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As baseball’s losing streak continues, season getting out of hand

By Brian Tabakin

Section: Sports

March 30, 2012

The baseball team failed to break out of their slump this past week as they dropped all three of their games to fall to 5-16 (1-7 UAA) on the season. The team has now lost 13 of their past 14 games by an average of 5.5 runs.

This past Sunday, the Judges faced Framingham State.

Once again, as has become a pattern all season, the Judges found themselves in an early hole as Framingham scored three runs in the top of the second on five hits with three Brandeis throwing errors allowing runners to advance.

Following the second inning, the game evolved into a pitching duel between Pat Nicholson M.A. ’12 and Ryan Stoller. While Nicholson allowed base runners in every frame outside of the second inning, he avoided trouble by making use of double plays in the fourth and seventh. Nicholson pitched nine innings and finished with two strikeouts and two walks while allowing three runs on 12 hits.

Brandeis broke through against Stoller in the bottom of the eighth. With one out, pinch hitter Brian Ing ’14 worked a five-pitch walk. He moved to second on a groundout and then scored from second when centerfielder Zach Malis ’12 knocked a grounder toward second and then beat the play at first. Pat Seaward ’15 then singled to put runners on the corners, and Framingham immediately pulled Stoller from the game, replacing him with Patrick Murray. Murray quickly got out of the inning, inducing a groundout from the next batter to end the inning.

After Nicholson pitched a scoreless ninth, the Judges scored two unearned runs in the bottom of the frame to force extra innings. Catcher Kenny Destremps ’12 lined a one-out double to right field that forced Framingham to replace Murray with Brendan Busa. Busa quickly got the second out with a grounder to third base but, during the next at-bat, shortstop Brian Allen ’15 hit a grounder to second base, which was thrown away, allowing Destremps to score and put the tying run in scoring position. Ing followed, lining a 1-1 pitch to left field to tie the game at 3-3.
In the 10th inning, Framingham scored two runs in the top of the frame to go ahead 5-3, and Brandeis was unable to capitalize when they had runners on the corners during the bottom of the frame.

The next day, the Judges traveled to Salem State to attempt to rebound from their tough extra inning loss.

Despite a career-best four RBIs from first baseman Dan Gad ’14, the team could not overcome Salem starter Matt Kerr who pitched seven innings of two-hit ball.

Kerr allowed only one run—unearned—and struck out seven while Brandeis starter Colin Markel ’14 went six innings, giving up three earned runs on eight hits to go along with one strikeout and three walks.

The Vikings scored a run in the first and second innings to open up an early 2-0 lead. Brandeis would get on the board in the third inning after a Salem error allowed Malis to reach base. Malis then stole second and scored on an RBI single by Gad.

Salem started to pull away in the fifth and sixth innings, scoring two runs in the fifth and another run in the sixth. Then Salem put the game on ice tacking on another three runs in the seventh inning to go ahead 8-1.

Brandeis tried to mount a comeback in the closing frames of the game. In the ninth inning, Allen led off with a triple. An RBI groundout drove Allen home to cut the Judges’ deficit to six. Brandeis then loaded the bases on a hit batter, a walk and a single. Gad launched a double to right field to clear the bases and pull Brandeis within three; however, the Judges were unable to get any closer as Salem immediately got the final out of the game during the next at bat.

A few days later, the team returned home to face Western New England. Unfortunately, the Judges quickly fell in an early hole, yet again.

The Golden Bears quickly jumped all over Brandeis start Kyle Brenner ’15, scoring two runs in the second, third and fourth innings. Western New England tacked on another run in the top of the sixth and took a commanding 7-0 lead entering the bottom of the frame.
Nicholson opened up the bottom of the sixth with a triple down the right field line that bounced under the glove of the right fielder and rolled all the way to the outfield wall. Destremps quickly drove Nicholson home, jumping on the first pitch he saw for an RBI single, but the Judges could not muster any more offense in the frame.

In the top of the eighth inning, the Golden Bears added on two more runs to go ahead 9-1.
The Judges plated another run in the bottom of the eighth when Nicholson doubled with one out and the bases empty. Two batters later, third baseman Tom McCarthy ’15 hit a laser to shortstop that took a friendly bounce and hopped off the shortstop’s glove and into left field allowing Nicholson to score again; however, Brandeis did not score again for the rest of the game, and ultimately fell 10-2 after the Golden Bears added yet another run in the top of the ninth.

Brandeis will attempt to snap their long losing skid when they play a double-header against Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) this Saturday with the first game starting at noon.

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