exams. Brown then had two "tune-up" doubleheaders, sweeping NYIT on May 19, 4-1 and 6-1, and splitting with Patriot League Champion Lafayette, winning 6-1 and losing 11-4.

Thomas Leads Record-Breakers...: This season has been a record-breaking one for Brown. As a team, the Bears broke a school record for wins in a season, a mark previously held by the 2002 team that went 25-24. Senior Devin Thomas has broken single-season records in home runs (16), runs batted in (64), and runs (51), and is just three away from breaking Brown's hits record of 73. Junior Jeff Dietz set a new record for wins (9) on the mound, and would have broken the record for RBIs (52) had Thomas not already done so. Sophomore lead-off man Steve Daniels set a new record for at-bats (186) as well, and needs just two triples to tie that mark.

... And Attack on All-Time Lists: Devin Thomas cemented his place in Brown's history books with his historic season, jumping into nearly every all-time top ten list offensively for Brown. He is currently in Brown's top 10 for games (7th - 169), at-bats (5th - 610), hits (5th - 192), runs (6th - 135), doubles (9th - 39), triples (7th - 8), home runs (3rd - 28), runs batted in (2nd - 155), extra-base hits (5th - 75), and total bases (3rd - 331). He also is 11th in slugging percentage at .543, less than a thousandth behind teammate Jeff Dietz, who is 10th. Junior Ryan Murphy is currently fifth all-time with a career .361 average. On the mound, senior James Cramphin moved into the top 10 in innings pitched (5th - 220.2), wins (7th - 14), strikeouts (4th - 189), 10+ strikeout games (2nd - 5), and strikeouts per 9 innings (10th - 7.71). Dietz is already in the top 10 for wins (4th - 17), shutouts (10th - 2), strikeouts (9th - 160), 10+ strikeout games (7th - 4), strikeouts per 9 innings (7th - 7.87), and walks per 9 innings (9th - 2.67). Junior closer Rob Hallberg is already ranked in career appearances (2nd - 52), saves (4th - 7), and strikeouts per 9 innings (1st - 11.57). Senior tri-captain Ethan Silverstein moved into a tie for seventh at 46 career appearances, and senior Bryan Tews, who has not been able to pitch this season due to injury, finishes career with the fourth fewest walks-per-9-innings (2.22).

If At First You Don't Succeed: Junior J.J. Eno, who was named an ESPN the Magazine Second Team Academic All-American on Tuesday, is a former walk-on who was unsuccessful in his first attempt to try out as a freshman. He came back and tried out his sophomore season and made the team, seeing limited time that year, then blossomed to hit .300 in 80 at-bats this season.

Double Dipping: Three Bears - senior pitcher Anthony Vita, senior outfielder Adjatay Nyadjroh, and sophomore shortstop Matt Nuzzo - are current or former members of Brown's football team. Nuzzo has a very good chance to be the Bears' starting quarterback this coming fall. Freshman Mike Peterson, who sat out the season as a medical redshirt, is also a member of the water polo team, primarily playing goalie.

Broken Wing: The Bears were successful this season without arguably their top returning starting pitcher. Senior tri-captain Bryan Tews has played in every game this season despite an arm injury that has kept him from pitching. Tews was named Second Team All-Ivy as a pitcher last season, but still earned his second straight First Team All-Ivy honor at second base this year.

Flip the Switch: A key point in the Bears' season came in just the seventh game of the year. Head Coach Marek Drabinski switched sophomores Robert Papenhause and Matt Nuzzo on the left side of the infield, with the latter moving to shortstop. Brown averaged 4.3 errors per game as a team before that switch, and 1.1 errors per game after.

Been Around: The baseball team is the second-oldest athletic team at Brown, with the school's first intercollegiate game being played on June 27, 1863, against Harvard. Brown's first sport was rowing.

Blame It On The Rain... And Snow: Unseasonably bad weather in the Northeast this spring has wrecked havoc on Brown's schedule. The Bears had six games canceled (doubleheaders against Rhode Island, Maine, and Marist), the sites of four games were moved (Sacred Heart (DH) - 3/22, Dartmouth - 4/14, Connecticut - 4/18), five games were postponed (Cornell - 4/1 to 4/2, Penn (DH) - 4/8 to 4/9, Dartmouth (DH) - 4/15 to 4/25), and three games were moved to accommodate for make-ups (Holy Cross - 4/25 to 4/26, Yale (DH) - 4/27 to 4/29). The team did not play a midweek game from March 29 to April 18 because of poor weather. The team also had so many rain make-ups, it had to completely revamp its remaining schedule on April 17 to fit as many in as possible.