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Baseball drops five straight games at UAA tournament

Published: March 16, 2012
Section: Sports


Baseball drops five-straight games at UAA tournament
-Brian Tabakin

Just two weeks after a seven-game road trip, the Brandeis baseball team returned to Florida again this past week for the opening of UAA conference play and a matchup with Emory. Unfortunately, the Judges lost to the Eagles 6-0.

Emory rookie pitcher Connor Dillman turned quite a few heads with his performance holding the Judges to just five hits and striking out 13 to tie a UAA record set in 2004 by Dan Ruef of Case Western Reserve.

Both teams failed to put runs on the board through the first four innings even though the Judges had numerous scoring opportunities to break through. In the second inning, first baseman Kyle Brenner ’15 led off with a single and then was bunted over to second, while shortstop Dom Schwartz ’14 began the third inning with a double down the right-field line; however, the Judges were unable to advance either runner farther with Dillman striking out two of the next three hitters when Schwartz was threatening at second.

Emory finally broke through in the bottom of the fifth inning, scoring two runs off of several miscues by the Judges. After Pat Nicholson M.A. ’12 walked the first Eagles’ batter, the batter advanced to third behind two wild pitches and then scored on a throwing error. The Eagles also scored another run on a RBI single.

The Judges squandered another chance to score in the sixth inning. Catcher Chris Ferro ’13 doubled to center field with only one out; however, Dillman again got out of a bind getting a groundout and another strikeout to end the scoring threat. Dillman allowed just one more runner to reach base the rest of the game as he improved to 4-1 on the season.

Emory chased Nicholson from the game in the sixth inning after sophomore catcher Jared Welch launched an RBI double, and Welch also cranked a two-run homerun in the ninth inning off of Brent Edmunds ’15. Nicholson took the loss going 5.2 innings allowing four hits and four runs—two earned. He struck out three, walked five and hit three batters.

Brandeis looked to bounce back the next day when they faced the Washington University Bears. Unfortunately, the Judges were hammered, 14-2 in a shortened seven-inning game.

Starter Kyle Brenner ’15 got off to a rough start as the Bears tagged him for three runs in the first inning with two outs. Brenner settled down after the first and Brandeis pulled within one run, almost tying the game in the third inning. With two outs, Catcher Kenny Destremps ’12 singled and Ferro walked. Nicholson then singled to shortstop producing a run after the Bears threw the ball away. Designated hitter Dan Gad ’15 singled in another run, but Nicholson was thrown out at the plate trying to score from second to end the inning.

In the fifth inning, the Bears put the game away scoring four runs, only two of which were earned. The fifth was extremely odd as it featured three sacrifice plays after a throwing error on a bunt attempt. The Bears added seven more runs in the seventh inning when 11 Bears came to the plate.

Destremps was 2-of-2 on the day with a run scored, while Gad was also 2-of-2 with the Judges’ only RBI; right fielder Zach Malis ’12 was 2-of-3 on the day. After pitching two complete games to start the season, Brenner suffered his first loss allowing seven runs, five earned, in five innings.

The following day, Brandeis looked to snap their two game losing skid with a doubleheader against Rochester and Emory; however, the Judges dropped both games, 6-5 to Rochester and 11-7 to Emory.

Brandeis got off to a strong start against Rochester scoring four runs in the first frame. Gad launched a two-run single in the inning while Destremps and third baseman Brian Ing ’14 each had RBI singles in the inning as well. Unfortunately for the Judges, their bats went ice cold after the first inning and they failed to score another run until the final frame.

While the Judges’ bats were cold, Rochester’s bats quickly heated up. Rochester scored two runs in the third, fourth and fifth innings against Brandeis starter Dylan Britton ’13. The Yellowjackets scored their first run off an errant-pick off attempt at second base and an RBI single from catcher Steve Pokallov. In the fourth, the Yellowjackets tied the game at 4-4 on a sacrifice fly from third baseman Chris Davis and a single by shortstop Tim Leseur.

In the fifth, Rochester had a runner on second with two outs when Britton walked first baseman Brian Bezek. The Judges pulled Britton and put in Edmunds who immediately gave up an RBI double and then fired a wild pitch that allowed the Yellowjackets to notch a key insurance run.

The Judges had a chance to tie the game again in the top of the sixth with runners on third and second with just one out; however, Rochester starter Jeremy Diller got out of the inning after a strikeout and a fly-out. The Judges once again had two base runners in the seventh and eight innings, but a double play in the seventh and a ground-out in the eight ended any chances of a Judges rally in the frames.

Nicholson scored an unearned run in the ninth inning off of a Rochester error but Brandeis was unable to tie the game. Brenner, Destremps, Ing and Ferro each had two hits for the Judges while Britton took his first loss of the year allowing seven hits and seven walks with three strikeouts in 4.2 innings of work.

In the second game of the doubleheader, Emory plated five early runs to put Brandeis in a hole, but the Judges used a six-run fifth inning to take a 6-5 lead into the sixth inning.
After Gad singled to lead off the inning, Rochester hit Brenner with a pitch and Ing drew a walk. With the bases loaded, Malis hammered his first homerun of the season—a grand slam—to pull Brandeis within one run.

With the bases cleared, third baseman Tom McCarthy singled to chase Emory starter McMahon from the game. Second baseman Sean O’Hare ’12 immediately hit a single off of the Emory reliever and Ferro tied the game with a sacrifice fly. Nicholson put the Judges ahead with a double to right centerfield.

The Judges were unable to maintain their lead as the Eagles sent nine batters to the plate in the seventh inning and scored five runs to reclaim the lead at 10-5.

The teams traded runs the final two innings as the Judges scored in the bottom of the eight and the Eagles scored in the top of the ninth.

Gad, McCarthy, Nicholson and O’Hare each had multiple hits for the Judges. Jesse Link ’13 suffered the loss for the Judges giving up two hits, three walks and two earned runs in 2.1 innings of work.

The Judges looked to get their first win in UAA the following day when they faced Washington again. Unfortunately, the Judges offense was silent once again as they fell 5-3.

The Judges scored first when Gad and Brenner singled to lead off the inning. After Washington starter Max Gordon got a grounder to first base for the first out of the inning, Malis singled to second to drive in the first run of the game and put runners on the corners; however, Brandeis was unable to take advantage as Gordon got out of the inning after Brenner was thrown out at the plate trying to score after tagging up on a fly ball to center.
Washington tied the game up in the bottom half of the inning and then scored two runs in both the fifth and sixth inning to go ahead 5-1.

Brandeis was able to score two runs in the top of the ninth, but their rally fell short as they lost 5-3.

With their five straight losses, the team is now 4-8 on the season (0-5 UAA).

The Judges have two more games in Florida before they return home on Tuesday to face Bridgewater State in their first home game of the year.