The Brandeis Baseball team began its season last week going 1-2. Brandeis dropped the season opener to Anna Maria 8-6 on March 2. The Judges then defeated Babson 6-5 in 12 innings on Saturday and lost to Wheaton 14-4 on Sunday. All games were played at the New England Baseball Complex in Northborough, Massachusetts.
Wednesday, March 2: Anna Maria 8 – Brandeis 6:
Outfielder Sam Nugent ’23 had three hits and graduate student Mason Newman (GRAD) struck out five, but it wasn’t enough as the Judges’ comeback came up short.
Brandeis trailed 8-3 heading into the top of the seventh. Centerfielder Dan Frey (GRAD) singled with one out. Frey stole second and advanced to third on a wild pitch. Third baseman Brian King ’23 doubled to left to bring home Frey. King scored after second baseman Victor Oppenheimer (GRAD) doubled to right.
Brandeis added another run in the eighth. Nugent led off with a single to right. Outfielder Steven Simon ’23 reached on a fielder’s choice and Nugent went to third following an error by Anna Maria. After a strikeout and a hit batter, Frey came up with the bases loaded with one out. Frey grounded out to first, bringing in Nugent to make the score 8-6.
Jakob Newman ’23 came in to pitch the eighth. With runners on first and second with nobody out, Anna Maria’s Kosta Drosidis singled to right. Simon picked up the ball and threw it to Oppenheimer, who relayed it to catcher Luke Hall (GRAD). Hall tagged out Anna Maria’s Hunter Dunithan, who was trying to score from second. An intentional walk loaded the bases with one out. Newman escaped the jam by getting a strikeout and then a groundout. In the ninth, Brandeis began its rally with a two-out pinch-hit double by catcher Liam Kennedy ’22, which brought Nugent to the plate representing the tying run. Nugent popped out to first to end the game.
Saturday, March 5: Brandeis 6 – Babson 5 (12 innings)
Left-hander Cam Roberts ’22 pitched three scoreless innings in relief and picked up his first collegiate hit in the game-deciding rally as Brandeis overcame a 5-0 deficit to pick up its first win of the season.
Trailing 5-4 in the bottom of the ninth, Hall led off the inning by getting hit by a pitch. Frey struck out and King hit a bloop double to right, advancing Hall to third. Oppenheimer brought in the tying run after grounding out to shortstop.
In the bottom of the 12th, Oppenheimer hit a chopper up the middle for a one-out single. A wild pitch moved him to second. Roberts, who had no prior collegiate at-bats, hit a sharp ground ball between the first and second basemen. Babson’s Josh Yellen made a diving stop, but no one covered first, allowing Roberts to reach for an infield single. Shortstop Nick Heafey ’24 hit a slow chopper up the middle. Babson forced Roberts out at second, but Heafey beat the throw to first, giving the Judges the walk-off win.
Lefty Marc Maestri ’22 made his first start this season, going 4.1 innings and giving up four runs. Maestri ran into trouble in the fifth, loading the bases with one out with the score of 1-0 Babson. Weisse III came in relief, giving up a sacrifice fly and a two-run single, which extended Babson’s lead to 4-0.
Asher Kaplan ’23 relieved Weisse III, going 2.0 innings and allowing one run. After giving up a run in the top of the sixth, the Brandeis bullpen pitched six consecutive scoreless innings.
Frey led the way for Brandeis, going 4-for-6 with a triple and two runs scored. It was the third career four-hit game for Frey. King had three hits, and Oppenheimer drove in three runs.
Sunday, March 6: No. 14 Wheaton (Mass) – Brandeis 4
Infielder Mike Khoury (GRAD) and Brian King (GRAD) each hit home runs, but it wasn’t enough as Wheaton scored at least once in every inning to cruise to a 14-4 win.
The Lyons, who moved up two spots to No. 12 in the most recent edition of the NCAA Division III rankings according to d3baseball.com, scored once in the first inning on a solo homer. Brandeis responded in the bottom of the first, with Khoury’s blast to center. Wheaton scored four times in the second and twice more in the third to give it a commanding 7-1 lead.
Brandeis did not score again until the seventh. King drilled a homer to right-center. An Oppenheimer walk and a double from Aidan Schleer ’25 brought Heafey to the plate with runners on second and third. Heafey snuck a ground ball up the middle, driving in Schleer and Oppenheimer.
King went 3-for-4 on the day and was the only Brandeis player with two or more hits. Sean Decker-Jacoby ’24 made his first appearance of the season, striking out four.
Brandeis’ game against UMass Boston for Wednesday was postponed. A rescheduled date of the game has not been announced. Brandeis will travel to Colby for a double-header on Saturday, March 12 and play its first games at Stein Diamond on Sunday, March 13, against Williams.