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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

With two wins in two debuts the Judges return to Brandeis

Published: March 25, 2011
Section: Sports, Top Stories

Photo by Nafiz “Fizz” Ahmed/The Hoot

The Judges baseball team, after weeks of highly competitive play in Florida, returned to Brandeis last week to begin local games. In three games, collectively postponed twice, the Judges managed a close victory with a strong win in their home opener and a nail biter extra innings loss.

In their first game since travelling back from Florida, the Judges took a short trip to Bridgewater State, to face their first local opponents in their New England debut.

Scoring began as second baseman Sean O’Hare ’12 swung for a sacrifice fly ball to bring in a runner. Pat Nicholson ’11 followed suit with a powerful two-run double to tear open a three run lead.

The Judges continued their dominance into the fourth inning. Consecutive doubles from right-fielder Andrew Cohen ’13 and shortstop Dom Schwartz ’14 further improved the lead. After an out, O’Hare returned to the plate and brought in another run with a double of his own. After getting on base, he managed a run off of a single by third baseman Jon Chu ’12.

With a 6-0 lead, things were looking great for the Judges. Pitcher John McGrath ’11 had held Bridgewater to a hitless game until the fifth inning.

Bridgewater began to find holes in the Judges’ defenses as John Ferreira and Keane Costa hit consecutive home runs. Costa’s homerun was also the first inside-the-park homerun in Alumni field’s history.

Bridgewater added to their attempt to close the deficit in the eighth. With bases loaded and two outs, they managed to secure two walks to bring the game to within a point. Relief pitcher Nicholson, a utility player, managed to find his groove and forced Ferreira to ground out followed by a scoreless ninth inning.

Starting pitcher McGrath earned the win for his seven plus innings and seven strikeouts while Nicholson earned the save. Bridgewater pitcher Matt Melia got the loss after allowing all six Brandeis runs in the first four innings.

After a weather delay on Monday, the Judges made their Brandeis debut on Tuesday in a powerful 8-3 victory against Salem State. Right handed pitcher Dylan Britton ’13 earned his first win in a Brandeis uniform after seven innings.

While Britton had lost his previous five decisions, his play on Tuesday showed significant skill. In addition to a minor eight hits allowed, Britton had a career best seven strikeouts while allowing only three runs. Additionally, Britton worked his way out of a bases-loaded sixth inning and a seventh inning with two runners in scoring position.

On the batting side of play, Tony Deshler ’11 led the way from the lead-off spot in the lineup. In the first inning, he doubled and then scored off a sacrifice fly by Chu, and in the fifth also managed a double and was batted in by Chu.

Three other players also managed multiple hits. Lelf fielder Nick Cortese ’13 managed three hits including an RBI double. first baseman Erick Rosenberg hit two of three at bats with a game-high three RBIs including a two-run single in the opening inning. Designated hitter Nicholson also went two for three with two RBIs and two runs scored. Chu managed the two RBIs above, along with two runs scored of his own.

Salem State’s rookie Ryan Hyjek took the loss in his first game credited with the outcome. He may have struck out four Judges but heallowed 10 hits including all eight runs.

Maybe it was the loss of a break before Wednesday’s game, maybe it was because it wasn’t a debut, or maybe it just wasn’t meant to be when the Judges hosted the Wentworth Institute of Technology on Wednesday and suffered their first home loss of the season.

Teams traded runs in the third with both sides snagging one run apiece. Wentworth’s Conner Flisnik scored the opening run while the Judges’ Chu responded with a run of his own.

Designated hitter Doug Papuga managed to bring in runs in the fourth and seventh to take the lead further from the Judges’ grasp. Deshler pulled off a sacrifice fly in the seventh, which with a ground out RBI by Eric Rosenberg ’11, tied the game and forced extra innings.

Wentworth’s Mike Diodato delivered a two run double in the top of the 10th with two outs on the board. Brandeis was just unable to overcome them, scoring one run but stranding the tying run at 3rd base.

Other than a game against Salve Regina on Thursday, the Judges’ next game will be Sunday as they Host Framingham State in a doubleheader starting at 12 noon. The Judges, not including Thursday’s game, stand at 9-8 in their overall record.