Baseball Topped at Rhode Island, 12-7

KINGSTON, R.I. – Senior Nate Kukowski (Brentwood, Tenn.) racked up three hits and the Bears held a one-run lead going into the eighth, but the Brown baseball team fell at intrastate rival Rhode Island, 12-7, Monday afternoon at Bill Beck Field. 

Brown moves to 12-23 on the season, while the Rams improve to 9-31 overall.

Kukowski went 3-for-4 at the plate and scored two runs with one RBI to pace the Brown offense, while senior J.J. Franco (New York, N.Y.) collected two hits and also drove in a pair of runs. Sophomore Austin French (Orange, Conn.) allowed two earned runs over six innings in the start, before junior Nathan Mann (Winter Haven, Fla.) was handed the loss in relief.

Rhode Island opened the contest with two runs in the first, but the Bears answered right back with four tallies on five hits in the top of the sixth. With two runners on base, rookie Joshua Huntley (Aurora, Colo.) doubled down the left field line to drive in senior Wes Van Boom (Trabuco Canyon, Calif.), before Kukowski followed with an RBI single to third. Franco hit a two-run single later in the frame to push the visitors in front, 4-2.

After four scoreless innings, the Bears added another run in the top of the seventh, when three straight URI fielding errors eventually allowed sophomore Noah Shulman (Merrick, N.Y.) to cross the plate for the advantage, 5-2.

URI responded with two runs in the bottom half of the seventh, but Shulman gave the Bears a pair of runs in the eighth when he doubled to right center for the lead at 7-4.

Brown's late lead was not enough, however, as the Rams touched up the Brown bullpen for eight runs on six hits in the bottom of the eighth to pave the way for the comeback victory.

Brown wraps up the 2014 season tomorrow when they visit UMass-Lowell for a non-conference doubleheader at 4 p.m.