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Baseball struggles in first games of the season

The Brandeis men’s baseball team started off their season this week with games on Monday against University of Massachusetts at Boston and on Tuesday against Salem State. The baseball team dropped both games, losing to UMass Boston 1-4 and Salem State 4-7.

The Judges started their season with an away game against third-ranked UMass Boston. Two pitchers took the mound for the Judges, both delivering solid performances in the loss. Sean O’Neill ’18 went three innings, allowing for three unearned runs and striking out five. Greg Tobin ’20 relieved O’Neill, going five innings with one earned run, one walk and four strikeouts.
The Judges were down 3-0 after the first inning until Brandeis managed to put themselves on the board in the top of the fourth inning. First baseman Isaac Fossas ’21 led off with a single before moving into scoring position on a passed ball. Dan Frey ’21 batted Fossas in with a double to right field, earning his first collegiate RBI. Unfortunately, the next three Judges were retired in order, stranding Frey on base.

The Judges weren’t able to produce any more runs after the fourth inning. UMass Boston extended their lead to 4-1 in the fifth but did not threaten after that. Brandeis put runners on the bases in the final three innings but couldn’t string enough hits together to translate them to additional runs.

Five Judges contributed to the team’s seven hits against UMass Boston, with right fielder Dan O’Leary ’20 and catcher Luke Hall ’21 each earning two hits.

The Judges were back in action again on Tuesday in an away game against Salem State, only to drop their second game of the season 7-4.

Tim Lopez ’20 started on the mound for Brandeis, lasting 2.2 innings and earning two runs, two walks and two strikeouts. Lopez managed to get himself out of trouble in the first inning, when he put Salem State runners on second and third before striking out the final batter of the inning to strand the two runners on base. Lopez struggled in the third inning, however, giving up two runs with two outs. Lopez was replaced by Mason Newman ’21, after Lopez gave up a walk to load the bases in the third inning with two outs. Newman retired his first batter with a groundout to first base. Newman was then replaced on the mound by Albert Gutierrez ’20 in the fourth inning.

The Salem State Vikings added another run in the fourth inning for a 3-0 lead over the Judges. The Judges answered with their first run of the game in the top of the fifth inning. Frey led off the inning against a new Salem State pitcher with a double to right field. Hall then produced a single with one out in the inning, moving runners to first and third. Left Fielder Alex Parrot ’21 hit Frey in with a sacrifice fly to center, putting the Judges on the board.

Salem State answered with four runs in the bottom of the fifth inning, extending their lead to six runs over the Judges.
Third baseman Mike Khoury ’21 led off the sixth inning with a walk and Shortstop Victor Oppenheimer followed with a single, putting two runners on base for the Judges. A fielder’s choice put Khoury on third base before he scored on Fossas’ sacrifice fly. Frey then added a run for the Judges with a triple to right field.

After two innings, Kyle Shedden ’20 replaced Gutierrez on the mound in the bottom of the sixth inning. Shedden pitched three scoreless innings to finish out the game with one walk and two strikeouts.

The Judges final attempt to come back came in the top of the eighth inning, when Oppenheimer knocked in Khoury who had walked to get on base and advanced on a wild pitch.

The Judges only earned five hits to produce four runs in Tuesday’s game, versus Salem State’s 12 hits to produce seven runs. Oppenheimer and Frey both had two hit nights, while Hall also added to the Judges’ stats.

The Brandeis baseball team returns to action this weekend with double headers against Bowdoin College and Western New England University at the New England Baseball Complex in Northborough, MA. The Judges will face Bowdoin on Saturday at noon and Western New England University on Sunday at the same time.

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