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Baseball continues to struggle, dropping four straight games

By Brian Tabakin

Section: Sports

March 23, 2012
After getting their first win of the UAA tournament in Florida last week, the baseball team was looking to build on that victory and begin a winning streak. Unfortunately, the Judges failed to sustain any momentum from their victory against Case Western, dropping the final two games of the UAA tournament to Rochester and Case Western, 6-4 and 9-1 respectively.

Rochester jumped out to an early lead this past Friday, forcing the Judges once again to attempt to come back from an early deficit.

Rochester immediately scored in the first inning after center fielder Alex Caghan was hit by a pitch to lead off and to steal second. Second-baseman Ethan Sander then followed with a single to put runners on the corners. The Judges’ starting pitcher Kyle Brenner ’15 induced a double play off of a groundball on the next play to limit the damage but Rochester was able to plate a run. Rochester tacked on two more runs in the fourth inning off of an RBI double from first-baseman Nick Carlson, as well as a sacrifice fly from left fielder Dominic Caruso.

In the bottom of the fifth inning, Brandeis pulled within one run. Third-baseman Brian Ing ’14 led off the frame with a walk and then center fielder Zach Malis ’12 drove him home with an RBI double to left. Malis then scored on an error by the Rochester shortstop after left fielder Dylan Britton ’13 bunted him over to third.

Unfortunately for the Judges, Rochester again extended their lead in the seventh inning. Carlson and Caruso led off the frame with back-to-back singles and following a balk by Brenner, with both runners moving into scoring position. Carlson scored on a sacrifice fly and Caruso scored on a single before Brenner got another double-play to avoid further damage in the inning.

The Judges would once again pull within one run in the bottom of the seventh. Ing led off the inning with a single. Two batters later, shortstop Dom Schwartz ’14 singled to left and then Sean O’Hare ’12 doubled to left center to drive in Ing. Catcher Kenny Destremps then followed hitting a ball to shortstop that was booted by Rochester allowing Schwartz to score; however, O’Hare also tried to score and he was gunned down at the plate for the final out of the inning.

Rochester added another run in the eighth and Brandeis was unable to mount another rally.

Even though Brenner took the loss to fall to 2-2 on the season, he once again had pitched deep into the game, going eight innings allowing 11 hits and six earned runs.

Brandeis looked to finish the UAA tournament with a win the following day when they faced Case Western Reserve for the second time in three days.

The Judges jumped out to an early lead in the top of the first inning following a single from O’Hare. After a fielder’s choice resulted in an out at second, a balk moved another runner into scoring position. Following a groundout, Brenner drove home a run with a two-out RBI single.

Unfortunately, for the Judges, Case was able to jump all over starting pitcher Pat Nicholson M.A. ’12, tagging him for seven runs in the first two innings. After falling into a 7-1 hole, the Judges were unable to muster any comeback.

This is becoming a pattern for the Judges. When they get good pitching, they struggle to score runs, and when they are scoring runs, they aren’t pitching well. The Judges left the UAA tournament hoping to establish some consistency as they returned to Brandeis for the home opener.

In their home opener, the Judges faced Bridgewater State. Unfortunately, the Judges got plastered, losing 19-4. Second-baseman Sean Riley led the Bridgewater Bears with a career day in which he went 4-of-5 at the plate, including two doubles and a home run, with a walk scoring five runs and driving in six.

First-baseman David Pierce, Riley’s teammate, also had a spectacular game going 2-of-5 with a walk, triple, five RBIs and three runs scored. In total, 10 different players registered hits for Bridgewater with five of the 10 getting at least two hits. In a remarkable feat, Bridgewater batted around the order in three different innings, scoring nine times in the first, four times in the second and four times in the sixth.

The Judges had success hitting the ball, with 11 different players combining for 13 hits off of Bridgewater starter Bryant Warner; however, the Judges simply were unable to plate any runs.

The Judges’ first run came in the seventh inning and then they tacked on three more in the eighth. While the Judges could only muster four runs on 13 hits, Bridgewater scored an extremely efficient 19 runs on 18 hits.

The following day, Brandeis faced Wentworth hoping to bounce back from the shellacking they took the previous day.

Against Wentworth, Brandeis once again had to attempt to rally from a 5-2 deficit. Unlike in previous games, the Judges were able to rally successfully, plating runs in the sixth, eighth and ninth innings, holding Wentworth scoreless and sending the game into extra innings knotted up at 5-5. Unfortunately, in the 10th inning, the Judges committed two unforced errors that allowed Wentworth to score six runs. Thus, the Judges’ comeback attempt came short once again as the team lost 11-5.

In the 10th inning, Wentworth aggressively went after three different Brandeis pitchers. Wentworth’s first baseman Kevin McKenzie led off the extra frame with an eight-pitch walk. Scott Oullette bunted McKenzie over to second during the next at-bat and then center fielder Paul Dassau singled to shallow center to put runners on the corners. During the next at-bat, Dassau stole second putting two Wentworth runners in scoring position with just one out. Left fielder Alex Wong then hit a weak grounder to second that was booted, preventing the Judges from limiting the Leopards to a single run while getting an out on the play.

Wentworth took advantage of the Judges’ miscue as they proceeded to score four more runs in the inning, putting the game out of reach for the Judges.

The Judges will host Framingham State this Sunday at 1 p.m.

 

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