March 24, 2009
Malibu, CA - Playing against the 17th-ranked team in the country, Brown came out with its best game of the season, downing Pepperdine by an eye-opening 20-8 margin. A number of Bears enjoyed outstanding days, but none was better than rookie Graham Tyler (Cranston, R.I.). Tyler went three-for-five with a game-high seven RBI's, including a two-run home run.
The 20 runs scored by the Bears marks the best offensive output in over a year, dating back to a 25-9 win over Hartford on March 22, 2008. With the win, Brown improves to 3-8 on the season, while Pepperdine falls to 16-7 overall. The Waves had lost only two home games prior to Tuesday, and the loss was just their second in their last seven contests.
The game got off to a surprisingly uneventful start, as both teams went scoreless in the first inning. Sophomore Ryan Zrenda (Old Lyme, CT) got things rolling in the second though, hitting a single and stealing second to set up the first run of the day for the Bears, which was delivered by classmate Matt Colantonio's (Garden City, N.Y.) RBI single. A pair of walks then loaded the bases for Tyler, who brought in a pair with a single to left field.
Brown continued the offensive onslaught in the third, picking up two more runs on a single to center field from sophomore Pete Greskoff (Paoli, PA). Pepperdine narrowly avoided falling even further behind, as the Bears had runners on second and third with just one out before the Waves struck out the final two batters of the frame. After a scoreless fourth for both sides, Bruno added another run in the fifth, this time on an error from Pepperdine.
Somewhat lost in the scoring was a very effective performance from junior starter Matt Boylan (Danvers, MA). Boylan threw 4 2/3 innings, and gave up just one earned run on nine hits, shutting out the Waves for the first four frames. Pepperdine finally broke through in the bottom of the fifth though, scoring four runs to close the gap to 6-4. Bruno quickly answered back though, as the team broke out the bats over the next two innings, scoring six runs in both the sixth and seventh to put the game well out of reach.
The sixth was highlighted by a two-run double from senior captain Matt Nuzzo (Everett, MA), and another RBI from Tyler, who brought in a run on a fielder's choice. Tyler had two more in the seventh, bringing in a pair of runners on a single to left field. Junior Nick Punal (Palm Beach, FL) also knocked in two with a double.
Following the offensive explosion, both teams then went scoreless in the eighth. Already leading by an insurmountable 18-4 margin, Brown got even more insurance in the top of the ninth, when Tyler hit a two-run home run to ice the victory. Pepperdine attempted to come back in the bottom of the frame, scoring four runs, but the Waves were unable to make a serious dent, and fell by a final score of 20-8.
The Bears will be back in action tomorrow afternoon, when they travel to USC for a doubleheader starting at 3:00 p.m. PT.