March 22, 2009
San Diego, CA - After rain postponed the start of the game on Sunday afternoon, Brown came away with a thrilling 9-8 win against #27 San Diego, capped off by a pair of runs in the ninth inning. Sophomore Ryan Zrenda (Old Lyme, CT) led the way for the second consecutive day, going two-for-five with two runs scored and a pair of RBI's, while senior captain Matt Nuzzo (Everett, MA) pushed across three runs as well.
Both starting pitchers threw well in the early going, as the game was scoreless through the first two and a half innings. Sophomore righty Mark Gormley (Milton, MA) got the nod for the Bears, going seven solid innings and striking out four. He did hit a brief rough patch in the bottom of the third, however, as the Torreros broke through for three runs to take the early lead.
In spite of the early deficit though, Bruno refused to go quietly, coming right back to pick up two runs of their own in the fourth. After Zrenda reached on an error, Nuzzo came up with a clutch hit, knocking out a two-run home run with two outs, closing the margin to one. Brown then continued to roll in the top of the fifth with three more runs, highlighted by an RBI double from rookie Graham Tyler (Cranston, R.I.), giving the Bears their first lead of the series, 5-3.
San Diego continued the back-and-forth action in the bottom of the inning, however, scoring five runs and appearing to seal the game, particularly after Brown was unable to score in the sixth. Bruno climbed back into the game in the seventh though, scoring a pair of runs to close with 8-7. The Bears scored on a series of singles and stolen bases, as a number of batters came up with clutch hits to keep the rally going.
The score held up through the eighth inning, setting up a big top of the ninth for Brown, needing at least one run to have a chance at picking up the win. Seniors Dan Shapiro (Basking Ridge, N.J.) and Robert Papenhause (Hillsborough, CA) and junior Nick Punal (Palm Beach, FL) each hit singles to bring in the two runs, giving Brown a 9-8 lead heading into the bottom of the ninth. Sophomore Matthew Kimball (Nashville, TN) then came in to close the door on San Diego, pitching a one-hit inning to seal the win for Brown. With the victory, Bruno improves to 2-7 on the season.
The Bears will be back in action tomorrow afternoon, when they finish the series at San Diego with a game at 3:00 p.m. PT.