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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Rookies pull Judges to victory 9-5

Published: March 20, 2009
Section: Sports

Baseball is a game of numbers. Number of hits, number of errors, number of outs, walks, balls in play etcetera, etcetera. I say this because the Brandeis baseball team survived a numbers game against Bridgewater State Mar. 18. The numbers worked out like this: four errors nearly cost the game for Brandeis, and five runs in the last inning secured the 9-5 victory.

Entering the last inning 5-4, the Judges managed to apply the pressure on Bridgewater State closer Jeff Poupolo, starting with a leadoff walk to Zach Wooley ’11. Wooley then advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt from John O’Brion ’10 but was nearly stranded after Poupolo struck out James Likis ’10 to come one out away from securing the win. Tony Deschler ’11 however changed everything with an RBI single up the following a walk to Sean O’Hare ’12 to knot the score at five. After Poupolo nailed Nick Gallagher ’09 to load the bases, rookie third baseman Jon Chu ’12 came through, turning the first pitch he saw into a bases clearing double. Chu quickly scored on Drake Livada’s ’10 RBI single before Mike Alfego’s ’09 foul out ended the scoring run for the Judges. Aside from a one out walk, Bridgewater State went down without a struggle to James Collins ’09 who earned with win with 2.2 scoreless innings pitched.

The Judges got on the board first thanks to O’Hare’s first collegiate home run, depositing the 1-2 offering into left field giving Brandeis the 3-0 lead. A pair of throwing errors helped Bridgewater State cut the deficit to one after four innings but an RBI single from O’Brion gave Brandeis the 4-2 lead heading into the bottom of the seventh. The inning proved to be one Livada would love to forget, with runners on first second and the lead already cut to one, Livada first muffed the play and then compounded it with a throwing error that helped Bridgewater tie the score at 4-4. A fielder’s choice from Brian Medairos put Bridgewater State up by one and would stay that way until the ninth inning charge.

Tony Deshler had the best day at the plate for Brandeis, going 3-5 with one RBI and boosting his average to a leading .404. Livada had the only other multi-hit day at the plate, connecting two times in five appearances. The story of the game though was the performances from the rookies as Jon Chu and Sean O’Hare combined for six RBI’s. Bridgewater State had three players with multi-hit performances as centerfielder J.T. Mooney, designated hitter David Dole and second baseman Seob Yoon each had two hits. Yoon also had two RBI in the game.

Both starting pitchers, Pat Nicholson ’11 for Brandeis and Jeff Sarahs of BSC pitched to a no decision. Nicholson went six and a third, surrendering nine hits, five runs, two earned and four strikeouts. Alex Tynan ’12 faced one batter and then was quickly yanked for Collins who allowed only one walk and one run. Sarahs pitched seven innings for BSC, allowing four runs on six hits, all earned and also racked up four strike outs. Dave Matthews held Brandeis scoreless in the eighth before handing the ball over to Poupolo who was saddled with the loss.

With the win, Collins is now 1-2 on the season and improves his ERA to 7.50. Poupolo’s record falls to 0-2. Brandeis now improves to 5-7 while BSC falls to 5-5.

The Judges head off to Rhode Island College this afternoon and then return for an eight game home stand starting with a double header against Rochester Institute of Technology Saturday at 12 and 2 pm.

A one day respite is followed by a four game stretch from Mar. 23-26. Brandeis faces Salem State, Wheaton (Mass.) and Wentworth all at three and then Salve Regina at 3:30.