April 7, 2007
Providence, RI - Things could not have gone much better for the Brown baseball team (9-13, 4-2 Ivy) in its home opener at Edward B. Aldrich Field on Saturday, as the Bears swept Columbia (10-16-1, 5-5 Ivy) by scores of 9-2 and 8-1. Junior Jeff Dietz (Altamonte Springs, FL) and senior James Cramphin (Simsbury, CT) were both brilliant on the mound, while senior catcher Devin Thomas (Gainesville, FL) was a perfect 7-for-7 at the plate, as the Bears dominated in both contests.
Dietz toed the rubber in the first game, throwing seven complete innings. He allowed just five hits, only one of which left the infield, and one walk, striking out seven batters en route to his second complete game win of the year, bringing his record to 3-2.
Thomas was outstanding in a balanced offensive effort for the Bears, going 4-for-4 with five RBIs and two runs scored. Included in those four hits was a 400-foot bomb over the right-field scoreboard in the third inning. Junior Ryan Murphy (Mantoloking, NJ) had productive at-bats in all four of his trips to the plate, going 1-for-1 with a double, a sacrifice bunt, a walk, and a hit-by-pitch. Leadoff man Steve Daniels (Fox Point, WI) was 1-for-3 with a triple, a walk, two runs scored, and his 15th stolen base of the season, and senior Bryan Tews (Park Ridge, IL) was 2-for-3 with a two-RBI triple.
Thomas drove in the Bears' first four runs. In the first inning, Daniels led off with a walk, stole second, then moved to third on Murphy's sacrifice. Thomas then brought him in with a single through the right side of the infield for the quick 1-0 lead. In the third, with two outs, he followed walks to sophomore third baseman Robert Papenhause (Hillsborough, CA) and Murphy with his blast to right.
The Lions got runs back on a solo home run in the fourth and a pair of infield hits following a hit-by-pitch in the fifth, but Brown answered back with four runs in the fifth to put the game away. Daniels' triple with one out was followed by Murphy's double for the first run. Thomas singled to move Murphy to third, but a failed double steal led to Murphy being retired at the plate. Dietz got on after being hit by a pitch, then sophomore Matt Nuzzo (Everett, MA) singled for one run and Tews tripled for two more. Thomas singled in junior Brian Kelaher (Farmington, CT) for an insurance run in the seventh for the 9-2 final.
Cramphin threw even better than Dietz. His final numbers - 8.1 IP, 4 hits, 4 walks, 1 run, 11 strikeouts) - betray how dominant he was, as two walks, one hit and the one run all came in the ninth inning as he attempted to pick up his first complete game of the season. When Cramphin finally tired, junior Rob Hallberg (River Edge, NJ) came in to finish his Ivy-leading 10th game of the year, making short order of the two batters he faced with a foul pop-up and a strikeout, his 14th in 9.1 innings this season.
Thomas was 3-for-3, driving in another run and scoring two before being dubiously hit by a pitch in his final trip to the plate. Tews and Papenhause had solid games offensively, each going 2-for-4 with two RBIs and a run scored. Papenhause hit his first career home run, while Dietz hit his fourth of the season for two of his three RBIs.
Brown again jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first, although they were slow to get to Columbia starter Bill Purdy after that. Murphy singled with one out and moved to third on a double by Thomas, then scored on a groundout by Dietz. After that, neither team had a hit until the bottom of the fourth, and neither scored until the bottom of the sixth, when the Bears broke through for three runs. Daniels singled and advanced on a groundout by Murphy, scoring on Thomas's double down the right field line. Dietz followed with his home run, which went to dead center.
In the eighth, Bruno sealed the deal with four more runs. Thomas was hit by a pitch to lead off, and two batters later, Nuzzo reached the same way. Tews cashed them both in with a double to center, finally chasing Purdy from the game. Two batters later, Papenhause finished the scoring with his two-run dinger.
On Sunday, the Bears will hope to keep their momentum going when they host Penn (12-12, 6-4 Ivy) for a double-dip at noon. Freshman Will Weidig (Katy, TX) and junior Alex Silverman (Wilmington, NC) will toe the rubber for the Bears, who have the luxury of a well-rested bullpen after their starters' dominance on Saturday.