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One win, two losses, three postponements for baseball team

By Kara Karter

Section: Sports

April 23, 2010

ROOKIE ATTEMPT: Dylan Britton ‘10 faces off against an Amhearst hitter in Tuesday’s game.
PHOTO BY Max Shay/The Hoot

Losers of seven straight games, and nine of ten overall, the Brandeis baseball team entered weekend play starved for a win.

At long last, the hunger was satiated.

Still, even this didn’t go entirely according to plan. With scheduled games against Framingham State and Wheaton College postponed (and no makeup dates yet announced), the Judges took the diamond Sunday against Babson College (20-11). Though the teams were originally slated to play on Brandeis’ home turf, better field conditions at Babson resulted in the game’s relocation to nearby Wellesley. The hosts turned visitors got on the board first, plating a trio of runs in the top of the second. Eric Rosenberg ’11 opened the inning with a single up the middle and reached third base on a base hit from rightfielder John O’Brion ’10. Rosenberg came home on a sac fly from Zach Malis ’12 and, following a walk, two more scored when senior James Likis slapped a two-out double into the right centerfield gap.

Babson negated Likis’ double when, in the bottom of the frame, rookie third baseman Chris Kutcher slugged his team leading sixth home run of the season. The drive, which hit a tree in center field, cut Brandeis’ lead to 3-2.

The Beavers pulled ahead in the following inning. After errors by Likis and Judges pitcher Drew Brzozowski ’10, a double and single gave Babson a 5-2 advantage.

Following the third, Brzozowski settled down in a major way. He allowed only one more hit in the game’s remaining four innings on route to a complete game six-hitter. The effort marked Brzozowski’s third complete game of the season and the sixth of his career.

The Brandeis bats weren’t done. With security on the mound, the Judges scored seven times in the game’s final three frames. Most of the damage was done in the top of the seventh. Nick Cortese ’13 singled home a man before a Malis opposite-field smash added three runs to the Judges’ tally.

Every Brandeis hitter collected at least one hit in what was a 10-5 road victory. In addition to Malis’ 4-RBI day, Rosenberg batted an impressive 4-for-4 with two runs scored. Cortese, who entered as a pinch-runner in the Brandeis sixth, scored two times.

Though the Brandeis-Babson battle was scheduled to be a twin bill, Mother Nature had other ideas. It rained intermittently throughout the opener, but not enough to halt play. In the second contest, a thirty-minute rain delay featuring bits of hail caused the game to be called in the top of the fifth inning. At the time, Brandeis was ahead 5-3. With the score 3-3 after four, and Babson unable to come to the plate in the bottom of the fifth, the affair could not be counted as an official game.

The Judges played a home game as scheduled—the team’s first in three weeks—the following Monday versus Amherst College (14-9). For three innings, the Judges and Lord Jeffs traded zeros, with neither team allowing much in the way of base runners. Brandeis struck first in the fourth. Likis, the first batter of the inning, slugged an offering from Amherst pitcher Dylan Joyce over the left-field wall for his first home run of the season. Two batters later, rookie Chris Ferro slapped a double to right. He came home on a two-strike, two-out single from Rosenberg.

Amherst got one back in the top of the fifth, scoring a run on an infield hit, a steal, another single and a wild pitch.

The inning proved Brandeis starter Dylan Britton’s ’13 only blemish in arguably the best start of his young career.

Over the first six innings, Britton allowed only three hits and one run while striking out two and walking one. He left the mound three times after eliminating the side in order.

An offensive outburst in the Amherst seventh would make Britton’s effort for naught, however. After hitting the leadoff man and being yanked in favor of reliever Alex Tynan ’12, Britton could only watch as four Brandeis relievers combined to allow Amherst to score eight runs on seven hits, two walks and another hit batsman.

Three of the seven hits were doubles, including the only multiple RBI hit of the frame, a two-run two-bagger by Alex Coburn ’11. Amherst tacked on an insurance pair—by way of three more doubles—in the eighth, on way to an 11-2 rout.

For the third game in a row, Brandeis saw a striking performance from its starting pitchers. In the wake of gems from Brzozowski and Britton, John McGrath ’11 carried on the trend Wednesday against Endicott College (22-12). The New York native tossed 8.2 innings of eight hit, three run ball while striking out four in a game the Judges would ultimately lose 4-3 in 11 innings.

Both teams scored their initial runs in the fourth inning, but, as the road team, the Judges did so first. And they did it without a hit to their credit. Jon Chu ’12 and Ferro led off the inning with a pair of walks. After a groundout moved Chu to third, he trotted home on a sacrifice fly from Rosenberg.

In the bottom of the frame, Endicott scored twice, the first on a double from senior designated hitter Aaron Santos and the second on an error at first base by Rosenberg.

Brandeis evened the score in the top of the sixth on a bases loaded walk, and went ahead in the seventh, courtesy of a Chu single to short.

With the Gulls of Endicott mounting a two-out rally in the eighth, the score would soon be evened at three-all.

With extra innings in sight, the Judges were surely hoping for a better result than the walk-off defeat they suffered to Johnson and Wales six days before. However, it was not so.

After a scoreless tenth, and a one-two-three top of the eleventh, Endicott led off its half of the inning against Mike Swerdloff ’13 with a walk. After a bunt, advanced runner Colin Sitarz ’12 to second, Joe Kasabuski ’13 hit the game winning single into the left-centerfield gap.

Ferro led Brandeis by batting a perfect 3-for-3 with a walk. Chu and Rosenberg were the other Judges with multi-hit games, collecting two apiece.

With the loss, the Judges now sit at 9-20 on the year.

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