Baseball still rolling with strong season debut

April 23, 2021

After going 4-1 in their first five games, the Brandeis baseball team continued its strong start, going 4-2 in three doubleheaders. The games were played from Saturday, April 10 to Thursday, April 15. The Judges are now 8-3 on the season and before Thursday’s game had their longest winning streak since 2016.

Saturday, April 10: Game 1: Brandeis 12, Johnson and Wales: 11 Final (7)

Tied 11-11 in the bottom of the sixth inning, Isaac Fossas ’21 hit a go-ahead home run as the Judges won the first game of the double-header.

In a rematch from April 3, the Judges raced out to an 11-3 lead, highlighted by an eight-run second inning. The Wildcats clawed back, scoring seven runs in the fourth and one in the sixth. With one out in the bottom half of the sixth, Fossas, who was hitless in three at-bats prior, belted a 1-1 pitch over the left-center field wall. Cam Roberts ’22 worked around a two-out single in the seventh to record his first collegiate save.

On the mound, Brandon Musto (GRAD) got his first win of the year. He pitched two and one-third innings, allowing a run and recording several outs in critical situations. Relieving Marc Maestri ’22 in the fourth when the Judges were winning 11-10, Musto got a fly out to end the inning to strand two Wildcat runners. Musto again faced trouble in the sixth. After allowing the tying run to score, Musto stranded the bases loaded to keep tied at 11.

Every starter had at least one hit for the Judges. Luke Hall ’21 had five runs batted in, four of them coming on his second-inning grand slam. Mike Khoury ’24 had two hits in three at-bats, scoring twice as well.

Saturday, April 10: Game 2: Brandeis 9, Johnson and Wales: 2 Final (7)

Tim Lopez (GRAD) struck out seven over six innings and sophomore Sam Nugent ’23 had two doubles as the Judges cruised to sweep the double-header.

With no outs in the bottom of the third Khoury opened the scoring, singling home Nugent and Drew Michaud ’23. The Judges added another run in the inning on a Fossas double-play. A five-run bottom of the fourth extended the lead to 8-0.

The Judges’ offensive attack was led by their top four hitters, who went a combined 9-for-14 and drove in six of the team’s nine runs. Hall had three hits and Nugent scored three times.

Lopez, who picked up his second win of the year, threw just 83 pitched across six innings, allowing two runs on five hits. Gavin Dauer ’22 pitched a scoreless seventh to secure the win.

Wednesday, April 14: Game 1: Brandeis: 7, Lasell: 3 Final (7)

Khoury hit a three-run homer and Greg Tobin (GRAD) struck out eight as the Judges knocked off the Lasers in the opening game of Wednesday’s doubleheader.

Down 2-0 in the bottom of the third, Brian King ’23 led off with an infield single. After a pop-up and fielder’s choice, Nugent walked. Khoury stepped up to the plate and crushed a homer to left-center field. The Judges would add two more in the fourth and again in the fifth.

King went 3-for-3, including an RBI-double, and senior Dan Frey ’21 added two hits and stole a base as well.

Tobin recorded his second win of the season, allowing three runs on five hits over six innings of work. Musto relieved Tobin, and pitched a scoreless seventh.

Wednesday, April 14: Game 2: Brandeis: 12, Lasell: 2 Final (7)

Sophomore Asher Kaplan ’23 tossed six innings and King drove in three runs as the Judges won their eighth in a row.

In the bottom of the second, Fossas drew a one-out walk and advanced to second on Victor Oppenheimer’s (GRAD) single to right. King then doubled to left-center, plating both runners. Up 3-0 heading into the bottom of the fourth, the Judges sent 11 men to the plate en route to scoring six runs and extending their lead to 9-0.

King had two doubles and Frey had a team-high with three hits to go along with two runs batted in. Oppenheimer had two hits and Fossas drove in two runs to go along with two runs scored.

Kaplan, who pitched a complete-game shutout against the Lasers on April 7, allowed two runs on eight hits. Christian Tejada ’23 made his first appearance of the season, pitching a scoreless seventh in relief.

Thursday, April 15: Game 1: Framingham St.: 6, Brandeis: 5 Final (7)

Playing their first road game of the season, Khoury hit a two-run homer and Oppenheimer added two hits, but the Judges could not hold on to a late lead, snapping their eight-game win streak.

The Judges opened the game by scoring five runs in the top of the first, two of which came on Khoury’s homer. The Rams responded, scoring two in the bottom of the first before taking the lead with a four-run sixth inning.

After the first inning, the Judges managed just two hits the rest of the game. Frey went 1-for-2 with his team-leading sixth double of the season. Frey’s steal of second in the fifth was his team-leading fourth stolen base on the season.

Lopez pitched five and one-third innings, allowing four earned runs on four hits to along with a season-high eight strikeouts. Dauer relieved Lopez, allowing an unearned run. Dauer took his first loss of the season, giving up an unearned run in the sixth.

Thursday, April 15: Game 2: Framingham St.:8, Brandeis: 3 Final (7)

The Judges had just two hits and Framingham State used a five-run fourth inning to sweep the double-header.

After the Judges tied the game at 3-3 in the top of the fourth, the Rams started the bottom half with runners on the corners and no outs. A sacrifice fly gave the Rams the lead for good. Three batters later, the Rams scored twice on a 2-RBI single and added two more on a homer from the next hitter. The Judges loaded the bases with two outs in the seventh, but Hall grounded into a fielder’s choice to end the game.

The Judges scored all their runs in the fourth, loading the bases to open the inning. Fossas hit a sacrifice for his 11th RBI of the season. Oppenheimer walked and King singled to left, scoring two runs to tie the game. Steven Simon ’23 was the other Judge to get a hit, singling in the seventh.

King is hitting 0.429 so far this season, tied with Oppenheimer for the team lead. With his two-RBI single, King has now hit safely in four straight games and also driven in at least one run in those four games.

On the mound, Roberts recorded the loss, going three and two-thirds innings. Roberts allowed six runs, three of them earned, on seven hits. Sean Decker-Jacoby ’24 made his collegiate debut, pitching two scoreless innings.

As a team, the Judges are hitting 0.305 this season and average nearly eight runs per game. Khoury is the team leader in runs scored, home runs, RBI, and slugging percentage. His homer in Game 1 against Framingham State gives him 17 in his career, moving him into fifth place all-time in Judges history.

Lopez, Tobin and Kaplan each have two wins on the mound. Lopez and Tobin are tied for the team lead with 20 strikeouts.

The Judges will seek revenge, as they return to Stein Diamond to face Framingham State this Sunday, April 18, at 1 p.m..

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