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Baseball shuts out MIT, falls to Babson, Fitchburg State

By zaronow

Section: Sports

April 4, 2008

In baseball, all it takes is one. One good pitch to hit the ball, one hit batsman to start a fight, and, as the Judges learned at Babson, one run to lose a game. One run was the difference as a furious rally fell short in the Judges’ 8-7 defeat to Fitchburg State.

Brandeis jumped out to a 4-0 lead thanks to a three run fourth inning that included a solo home run from Mike Alfego ’09 and a two run single from Drake Livada ’10. Fitchburg quickly erased the deficit with a two run homer from first baseman Kris Breen, tying the game up in the bottom of the fifth. A sacrifice fly in the bottom of the seventh gave Fitchburg the lead, and a wild pitch in the next frame capped a three run eighth inning that gave the Falcons the win. Brandeis rallied for three runs, but James Likis’10 struck out, ending the comeback and the game.

The winning pitcher was reliever Keith Weagle, who had two scoreless innings of relief; despite surrendering three runs, Dan Noel picked up the save. Charged with the loss was James Collins ’09, who gave up a run in the 1/3 of an inning he appeared in. Brandeis starter Drew Brzozowski ’10 got a no-decision after surrendering four runs in five innings pitched and picked up six strikeouts to his credit. Alfego, Likis, and Livada each had two hits as the Judges had nine on the day to Fitchburg’s 11. Both sides also had two errors. Brandeis’s second straight defeat came the day after an RBI single from Babson senior Steve Tahmoush in the 10th inning sent Brandeis home with the 5-4 loss.

Babson drew first blood in the bottom of the third inning, getting two runs across off starter Craig Letendre ’08 thanks to RBI’s from third baseman Jake Bartlett and catcher Brian Scanlon. The Judges climbed back though with a solo home run from second baseman John O’Brion ’10 in the top of the fourth, and in the next innings, RBI’s from Chuck Sheehan ’08 and Tony Deshler ’11 gave Brandeis the one run lead. Babson, though, would not quit, and in the bottom of the seventh, Scanlon’s second RBI of the game tied it up and Peter O’Toole’s single gave Babson the lead and chased out Judges reliever Justin Duncombe ’11. Babson coughed up the lead in the next inning, allowing Drake Livada to reach base on an error, and Artie Posch ’10 made them pay with an RBI single. There the game remained until Tahmoush’s single off of Pat Nicholson ’11 ended the evening.

The winning pitcher was Beaver’s reliever John Hudspeth, who went three innings surrendering one unearned run and had two strikeouts. Taking the loss was the Judges’ Kyle Ritchie ’10, who was charged with the game winning run. Ritchie went three innings surrendering no hits and had six strikeouts. Malcolm Cone-Coleman ’08 and Livada each had two hits on the day, accounting for half of the Judges’ eight hits. Babson was powered by Scanlon who went 3-4 with 2 RBI’s. Babson had 11 hits on the day and survived two errors.

The loss follows a brilliant display of pitching from Rocco Toppi ’08 and Tyler Robinson ’08. Toppi and Robinson combined for a three hit shut out, and a wild pitch plated the winning run as Brandeis picked up their third win in a row, defeating the Massachusets Institute of Technology by a 2-0 margin. In the top of the third, Sheehan reached first on a throwing error, and two hit batsman loaded the bases, setting up MIT starter Kyle Adkins’ wild pitch which plated Sheehan and earned Brandeis the win. Brandeis added an insurance run as two errors and an RBI single from Malcolm Cone-Coleman brought in Drake Livada.

Rocco Toppi earned his third win of the season while Adkins got branded with the loss. MIT had more errors (4) than hits (3) in the game.

The Judges are now 8-5 on the season and hit the road on April 5th as they take on Springfield College. They continue on their swing with games at Tufts on April 8th and at WPI the next day. The Judges return to home action on the 11th as they play host to Bridgewater State.

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