April 19, 2014

Franco’s Walk-Off Single Lifts Baseball to Saturday Sweep Over Dartmouth

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – With two outs in the bottom of the 10th inning, senior J.J. Franco (New York, N.Y.) delivered a walk-off single to lift the Brown baseball team to victory in game two, as the Bears earned a pair of wins over Dartmouth, 12-3 and 7-6, on Saturday at Murray Stadium. 

Brown moves to 10-18 overall and 4-10 in the Ivy League, while Dartmouth falls to 10-22 on the season and 5-9 in league play.

Brown collected 11 hits in the second game, while sophomore Kevin Guthrie (Sarasota, Fla.) drove in two runs. Robert Henry (Cranston, R.I.), Daniel Massey (Greensboro, N.C.) and Noah Shulman (Merrick, N.Y.) registered two hits apiece. Freshman Max Ritchie (Woodbridge, Conn.) earned the extra-inning win, allowing one run over four innings of relief work. Rookie Christian Taugner (Roselle, Ill.) let up four earned runs over six innings as the starter.

Brown gained an early lead with two runs in the second as Shulman and Henry hit consecutive two-out hits to give the Bears the 2-0 advantage. Dartmouth responded with four runs on four hits in the third to move out in front, 4-2.

The Bears struck back in the fifth, when Guthrie smacked a two-out double down the left field line to push across a pair of runs and even the score, 4-4.

Dartmouth answered back with one run in the top of the sixth, but the back-and-forth action continued as the Bears notched a pair of runs in the seventh to take back the lead, 6-5.

However, Dartmouth scored the equalizer on a two-out single in the eighth to eventually force extra innings. In the bottom of the 10th, Shulman reached on an error by the pitcher and later advanced to third on a groundout. With two outs, Franco drove a single up the middle and out of the reach of the Big Green second baseman to give Brown the walk-off victory.

In the first game, the Bears racked up 14 hits, including five multi-hit performances. Junior Dan Kerr (Westfield, N.J.) went 3-for-4 at the plate and knocked in a pair of runs, while Massey posted four RBI. In addition to Massey, Henry, Franco and Will Marcal (Lexington) notched two hits apiece.

Senior Anthony Galan (Watchung, N.J.) went six innings on the hill to earn the win, allowing three runs with four strikeouts, before Taylor Wright (Berwyn, Pa.) pitched a scoreless seventh inning.

Brown scored three runs over the opening two frames, highlighted by a solo homer by Wes Van Boom (Trabuco Canyon, Calif.) in the second for the early lead. The Bears continued to attack with four runs on four hits in the bottom of the third. With two outs, Marcal and Massey came up with a pair of clutch swings, recording back-to-back two-run hits to spot the home side the lead, 7-0.

After Dartmouth scored two in the fourth, Brown answered back with an RBI single by Kerr in the bottom half, but the Big Green responded with another run the fifth to pull within five, 8-3.

Nevertheless, Brown scored two more in the bottom of the fifth when Massey crushed a two-run shot over the fence. After the Bears tacked on two more insurance runs in the sixth, the pitching staff held the Big Green at bay over the final two frames to preserve the win.

The Bears return to action on Sunday, April 20 when they host Dartmouth in a doubleheader at Murray Stadium. The first game is set for noon.