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Judges split week with two wins and two losses

By Gordy Stillman

Section: Sports

April 1, 2011

John McGrath ’11
photo by ingrid schulte/the hoot

Just more than a week ago, the Brandeis baseball team tied its season-high 12 runs in a 12-6 victory against Salve Regina University. The Judges also tied their season-high 14 hits.

Right-handed pitcher John McGrath ’11 led the Judges to victory despite a couple of early, unearned runs by the Seahawks’ Jason Sluberski and an RBI by Nicholas Baresse.

The Judges bit back with five runs in five hits not only to steal the lead, but widen the gap. The Judges followed it up in the third inning scoring another four runs on four hits despite a pitching change on the side of the Seahawks.

Second baseman Sean O’Hare ’12 made a big impact with a double in the second inning followed by a two-RBI single in the third. Shortstop Dom Schwartz ’14 assisted with RBI singles in both innings. These two players also did well on defense, executing a great double play in the third inning, with Schwartz passing to O’Hare with just enough time for O’Hare to shoot the ball over to first base.

While the Judges scored three more runs, the nine early in the game helped McGrath earn his third straight win (3-0) of the season after playing at least seven innings before letting a relief pitcher take over. This game tied season-high hits and runs with a game played against Drew University during the team’s Florida trip. Unlike that game, however, this time the Judges matched their season best on their own field.

Along with O’Hare and Schwartz, left fielder Nick Cortese ’13 had a three-hit game. O’Hare ended the game with three RBIs, two doubles, two stolen bases and a 3-5 record at the plate. Cortese, like O’Hare, went 3-5, while scoring two runs and batting in another two as RBIs. Schwartz ended with three hits, three runs and two RBIs; all three were career-bests.

After a great victory, the weekend was not favorable for the Judges. On March 27, the Judges dropped both games in a double-header as they hosted Framingham State by being out-scored 22-3 in the two games.

In the first game the Judges lost ground quickly as Framingham’s Christopher Blydell had a home run on the first at bat. Framingham loaded the bases with no outs and managed four runs before the Judges closed out the top of the inning.

The Judges initially stayed in the game, scoring three runs in the bottom of the first. O’Hare was walked to first followed by third baseman Jon Chu ’12 hitting a single and advancing O’Hare to scoring position. Catcher Chris Ferro ’13 followed suit with a single of his own, but made it to second base with an error by Framingham. Designated hitter Pat Nicholson ’11 brought Ferro home with another error before Framingham closed the inning at 4-3.

Framingham’s Rams took the game away in the second with another four runs. While keeping the Judges to five hits and no runs, during the rest of the game the Rams added insult to injury with six runs in the fifth and four more in the sixth inning.

Dylan Britton ’13 picked up his second loss of the season after the eight runs he allowed while the Ram’s Ryan Stoller picked up his first win of the season.

Hopes for a successful second game were slashed as the Rams’ pitcher Thommy Lindberg pitched a complete game, allowing only one hit and keeping the Judges scoreless for the whole game. Brandeis’ Tony Deshler ’11 got the only hit of the game, but lost out as Framingham’s infielders managed a double play to neutralize Deshler as a threat.

Cortese also became a threat after walking in the fifth inning, but was eliminated as Lindberg managed seven consecutive outs to finish the game with no threats in the later two innings.

Brandeis bounced back into winning form on Wednesday when they faced off against Suffolk University. Ferro led the way with a double and three RBIs in the 6-4 victory after nine innings.

Suffolk got on the board early with runs in the first and third innings to take a 2-0 lead before Brandeis staged a comeback, starting in the fourth starting with a single from Cortese. With help from Nicholsons and Ferro, Cortese made it around the bases. O’Hare finished the inning with a sacrifice hit to bring Nicholson and Ferro home and bring the lead to 3-2.

The Judges tore the lead open in the bottom of the fifth with another three runs. Britton, playing left field, reached on an error and made it to second with a sacrifice bunt by Schwartz. Followed by a collective effort not only to get him home, but also send Cortese and Nicholson around the bases again.

With a 6-3 lead, the Judges held onto a decent lead until a late-eighth inning run brought the game to within two. Luckily the Judges maintained their cool under pressure and ended the game without needing a bottom half to the ninth inning. McGrath earned another win while Tim Belanger of Suffolk suffered the loss.

The Judges ended their week with an 11-10 record and play next on Saturday as they host WPI in a double header.

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