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Bad breaks plague Judges

By zaronow

Section: Sports

March 23, 2007

Varsity baseball fought hard in Florida, coming into the last two games of the UAA tournament with a 4-1 record and with momentum on their side. Alas, baseball is a game of cruel reversals of fortune and teams at the top quickly find themselves looking through the other way thanks to little things like a misplayed grounder, a foul ball that was inches from being a home run. Yes breaks can make or kill a squad and a two game skid culminating with a 11-5 loss to Case-Western leaving the Judges to settle for 2nd place.

By the fourth inning, Brandeis found themselves at the wrong end of a 8-0 deficit fueled by a five run fourth inning thanks in part to a two run double by Spartans pitcher J.R. Doolos. Brandeis though managed to make a dent with three runs in the fourth thanks to timely hitting but it was not enough as rebuilt the original eight run lead by the seventh inning and Brandeis could only scratch out two more runs.

Southpaw Tyler Robinson 08 took the loss as he went 3.1 innings, surrendering nine hits and six runs, all earned. Rookie Kyle Ritchie 10 fared little better as he gave up four runs in his 2/3 innings pitched. Fellow rookie Drew Brzozowski 10 fared far better, going the distance with five innings of relief, surrendering only one run and picking up three strike outs and no walks. Case-Western had 21 hits and were helped slightly by three Brandeis errors two of them in the fourth inning.

At the plate, the Judges managed 11 hits off of Doolos, who pitched a complete game. First baseman Ryan Healey 10 and shortstop Malcolm Cone-Coleman 08 each had two hits.

The loss to Case-Western, whom they crushed back on March 15, was preceded by a tough 5-2 loss to Rochester. Making his first start in collegiate action, James Collins 09 could only watch as Rochester nabbed four runs off of six hits in his 4.2 innings pitched.

The Judges took a 2-1 lead in the top of the fourth thanks to a sacrifice fly and an RBI single by Dave Almeida 09 but Rochester tied it up in the bottom half of the inning and then took the lead for good in the fifth inning with a 2-run homer by outfielder Jim Bard. The Yellowjackets added another run in the next inning and that was all she wrote. Rocco Toppi 08 went 1.2 innings in relief giving up one unearned run and Chris McDonough 08 shut them out for 1.2 innings to close it out. Brandeis was unable to get the bats going, second baseman Jeff Bourdon 07 had two of Brandeiss six hits.

With the two losses, Brandeis finishes 4-3 against UAA competition and now look forward to regional play starting with a trip to Providence, RI to take on Roger Williams University on March 24. Brandeis then takes on Salem State on the 26th before opening up a three game homestand from then 27-29 as they take on Wheaton College, Salve-Regina and Salem State.

What happened in Florida is now over and done with for another year. Now is the time to rise up on the cold, soggy Massachusetts soil and make their mark against their foes. It depends though which team is the real Brandeis Judges, the one that crushed Case 13-2 or was crushed back 5-11.

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