April 12, 2008

Bears' Offense Explodes for 18 Runs to Draw Split with Dartmouth

April 12, 2008

Box Score

Providence, RI - After being shut down by lefthander Russell Young in a game one loss, the Brown baseball team (13-14) blasted 20 hits in an 18-6 game two win, earning a split with first-place Dartmouth (15-10) on Saturday at Murray Stadium. The Big Green fell to 8-2 in the League with the split, while the Bears stayed at .500 at 5-5.

Young was not quite dominant in the first game, but he worked his way out of trouble when he did find his way into it, scattering eight hits to pick up the complete-game win on just 95 pitches. His counterpart, senior Anthony Vita (West Babylon, NY), took the loss after allowing six runs on seven hits and two walks over six innings, striking out six. At the plate in game one, junior shortstop Matt Nuzzo (Everett, MA) and senior designated hitter Conor Reardon (Branford, CT) were both 2-for-3.

As quiet as the Brown lineup may have been in the opener, it certainly was loud in the back end of the double-dip, making a statement by dropping double-digit runs on the Big Green for the fourth time in the teams' last six games. Freshman second baseman Ryan Zrenda (Old Lyme, CT) was productive in all five of his plate appearances, going 2-for-2 with a home run, his second of the year, a walk, a hit-by-pitch, and a sacrifice bunt, scoring three times and driving in one. Nuzzo, Reardon, and junior center fielder Steve Daniels (Fox Point, WI) all had three hits. Nuzzo drove in three runs and scored two. Reardon, playing first base for the first time this season, drove in a pair and scored once before being lifted for a pinch runner. Daniels was the catalyst at the top of the order, scoring four runs and driving in a pair.

After Dartmouth scored in the first inning, the Bears got three back in the bottom of the frame. Brown got another in the second, then got to Big Green starter Jake Pruner in the fourth. Zrenda led off the inning with a dinger to left, followed by senior utilityman J.J. Eno (Kahului, HI), who went back-to-back with his second round-tripper of the season. Daniels nearly made it three in a row, tripling off the right-center field wall, and Pruner was finally pulled after walking senior Ryan Murphy (Mantoloking, NJ). Dartmouth reliever Kyle Zeis did not have much more success, allowing one inherited runner to score.

The Big Green nearly got back into the game in the sixth. With sophomore Will Weidig (Katy, TX) cruising to what would be his third win of the season, the Bears made three errors before even recording an out. Second baseman Jeff Onstott drove in one run with a double after the first two errors, and after another came in on the third Brown error, the Big Green ripped three straight singles to chase Weidig with the score 7-5. However, freshman lefty Mark Gormley (Milton, MA) entered and was up to the task, recording three straight outs to put the fire out.

After Brown got one back in the bottom of the sixth, Gormley loaded the bases in the seventh, but stranded the three runners. That would be the last threat the Bears would face, as the bats went off for five runs in the seventh and five more in the eighth, making it elementary for the 18-6 final.

Weidig went 5.0 innings, allowing five runs, one earned, on five hits and no walks, striking out eight. Gormley worked 2.1 innings, allowing one run, before giving way to senior Peter Moskal (Glastonbury, CT), who threw 1.2 scoreless innings, just allowing an inherited runner to score.

The Bears will hope to see more of the game two results than those from game one when the teams square off on Sunday for two more games at noon. The Bears still sit in third in the Red Rolfe Division, as Yale remains 1.5 games back in second at 6-3 after splitting a doubleheader with Harvard on Saturday, with the Crimson now 2-8. Game one starters are expected to be Brown senior Alex Silverman (Wilmington, NC) (4-0, 5.76) and Dartmouth sophomore Robert Young (2-2, 4.24), while Bears freshman Matthew Kimball (Nashville, TN) (1-1, 6.29) will make his first Ivy League start in game two against senior Chase Carpenter (3-2, 6.28).