Baseball starts season with best record since ’02

February 28, 2020

In the first game of the season, the Brandeis Judges baseball team won easily 14-2 against the Elmira Soaring Eagles. This game was played in Winter Haven, FL on Feb. 17. This game was the first of two games against Elmira. 

Everything for Brandeis started off well. First baseman Isaac Fossas ’21 hit a two-run home run in the top of the first inning to give the Judges the lead. The Judges did not score again until the fourth inning when shortstop Drew Michaud ’23 hit a single to drive third baseman Brian King ’23 home. Brandeis did not stop there as in the fifth inning, catcher Luke Hall ’21 hit a clutch two out two run triple to keep the inning alive. Second basemen Victor Oppenheimer ’20 made sure that the runner at third would not be left on base as he hit a single to drive Hall home. King scored again later, and Michaud got his first run of the season. The Judges ended up scoring one run in the seventh, four in the eighth, and one in the ninth. 

Pitcher Greg Tobin ’20 pitched a strong game, going six innings and allowing only two runs on seven hits and one walk. He struck out six batters and gave up no home runs through 25 batters. Tobin threw 82 pitches and 55 strikes in total. Mason Newman ’21 then came into the game in the seventh inning and faced seven batters before he was done for the day. Newman allowed zero hits and one walk while striking out one batter. He threw 28 pitches and 18 strikes in total. Gavin Dauer ’22 finished the game facing three batters and struck out one of them. He allowed no hits or walks. 

It was a big day for the offense as Hall led that way going four for five with two singles, a double, and a triple as he was a home run short of the cycle. Fossas and Oppenheimer added three hits of their own to contribute to the offensive explosion. Ultimately the team had 19 hits. Starting off the season with a big win, the Brandeis Judges are hoping to keep it up for the rest of the season.

The Judges scored 14 runs against the Elmira Soaring Eagles just a day before scoring double digits again with a total of 11 runs on Feb. 18. This game was played in Winter Haven, Florida against the Bates College Bobcats. 

Once again, Brandeis got ahead in the first inning as left fielder Sam Nugent ’23 scored on a double play from Fossas. The inning continued as catcher Hall hit a clutch two out two run home runs to also score center fielder Dan Frey ’21 following his two out single. The game remained close, however, when Elmira scored two runs in the bottom of the first. Both teams went one, two, three in the second before scoring more runs in the third. Right fielder Mike Khoury ’21 drove in a run with a single and second basemen Oppenheimer drove in two more, again with two outs. The Judges scored a run in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings to hold a substantial seven-run lead against the Bobcats. The Bobcats made the game interesting by scoring three runs in the bottom of the seventh inning. Ultimately, Brandeis pulled away as they scored two more runs in the 8th inning, which put them up six runs and outside of grand slam range. 

Tim Lopez ’20 pitched five solid innings as he struck out eight batters on his way to the win. He allowed only one hit but walked four to allow only two runs. Marc Maestri ’22 followed him in the sixth and pitched an inning and a third. Christian Tejada ’23 closed the game pitching two and a third inning. 

The key to the victory for the Judges in this game was their timely hitting. Out of the 11 runs scored in the game, eight of them were scored with two outs. Nugent led the team in hits as he went five for five with five singles. Oppenheimer had three hits, while King and Khoury added two hits of their own. In the end, the team had 14 hits as they continued their offensive dominance to move 2-0. 

The Judges continued their dominance by defeating the Augustana University Vikings 11-5 on Feb. 22. The Judges got on the board early and never looked back. 

In the top of the first inning, second baseman Oppenheimer doubled to get the Brandeis on the board scoring catcher Hall and right fielder Khoury. Two batters later, designated hitter Tommy Sand ’21 hit a double and scored two more runs. Overall, Brandeis scored four runs with two outs to hold a 4-0 lead through the first inning. The Judges were leading in the second inning. Hall started off the scoring by hitting a single to score two runs. Oppenheimer continued the rally as he also hit a single and scored two more runs. Two batters later the Judges scored again on another single from Sand. The second inning was extremely rough for the Vikings as they had four errors and allowed five hits. With just two innings, the Judges scored nine runs putting a nearly insurmountable lead through only the first two innings. Brandeis scored again late in the game in the 7th and 8th innings. 

Tobin ’20 pitched an incredible game going six innings—allowing just two hits. He struck out seven batters and allowed only two walks. Newman picked up the game after that and pitched two innings. He allowed a single earned run and struck out two batters. He was followed by Tejada for two thirds of an inning. Asher Kaplan ’23 pitched the final third of an inning by getting the last batter to fly out to right field. 

The offense showed up early, making the game a blowout from the start. Brandeis never gave up the lead as they won by six runs. Oppenheimer led the team in hits with three and RBI’s with five. Sand, Fossas, Brian Garcia ’21 and Steven Simon ’23 had two hits each. The team overall had 14 hits and four extra base hits. After another strong win, the Brandeis baseball team moves to 5-0 for the season and hopes to continue to be an offensive powerhouse.

For his achievements during these competitions, Hall was awarded UAA Baseball Hitter of the Week for the week ending on Feb. 23. He hit .500 with a .522 OBP and a 1.000 slugging percentage. With this, the Judges are off to their best start since 2002 as they begin the season with a 5-0 record.

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