Baseball can’t hold lead, fall 6-5

April 20, 2007

Pete Varney was in a rage. Bottom of the ninth and no outs, Brandeis down by one, catcher Artie Posch 10 appeared to be in position to score the equalizing run only to be called out at second on a steal attempt. It was a highly questionable call, especially since the shortstop did not have the ball. Varneys protests however fell on deaf ears and he was quickly tossed. Two fly outs to right field provided the disappointing capstone to a 6-5 defeat at the hands of Johnson & Wales
It was certainly not the way Brandeis wanted to finish this game that began on crisp Thursday afternoon to a crowd of around 100 or so some odd people some to watch the game, most for the free ice cream. As the temperatures dropped along with attendance, the game heated up.

Brandeis kicked off the scoring in the bottom of the third with an RBI single by Ben Dashefsky 07 and Jon Winston 07 was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded. Pitcher Tyler Robinson 08 entered a bit of a jam the next inning with the first two batters reaching base on a single and a walk. Fortunately Robinson and the defense were able to get out of the inning with only one run surrendered.

Brandeis added another run in the sixth thanks to a magnificent suicide squeeze bunt by Chuck Sheehan 08 but the seventh saw Tyler Robinson and the lead unravel. A single, error and a walk loaded the bases for Wildcats second baseman Alex Hurley who took Robinsons offering to the right-center wall for a bases-clearing 3 RBI double. Hurleys hit gave the Wildcats the first lead of the ball game. Rookie Kyle Ritchie 10 entered in relief and in two pitches, Hurley stole third and then gave Johnson & Wales a two run lead. Ritchie was able to staunch the bleeding but the damage was done.

The Judges did not stay down for long though and responded in the bottom of the eighth inning. With runners on first and second with no outs, Sheehan once again delivered another excellent bunt which further helped by a throwing error from the catcher that cut the deficit to one. With runners on the corners, Brandeis demonstrated some bold aggressiveness on the base paths with a double steal. A gamble that worked as Mike Alfego 09 beat the tag and tied the game.

Unfortunately, Sheehan was later called out at home on a close play and both teams entered the last frame tied at nine.

Unfortunately, the relief pitching could not hold as James Collins 09 entered to shut down Johnson & Wales only to watch as the Wildcats used three hits, chief among them a pinch-hit RBI single by Eric Rapuano that gave the Wildcats the lead and the win.

Robinson threw for 6.1 innings of work, giving up five runs on six hits, four earned and five strikeouts. He picked up the no-decision. Collins took loss for the Judges, while rookie reliever Jeff Jordan earned the win for the Wildcats. Their starter, Greg Byron went six innings, surrendering three runs on seven hits;

all runs were earned and had four strikeouts.

Officiating was questionable late in the game. From close calls neither coach was happy about, to a conference between umps over a questionable strike three on the Wildcats that left neither side particularly thrilled. Normally, the rule of thumb is that the ump is always right but in Thursdays game, the quality was shaky to say the least.

Brandeis takes on Wheaton College in a double header on April 21 at home and then hop on the bus to Brunswick, ME to take on Bowdoin College. Brandeis returns to home action on April 25 against UMass-Boston.

Notes – Thursday was a Brandeis pep rally which attracted a crowd of 150 people by official count. Economics professor Michael Coiner threw the first pitch in lieu of President Reinharz. Voicemale performed the national anthem.

Menu Title