March 3, 2007
Statesboro, GA - Saturday was a tale of two games for the Brown baseball team (1-2) at the GSU Invitational. The Bears fell apart defensively in their first game of the day against Georgia Southern (11-6), making seven errors and giving up 12 unearned runs in a 16-9 loss. However, things came together nicely in the second game, as Brown made no errors and scored nine runs in the first two innings to defeat Kennesaw State (5-6), 10-2.
In the win against the Owls, Bruno got solid performances from old hands and newcomers alike. The 2006 First Team All-Ivy trio of seniors Bryan Tews (Park Ridge, IL) and Devin Thomas (Gainesville, FL) and junior Jeff Dietz (Altamonte Springs, FL) combined for six hits, five runs and seven RBIs. On the mound, freshman Will Weidig (Katy, TX) picked up a win in his first collegiate appearance, going six scoreless innings and giving up just six hits and two walks, striking out two. Dietz followed him, going two scoreless and allowing four hits.
Tews got the scoring started in the first. After sophomore Steve Daniels (Fox Point, WI) led the game off with a double, Tews stroked a one-out home run to center, putting Brown up 2-0. In the second, Daniels, junior J.J. Eno (Kahului, HI), Tews and Thomas all had RBIs when Dietz stepped to the plate. The first baseman homered to center, bringing home Thomas and making the score 9-0. The Bears tacked on one more in the sixth, when Dietz doubled home Thomas, who stole his second base of the day after singling with two outs.
Daniels finished the game with two doubles, two runs scored, two walks and an RBI. Sophomore shortstop Robert Papenhause (Hillsborough, CA) had two hits, including a double, and scored once. Freshmen Chris Tanabe (Jupiter, FL) and Nick Puñal (Wellington, FL) both picked up their first collegiate hits in the contest, with Puñal stealing a base as well. Junior closer Rob Hallberg (River Edge, NJ) worked the ninth, giving up two runs but striking out two of the six batters he faced.
In the first game, the Bears actually held an 8-4 lead entering the bottom of the fifth. After an unearned run in the bottom of the first put Brown behind, 1-0, sophomore third baseman Matt Nuzzo (Everett, MA) doubled with two outs. He advanced to third on a single by sophomore right fielder Dan Shapiro (Basking Ridge, IL), then scored when Papenhause singled to right. In the third, the Bears took a 5-1 lead. Thomas drove home a run, then caused another one when his steal of second led to a throwing error, allowing Tews to score from third. Dietz singled Thomas home, then stole second and scored on Shapiro's single to right.
The Eagles got three back in the bottom of the third, but Brown scored three in the top of the fifth to extend the lead to 8-4. Tews led off, advancing to third on an error by the center fielder, then was driven home by Thomas's first home run of the season. After two outs, Shapiro walked and Papenhause singled, followed by an RBI single by junior Brian Kelaher (Farmington, CT).
GSU scored four unearned runs in the bottom of the fifth to tie the game, but an RBI single by Tews drove in Daniels to briefly give the Bears the lead back. The wheels came off in the bottom of the sixth, as three errors, two balks, a hit batter and four hits led to seven unearned runs for the host Eagles, six coming with two out. Georgia Southern added another run in the eighth for the 16-9 win.
Eno and Shapiro led the Bears with three hits apiece in the game, with Shapiro walking once, scoring once and driving in a run, while Eno scored one run. Thomas was 2-for-5 with three RBIs and two runs scored. Nuzzo and Papenhause both had two hits, with the former scoring one run and the latter driving in one.
Senior James Cramphin (Simsbury, CT) and junior Alex Silverman (Wilmington, NC) were on the receiving end of some tough luck on the mound. Cramphin went five innings, allowing just five hits and walking four, giving up three earned runs out of eight. Silverman allowed just one earned run in three innings of relief, taking the loss.
On Sunday, the Bears wrap up play down in Statesboro, with an 11:30 a.m. travel day start time against Kennesaw State.