March 26, 2008

Bears Slug Their Way to 16-7 Win at Richmond, Most Pre-Ivy Wins Since 2002

March 26, 2008

Box Score

Richmond, VA - Seven Bears had multiple hits as the Brown baseball team (6-7) out-slugged Richmond (11-12-1) to take a 16-7 win at Pitt Field on Wednesday afternoon. The 16-run output was Bruno's third double-digit run effort in five days, leading to the team's sixth win, the team's most before beginning Ivy League play since 2002.

The last time Brown had at least six wins before starting the Ivy League season was 2002, when the Bears started out 9-12 during a hectic early schedule, eventually setting a team record for wins in a 25-24 season. Last year, when Bruno set a new record with 27 wins, the team entered Ivy play at just 5-11 after a 1-8 start.

Junior center fielder Steve Daniels (Fox Point, WI) had a team-high four hits to extend his hitting streak to 10 games, scoring twice and driving in two runs. He also stole two bases, giving him eight on the year and 46 for his career, one away from seventh all-time at Brown. Junior left fielder Ryan Murphy (Mantoloking, NJ), sophomore right fielder Nick Puñal (Palm Beach, FL), and freshman catcher Matt Colantonio (Garden City, NY) had three hits apiece. Murphy also had a double and two walks, driving in one run. Puñal scored three runs and had an RBI, while Colantonio had a double, scored twice, and drove in one, turning in his third consecutive start with three or more hits.

One of four Bears with two hits, senior first baseman J.J. Eno (Kahului, HI) had a triple and a walk, drove in three runs, and scored two. Junior shortstop Matt Nuzzo (Everett, MA) had one hit in the contest, extending his team-high hitting streak to 12 games.

On the mound, sophomore left-hander Matt Boylan (Danvers, MA) got the start. He cruised through his first four innings of work, scattering four hits and striking out four as the Bears got out to a 7-0 lead with one run in the first, four in the fourth, and two in the fifth. However, he hit some trouble in the fifth, giving up three straight singles after a leadoff walk for the first Richmond run. After a sacrifice fly for the first out and second run of the inning, Richmond cleanup hitter Evan Stehle took Boylan deep to left for a three-run home run, ending the southpaw's outing.

Freshman Mark Gormley (Milton, MA) entered the game and immediately put the fire out with two quick outs. The Bears responded with four runs in the top of the sixth, punctuated by Eno's RBI triple, to make the score 11-5. The Spiders were able to get to Gormley for two runs in the bottom of the inning before sophomore Will Weidig (Katy, TX) came in to face his only batter of the game, getting a strikeout for the third out. The key defensive play in the inning came when Richmond middle infielder Austin Reilly doubled down the right field line. With one run already home, a relay from Puñal to junior third baseman Robert Papenhause (Hillsborough, CA) to Colantonio cut down the second runner at the plate for the first out of the inning.

In the top of the seventh, the Bears put their fourth consecutive crooked number on the board, pushing their final five runs across, four with two outs, to put the game out of reach. Freshman Ryan Zrenda (Old Lyme, CT) brought in two on a single, while Papenhause, Daniels, and Nuzzo had RBI singles of their own in the frame. Senior Peter Moskal (Glastonbury, CT), freshman Greg Karwaski (Media, PA), and senior Rob Hallberg (River Edge, NJ) combined to pitch the final three scoreless innings, allowing just one hit.

Gormley got the win to move to 2-0 on the season, while Richmond starter Anthony Cafagna, one of eight pitchers used by the Spiders in the game, went to 0-2 with the loss.

Now at 3-3 on their nine-day, nine-game, 2,042-mile road trip, Brown ends the Virginia leg of trek on Thursday at George Mason (10-12), which defeated Liberty 13-0 on Wednesday, getting a complete-game shutout from starter Kris Mengle. Freshman Rob Wilcox (Columbia, SC), who had been slated to start on Wednesday before a pre-game lineup change, will get the start against the Patriots.