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Baseball continues to struggle, goes winless this week

By Kara Karter

Section: Sports

April 16, 2010

Three strikes: Brandeis short-stop Sean O’Hare ‘10 (No. 11, left) nearly catches a Tufts baserunner during a home game, last season.
PHOTO BY Max Shay/The Hoot

It proved a forgettable week for the Brandeis baseball team. Of six scheduled games, only four were played. And, despite the continued offensive prowess of Judges leftfielder Chris Ferro ’13, the Judges lost all four matches. They have suffered defeats in seven straight games and now sit at 8-18 on the year.

On April 9, the Judges were slated to host Western New England College in a game originally scheduled for April 2.

With Waltham collecting .74 inches of rain on the day, the game was canceled yet again.

An April 14 matchup against Suffolk (postponed from March 31) suffered the same fate. Due to class conflicts, neither contest will be made up.

Brandeis did take the field on Sunday for a doubleheader against Worcester Polytechnic Institute’s Engineers (18-6).

Brandeis scored first in the opener, plating an unearned run in the top of the first. In the bottom of the inning, WPI evened the score.

Though Drew Brzozowski ’10 struck out the side, he allowed two hits in the frame, including an RBI double down the right field line by WPI senior Mike Swanton. The Engineers – playing small ball – took the lead in the second.

After leadoff man Mark Dignum ’10 was hit by a pitch, a wild pitch and pair of groundouts brought him home.

Brandeis tied the game in the top of the third. Back-to-back-to-back singles by James Likis ’10, Jon Chu ’12 and Ferro resulted in a run.

However, the Engineers immediately responded, scoring three runs in the bottom of the inning, two on a home run from sophomore rightfielder Mitch McClune. The towering shot to center was McClune’s first home run of the season.

The hosts scored four more in the fourth, sandwiching five hits around a pair of outs as they jumped ahead to a 9-2 lead.

The teams traded runs in the following frame, and the scoring ended there.

At the end of the day, WPI would leave with a 10-3 victory.

No Judges player amassed more than one hit in the opener, while 5 WPI players tallied at least two Overall, the Engineers outhit the Judges by a 15-6 margin.

The nightcap told a similar story. After a one-two-three top of the first, WPI scored six in the home half of the inning.

The six hits allowed by Brandeis starter Mike Swerdloff ’13 included four singles, a double and a bases-clearing triple by Cody McGregor ’10. WPI threatened again in the third before mounting another rally in the fourth. Rather than rely on the long ball, the Engineers used six singles to score four runs.

The 10-0 lead proved more than enough, as WPI starter Alex Julian held the Judges to two hits over five innings.

Brandeis scored its only run of the game on a Joe Galli ’12 single in the team’s last at-bat.

Every WPI starter collected at least one hit in a contest the Judges lost 10-1.

Brandeis totaled only five hits – two belonging to junior Eric Rosenberg – to the Engineers’ 18.

The Judges remained in Worcester for a Tuesday matchup against the Worcester State Lancers (17-5-1).

The Lancers would plate the game’s first runs in the bottom of the second by way of a sacrifice fly and a single.

The Judges took one back in the fourth on a one-out homer by Ferro. It was Ferro’s team-leading fourth home run of the season and the first of many long balls on a day that saw five shots leave the yard.

The positive feeling was quickly erased, as Worcester State scored seven runs on six hits and batted around in the bottom of the inning. Most of the damage came as a result of a pair of three-run shots from a pair of juniors. After Corey McDonald took starter Dylan Britton ’13 deep, Paul Rodriguez did the same to reliever Nick Pollack ’10. The Lancers added three more in the seventh. Despite a late charge which saw homers from Tony Deshler ’11 and Rosenberg, the 12-1 deficit was too large to overcome, as Brandeis fell 12-4.

On Thursday, Brandeis hoped to cook up a win against Johnson and Wales University (11-22 and winners of six straight) in Providence. Instead, they dropped drop another decision, suffering a walk-off loss at the hands of the Wildcats.

Though the Judges again plated the first run, they, just as rapidly, lost the lead. In the bottom of the first, Johnson and Wales jumped ahead 2-1 on an RBI single and groundout. The Judges tied the score at 2, and, despite falling behind 7-2, clawed their way to a comeback. In the top of the eighth, Brandeis again evened the score. Sophomore Sean O’Hare played the role of hero for a day, belting a grand slam which evened the score at seven-all.

Still, it was not enough. JWU’s Teddy Katz ’11 capped a 4-for-5 performance with a solo shot in the bottom of the ninth that sent the Wildcats to an 8-7 victory.

Deshler had another productive game for Brandeis, going 3-for-5 with two runs scored. Chu also had a 3-for-5 afternoon, scoring one run and driving in two.

The Judges return to action at home on Saturday in hopes of snapping their losing streak. They will tangle twice with Babson College (18-10). First pitch is slated to be thrown at noon.

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