Baseball plays big games before possible end of season

March 13, 2020

On Tuesday, March 3, the Brandeis Judges baseball team took their first loss of the season to the Endicott Seagulls in a close game that ended with a score of 8-9. This game was the first loss after winning five games in a row to start off the season. The Judges led for a majority of the game before getting roughed up in the bottom of the ninth and losing the lead. 

Both teams were held scoreless for two innings before Brandeis took a large lead in the top of the third inning. Left fielder Tommy Sand ’21 led the inning off with a double to left field to get the team’s first hit of the game. After a single from shortstop Drew Michaud ’23, the Judges would score two runs on a triple from designated hitter Alex Parrott ’21 and a single from center fielder Sam Nugent ’23. Another run would come from a walk by third baseman Brian King ’23 and a walk by the Endicott pitcher causing right fielder Mike Khoury ’21 to score. The Judges would score the final two runs of the inning on a single by second baseman Victor Oppenheimer ’20. Brandeis would not score again until the sixth inning on a home run by Michaud. The final run would come on a fielding error by the Seagulls as Oppenheimer hit the ball toward the Endicott second baseman and reached on an error, leading to the final run from Brandeis from Nugent. 

Greg Tobin ‘21 cruised through four innings of pitching before running into trouble in the fifth inning. He allowed four hits and three runs in the bottom of the fifth inning. Tobin would allow one more run in the sixth inning before getting pulled from the game with two outs in the bottom of the seventh. He would finish the game allowing seven hits, four runs, two walks and three strikeouts. Pitcher Mason Newman ’21 would follow but he would struggle to finish his one and a third innings as he would allow three runs on three hits. In the bottom of the ninth with one out, Christian Tejada ’23 would come into the game with the bases loaded and surrender one walk and one hit. However, the Seagulls would score the final two runs to win the game on an error and a fielder’s choice to lose the game in the bottom of the ninth. The Judges moved to 5-1 before playing two games against Bowdoin.  

Just four days after the loss to Endicott, the Judges lost a pair of games against the Bowdoin Polar Bears with a score 2-8 in both games. After averaging nearly 12 runs a game for the first six games of the season, the Judges’ offense was nearly shut down, as they scored only two runs in both games. Their string of hot offensive games finally cooled down against the Polar Bears. 

In the opener, Brandeis would not get its first run until the sixth inning. This run came from a home run by right fielder Mike Khoury ’21. Beyond the home run in the sixth and a double to right field in the first inning by first baseman Isaac Fossas ’21, the only other hits by the Judges came via a single by Oppenheimer and a run batted in (RBI) single from designated hitter Dan O’Leary ’20. Beyond Khoury, Fossas, Oppenheimer and O’Leary, the team was held hitless in seven innings. 

Pitcher Kyle Shedden ’20 started the game and nearly went the entire game. He pitched six innings, had six strikeouts and no walks, but he allowed six runs on seven hits. He pitched into the final inning of the game but had to be pulled after allowing a home run and a single to back to back batters. Donnie Wessie lll ’20 finished the game, but he struggled with command, as he allowed three walks, two runs and a hit in just an inning. 

In the second game of the day, the Judges would score only in the fourth inning. Already down six runs when going into the fourth inning, Fossas would start the inning off with a single. Catcher Luke Hall ’21 immediately followed with a triple to right center field. With a rally starting, King hit a sacrifice fly to score Hall from third base. However, the rally did not continue. Those would be the only runs that the Judges would score the entire game. 

Pitcher Cam Roberts ’22 started the game but he struggled to have his best stuff, as he pitched only two and two-thirds innings and allowed six runs on six hits. He did strike out five batters. Asher Kaplan ’23 followed for three and a third innings, but he also labored quickly, as he allowed five hits and two runs. Jackson Carman ’20 pitched a clean ninth inning to end the game. 

In both games, the Judges struggled to get the offense going, as they were unable to get many hits. Even when they did get hits, they were unable to string a bunch of them together to score runs. The pitching staff was unable to be consistent throughout both games, leading to sixteen runs being scored on them in the two games. Following these two games, the Brandeis Judges’ record went to 5-3. 

To bounce back from these losses, the Judges got a win in the first game of a double header against the Western New England Golden Bears with a score of 13-1. However, in the second game of this matchup, the Judges lost by a score of 0-4. The win broke a three-game losing streak and showed how effective their offense can be. 

In the opener, the Judges scored quickly in the second inning after a leadoff double from Hall and a single from Sand. They would score one more run in the fourth inning before having a huge offensive explosion in the fifth inning when Brandeis scored 11 runs on eight hits. Oppenheimer, King, Michaud, Khoury, Fossas, Hall and Sand all had RBIs in the inning. Michaud, Khoury, Fossas and Hall all hit home runs in the inning with the final three coming back to back to back. Michaud’s home run was a grand slam to left field. This offensive explosion would be the last of the runs that the Judges scored for the rest of the game. 

Tobin pitched an absolute gem against Western New England. He pitched a complete game and allowed only one run, striking out thirteen batters and walking no one. He was nearly unhittable, as he let in only four hits. This strong pitching performance helped lead Brandeis to the win in addition to the big fifth inning.

In the second game of the double header the Judges were held scoreless. They had only three hits the entire game. Two of the three hits came in the bottom of the third inning. Designated hitter Liam Kennedy ’21 hit a single to left center, and Nugent hit a single up the middle of the infield. Even though these hits came in the same inning, they did not result in a run being scored. Fossas would hit a single to left field to lead off the bottom of the fourth inning, but nothing would materialize in the inning as he was later thrown out trying to steal second base. 

Newman made the start, but he struggled early into the game. In the first inning he allowed back-to-back home runs and therefore gave the Golden Bears an early three run lead. He settled down after the first and allowed only one hit before the seventh inning. In the top of the seventh inning he allowed another home run to the first batter of the inning. Tejada finished the inning, allowing a hit and a walk but no runs. Additionally, just after scoring 13 runs in a game earlier that day, the Judges were held scoreless. With the win and the loss, the Brandeis moves to a record of 6-4 on the season.

As of print time, Brandeis Athletics has released a statement stating that after Sunday, March 15, the remainder of all spring sports seasons are cancelled.