San Jose, Calif. – The Brown baseball completed its eight-game California road trip on Wednesday night, facing off against San Jose State in a doubleheader. The Bears were outscored, 20-8, in game one, but roared back to take game two, 6-4.
SJSU (11-13) came out hot offensively in game one taking early control with 12 runs in the first four innings. It was a different story in game two as Brown (2-14) was able to stymie the Spartan offensive attack, while getting big hits from sophomores Wes Van Boom (Trabuco Canyon, Calif.) and Nate Kukowski (Brentwood, Tenn.) to earn their first win of the road trip.
Brown took an early 2-0 lead in game one on a two-run blast from Van Boom, his third of the season, but the Spartans scored in four consecutive innings, including four runs in the second and third, and three in the fourth inning to take a 12-2 lead.
The Bears were able to keep SJSU off the board in the fifth and sixth innings, but the Spartans plated three in the seventh and five more in the eighth to increase their lead to 18.
Despite the sizeable deficit, the Brown bats continued to swing hard as sophomore J.J. Franco (New York, N.Y.) got Brown back on the board with an RBI single to center. Sophomore outfielder Daniel Massey (Greensboro, N.C.) delivered a sacrifice fly and Kukowski scored on a wild pitch to keep the rally going for the Bears.
Junior John Sheridan (Palo Alto, Calif.) added a two-RBI single while senior Mike DiBiase (Weston, Mass.) also added an RBI single to give the Bears six runs in the final frame, but the San Jose State lead proved to be too much.
Spartan starter Zack Jones went six innings, allowing just three hits and no earned runs, while striking out 13.
In game two, Brown took an early lead for the second-straight game as Van Boom did it again, this time with an RBI double to centerfield that scored Sheridan.
SJSU tied it up in the bottom of the second with a RBI double of their own, but Brown put a three-spot up in the top of the third to retake the lead. Rookie Will Marcal (Lexington, Mass.) drove in two with a single through the left side and Kukowski plated one with a single up the middle.
The lead would not last long however as Spartan Matt Lopez knocked in three with a double to left to tie the game at four in the bottom half of the frame.
The tie would last until the top of the sixth when the Bears loaded the bases for Marcal who pushed across the go-ahead run on a fielder's choice.
Brown added an insurance run on an RBI single from Franco in the top the ninth to make it a 6-4 game.
Rookie starter David St. Lawrence (Thompson, Conn.) went 6.0 innings, scattering five hits and four runs to pick up his first win of the year. Freshman reliever Chris Smith (Colleyville, Texas) entered in relief and went 3.0 innings without a run to earn Brown's first save of the season.
Brown begins Ivy League play this weekend as they continue its 12-game road trip with doubleheaders at Penn on Saturday, March 31 at noon, and at Columbia on Sunday, April 1 at noon.