March 29, 2007
Florence, SC - In the last of seven games in a six-day swing through South Carolina, the Brown baseball team (5-11) fell to Francis Marion University (23-13), 7-3. The Patriots, ranked 29th in Division II, built their lead slowly, scoring no more than two runs in any inning. Sophomore third baseman Robert Papenhause (Hillsborough, CA) led the Bears at the plate, going 2-for-3 with a double and a walk, scoring a run.
FMU took an early lead, getting a run in the first on a wild pitch, but the Bears tied it back up in the third. Freshman catcher Joe Mellano (Bonsall, CA) led off with a walk, and was moved over by a sac bunt by sophomore center fielder Steve Daniels (Fox Point, WI) and a bunt single by junior left fielder Brian Kelaher (Farmington, CT). After a strikeout, junior first baseman Jeff Dietz (Altamonte Springs, FL) brought Mellano home with a single.
The Patriots retook the lead with a run in the bottom of the third, but the Bears again rallied to tie two innings later. After Mellano struck out, Daniels walked and stole second for his 13th steal of the year, advancing to third on an error by the second baseman. Kelaher walked after an FMU pitching change, and then senior Devin Thomas (Gainesville, FL), who started in right field to rest his legs after catching every game this season, brought Daniels home on a sacrifice fly to center. Dietz nearly kept the rally going with a line drive to left center, but FMU center fielder Derek Kennamer was able to track his drive down to end the inning.
Unfortunately for the Bears, the Patriots again rallied in the bottom of the inning, this time pushing two runs across to knock freshman starter Will Ellis (Lauderdale-By-The-Sea, FL) from the game. In his first collegiate start, Ellis went 4.1 innings, giving up four runs on five hits and four walks, striking out one. He gave way to two more freshmen. First was lefty Matt Boylan (Danvers, MA), who gave up just one unearned run on two hits and a walk in 2.2 innings. That run came in the seventh, when one of the Bears' four errors moved a runner into scoring position that scored on a sac fly. Rob Wilcox (Columbia, SC) threw the eighth, giving up two runs on four hits.
The Bears were able to rally for one run in the ninth, as Papenhause doubled to lead off, moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on a ground out by pinch hitter Dan Shapiro (Basking Ridge, NJ). However, that was all the offense the Bears could muster in the inning.
After a much-needed off day on Friday, the Bears will open Ivy League play this weekend, visiting a pair of Lou Gehrig Division teams in Princeton on Saturday and Cornell on Sunday.