Brown Rallies Late in Game Two, Splits with Penn

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — After playing its first 20 games on the road, the Brown baseball made the most of being home at Murray Stadium, going 3-1 on the weekend, splitting a Sunday afternoon series with Penn. The Quakers (15-12, 6-2 Ivy) offense carried them to a 14-5 win in game one, but the Bears (6-18, 4-4 Ivy) were able to battle back behind a strong pitching performance from sophomore Heath Mayo (Whitehouse, Texas) and got a two-RBI single from rookie J.J. Franco (New York, N.Y.) in the bottom of the eighth to take a 4-2 win.

Brown actually jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in game one in the bottom of the first inning. With two outs, junior Mike DiBiase (Weston, Mass.) singled to put one on for Pete Greskoff (Paoli, Pa.), who came through with a blast to left field, which actually cleared the screen.

Penn quickly answered, getting a run in the top of the second, and then exploded in the top of the third, plating six runs on seven hits. The Quakers were able to keep the Bears off the board for three-straight innings and added their eighth run of the game in the top of the fifth. 

In the bottom of the fifth inning, Brown got two back. Franco led off the frame with a single to right, and was followed by another single by sophomore John Sheridan (Palo Alto, Calif.). Two batters later, DiBiase registered a double to left field which scored both Franco and Sheridan and cut the Quaker lead to four.

Penn kept the offensive pressure on however scoring two more in the sixth and four in the seventh to push their lead to 10. Brown refused to quit despite the deficit and got another RBI on a single from DiBiase, but could get no closer, falling 14-5.

With five games already played this week, the Bears needed a strong outing from Mayo and got exactly what they needed in game two. Mayo went 7.1 innings, scattering seven hits, while allowing just two runs, one earned. 

Brown was first to get on the board again in the second game of the doubleheader, finally getting to Quaker starter John Beasley in the bottom of the sixth.

Senior captain Matt Colantonio (Garden City, N.Y.) led off the frame with a hit-by-pitch and DiBiase followed with a single to put two on. A batter later, rookie Daniel Massey (Greensboro, N.C.) put one deep enough for a sacrifice fly and put the Bears up 1-0. Junior Graham Tyler (Cranston, R.I.) added an RBI single to push the Brown lead to two. 

It took Penn six innings, but they finally got to Mayo in the top of the seventh with a sacrifice fly and then tied it up in the eighth with a RBI-single from Derek Vigoa. 

With two outs and runners on second and third, Franco came up with the Bears best chance to take the lead against he Quakers in the bottom of the eighth. The rookie second baseman came up huge, singling up the middle to plate both runners to take  4-2 advantage, a lead the Bears would not relinquish.

Brown has just a lone day off before beginning another tough stretch. Bruno welcomes Marist to Murray Stadium for a doubleheader on Tuesday, April 12 at 2 p.m. before traveling to UConn on Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. for a single game. This coming weekend, the Bears host Ivy League rival for a four-game set.