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Baseball team struggles in UAA tourney

By Charlie Romanow

Section: Sports

March 14, 2014

The baseball team travelled to Sanford, Florida, for the University Athletic Championship which takes place from March 9 to March 16.

Brandeis began the tournament on the wrong end of a 9-8 score against Case Western Reserve University. The Judges began the game strong with Brian Ing ’14 scoring in the first on a single by Tom McCarthy ’15. The Spartans responded in the bottom of the inning with two runs of their own on four straight hits. Brandeis went on to score at least one run in each of the next six innings, leading 7-2 in the sixth. Runs in the third, fourth and fifth innings were gained through two sacrifice bunts and a sac fly. Case would not add to the scoreboard until the sixth when they scored one run. Down by five, Case rallied in the eighth to come within one. Jordan Dague hit a two-run homer in the frame. The following two batters reached on walks and advanced on a passed ball. They both reached home within the next two at-bats.

Brandeis still had the advantage in the top of the ninth when Dan Gad ’14 reached on a single and was replaced on the bases by Sam Miller ’16. Miller stole second and reached third on a Connor Doyle ’16 single. The two base runners were unable to reach home though, each getting out trying to advance. Still up by one, pitcher Liam Coughlin ’17 got the first batter of the bottom of the ninth to ground out. Kerrigan Cain doubled down the left field line. The potential winning run, Dague, reached on a walk. Both runners advanced on a groundout to put the win within one out. William Meador doubled to left field to bring home both runners and win the game.

Despite the loss, Brandeis had some good individual performances on offense. Ing was 3-3 with three runs, a double, RBI and two walks. Greg Heineman ’16, McCarthy and Max Hart ’16 each managed two hits. Hart had a double and a steal. Leadoff hitter Liam O’Connor ’16 had two RBI’s and a steal. Kyle Brenner ’15 started on the mound and allowed six earned runs on 14 hits in seven and two thirds innings through 111 pitches. He struck out and walked three batters. Coughlin was placed with the loss in his one inning on the mound.

Case’s Noah Sherman was 4-5 with two RBI’s. Cain was 3-4 with three runs. Andrew Gronski, Andrew Frey and Dague each had two hits. Dague scored twice. Meador led the game with three RBI’s. The Spartans had five pitchers take the mound, none throwing for more than three innings or 45 pitches. Andrew Rossman and Ray Kelly did not allow an earned run in the final three and one third innings. Kelly received his second win of the season, allowing one hit and striking out one in the final inning. The Spartans are currently 10-1.

The Judges lost the following day 8-3 to Washington University in St. Louis.

The team redeemed themselves on Tuesday, defeating the University of Rochester 3-2. They began the game bringing in two runs. Ing started the offense with a double to center. Heineman reached on a walk, and both runners advanced on a wild pitch. McCarthy grounded out to score Ing and Kyle Brenner doubled to center field to score Heineman from third. The Yellow Jackets scored a run of their own in the frame as leadoff hitter Ethan Sander walked, stole second, advanced to third on an out and scored on a single by Nate Schultz. Rochester tied the game in the third after Schultz doubled to left field to bring home a runner. Rochester would have the bases loaded with one out, but Colin Markel ’14 was able to strike out the final two batters swinging to get out of the jam. The Judges had a weak spell between the second and sixth innings, with no runners reaching third. They mounted their final push in the seventh as O’Connor singled to center, Ing singled to right and each advanced to second and third respectively. Heineman followed this by getting out at first, but drove in O’Connor. The remainder of the game was fairly quiet, as Brandeis walked away on top.

Ing led the offense going 3-5 with a double and a run. Markel pitched a stellar 108 pitch complete game, allowing two runs on nine hits while striking out and walking two. This was his first start on the mound since Feb. 23 of last year and first win of the season. Yellow Jacket Lance Hamilton went 3-4 and Schultz was 4-5 with two RBI’s. David Strandberg pitched 5 2/3 allowing four hits, two runs and four walks. Andrew Crean got the loss, finishing the game allowing one run and four hits over 3 1/3. The Yellow Jackets stand at 0-5.

Brandeis lost the following day to then 24th-ranked Case 16-6 in eight innings. They followed this game up with back-to-back games, first a 5-3 win against Wash. U and then a 10-6 loss to Emory University. The teams win over the Bears featured a 4-4 performance by McCarthy and a win by Bring Ing, allowing three runs in eight innings.

Through the first dozen games, Ing leads the offense with a .439 batting average, .610 slugging percentage, .477 on-base percentage, nine runs and five doubles. McCarthy and Doyle are also taking charge on offense, each hitting over .350. Ing and Brenner have had stellar seasons on the mound with 1.93 and 3.78 earned run averages respectively.

The team is 6-6 overall after Thursday’s games and 2-4 in the conference. They conclude the UAA Tournament this weekend against Rochester and Emory and will return home next week with games against Bridgewater State University, Wentworth Institute of Technology and Worcester Polytechnic Institute on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday.

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