March 1, 2008

Bears Split at UAB, Pick Up First Win

March 1, 2008

Box Score

Providence, RI - Behind a solid start from senior Alex Silverman (Wilmington, NC) and six runs scored by its 3-4-5 hitters, the Brown baseball team (1-2) won the first game of its doubleheader at UAB (4-4) on Saturday, 7-3. However, despite 13 hits in the back end of the double-dip, the Bears fell in game two, 9-6.

Leading the way offensively on the day was senior Conor Reardon (Branford, CT), who has shown no rust at the plate despite missing the entire last two seasons with injuries. He was 4-for-6 with three walks, two doubles, four runs scored, and three runs batted in on the day. Junior shortstop Matt Nuzzo (Everett, MA) and junior third baseman Robert Papenhause (Hillsborough, CA) had two hits in each game as well.

Silverman went seven strong innings in the first game, setting a career high with seven strikeouts. He allowed three runs, two earned, on seven hits and three walks. He gave way to seniors Peter Moskal (Glastonbury, CT) and Rob Hallberg (River Edge, NJ), who threw one scoreless inning each.

The Bears started the scoring right away in game one, as Papenhause drove in junior center fielder Steve Daniels (Fox Point, WI) with a single for a 1-0 Brown lead. UAB senior Ryan Keedy touched Silverman for a two-run home run to right in the bottom of the inning, but the Bears got two runs in the third and three in the fourth to jump ahead for good. Reardon drove in Nuzzo with the tying run on a fielder's choice, later scoring on a wild pitch. The next inning, senior J.J. Eno (Kahului, HI) pinch hit and walked with the bases loaded to bring in one run, followed by a two-run single by sophomore right fielder Nick Puñal (Palm Beach, FL).

Reardon scored on an Eno groundout in the top of the sixth to put Brown up 7-2. The Blazers got to Silverman for an unearned run in the seventh before his classmates, Moskal and Hallberg, slammed the door. Taking the loss for UAB was senior Rodney Wodson, who went 2.2 innings and allowed three runs in his first career start for the Blazers.

The Bears took an early lead in game two as well. Reardon drove in senior Ryan Murphy (Mantoloking, NJ) on a double down the left field line, then scored two batters later on Puñal's single to center. Nuzzo then drove in Eno for a 3-0 Brown lead in the second on a single to right.

The Blazers got to sophomore Will Weidig (Katy, TX) for two runs in the second to close the gap to 3-2, but the Bears got two more in the fourth. Murphy doubled to center, driving Eno in, then scored two batters later on a double to left center by Reardon. However, UAB took the lead with four in the sixth, then got three more in the eighth to go up 9-5. Brown got one run in the ninth, as sophomore Chris Tanabe (Jupiter, FL), who had singled after pinch running for Reardon in the seventh, scored on a single by Puñal.

Weidig went seven innings to take the loss, allowing six runs on seven hits and three walks, striking out six. Freshmen left-hander Mark Gormley (Milton, MA) made his debut in relief, walking the lone batter he faced before giving way to Moskal, who allowed two runs, one earned, in two-thirds of an inning making his third appearance in two days. Freshman Conor Burke (Andover, MA) faced two batters, striking out one to end the eighth.

On Sunday, the Bears will attempt to even the series with UAB in the fourth and final game of the weekend. Game time is 1 p.m. Central Time. Expected to toe the rubber for Brown will be sophomore Matt Boylan (Danvers, MA).