SPOKANE, Wash. – Sophomore Will Marcal (Lexington, Mass.) collected two hits and drove in four runs to lead the Brown baseball team to a 6-3 victory over No. 21 Gonzaga in the first game of a doubleheader to gain a split Tuesday evening at the Patterson Complex.
Despite a five-run comeback by the Bears in the top of the ninth in the second game, Gonzaga earned the split as Travis Forbes hit a pinch-hit walk-off single in the bottom of the frame to power the Bulldogs to a 6-5 victory.
The Bears move to 2-11 on the season, while Gonzaga stands at 15-8-1 overall. Brown outhit the Bulldogs by a 13-6 margin in the first contest, while the pitching staff was impressive on the mound as senior Will Lacker (Brookline, Mass.) posted five strikeouts in 2.2 innings of relief to pick up his first victory of the season. In addition to Marcal, senior Cody Slaughter (New Port Richey, Fla.) led the way with three hits to highlight six Bears with at least two hits.
Gonzaga opened up the scoring in the bottom of the third when Mitchell Gunsolus hit a double down the right field line to drive in the first run of the game.
Brown's bats came alive in the top of the sixth as the Bears used four hits to put three runs on the scoreboard. After freshman Jake Levine (Newton, Mass.) and Slaughter started it off with back-to-back singles, Marcal crushed a three-run shot over the right field fence to push he visitors on top, 3-0.
The Bulldogs answered right back in the bottom half of the frame with a solo homer by Clayton Eslick to trim the deficit to 3-2.
The Bears carried over their momentum into the next inning, however, with three more runs. Marcal stepped up once again, this time with a single to right to send Levine across the plate. Junior Wes Van Boom (Trabuco Canyon, Calif.) followed with an RBI single to left, before junior Daniel Massey (Greensboro, N.C.) doubled to left center, driving in Marcal for the 6-2 advantage.
Gonzaga threated with a run in the bottom of the ninth, but it was not enough as the Bears held on for the win.
In the second game, Massey went 3-for-5 at the plate and junior Matt DeRenzi (Mendham, N.J.) drove in a pair of runs off the bench. Freshman Kevin Guthrie (Sarasota, Fla.) picked up the loss for the Bears and Kenny Smith went 3.1 innings in relief for the home side to earn the victory.
The Bulldogs were in control for most of the game, scoring five runs over the course of the first eight innings to build a 5-0 advantage.
Nevertheless, Brown powered back to even the game with five runs in the top of the ninth, starting with a Marcal's single up the middle to send in a pair and trim the deficit to three. Van Boom followed with an RBI single to drive in Marcal, before DeRenzi slapped a hit up the middle to send in another two runners and tie up the game, 5-5.
Despite the comeback effort, the Bulldogs salvaged a split in the series as Forbes hit a walk-off single to left center in the bottom half of the inning for the win.
The Bears return to action for the Ivy League opener on Saturday, March 30 when they visit Cornell for a doubleheader at noon.