The Brandeis Baseball team defeated two New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) opponents this past week, defeating Bates 4-3 on Friday in walk-off fashion and sweeping a double-header against Amherst 8-0 and 7-4. The Judges have won eight in a row and are 9-2 this season.
Friday, March 25: Brandeis 4 – Bates 3
Asher Kaplan ’23 pitched seven solid innings and junior outfielder Steven Simon ’23 hit a walk-off double as Brandeis defeated Bates 4-3 to sweep the season series.
Tied 3-3 in the bottom of the ninth, shortstop Drew Michaud ’25 led off with a popup to second. Freshman Aidan Schleer ’25 struck out, sending outfielder Sam Nugent ’23 to the plate. Nugent singled to left and advanced to second following a fielder error by the Bobcats’ left fielder. That brought up Simon, who blasted a ball off the wall in left, allowing Nugent to score easily and securing the win for Brandeis.
Leading 3-2 in the top of the eighth, Jakob Newman ’23 relieved Kaplan. After retiring the leadoff man, J. Newman loaded the bases following an error, a single to left, and an infield single. Bates’ Noah Jankowski hit a ground ball to second, but it was bobbled, enabling the tying run to score. J. Newman then recorded a strikeout and induced a lineout to preserve the tie. Newman pitched a 1-2-3 ninth and recorded the first win of his collegiate career.
Kaplan was excellent in his second start of the season for Brandeis. Kaplan set a new career-high with 11 strikeouts while walking just two. Kaplan allowed five hits and two runs, though only one was earned.
Offensively, Dan Frey (GRAD) led the way for the Judges, going 3-for-4 with a double and a homer. Simon added two hits and third baseman Brian King ’23 drove in a run on a sacrifice fly.
Saturday, March 26 (Game 1): Brandeis 8 – Amherst 0 (7 innings)
Left-hander Marc Maestri ’22 pitched an 8-hit shutout and catcher Luke Hall (GRAD) hit a home run as the Judges cruised in the opening game of the double-header 8-0.
Brandeis opened the scoring in the fourth. King hit a single to right-center with two outs. After Aidan Schleer walked, Nick Heafey ’24 hit a bloop double down the left-field line to bring in King. Second baseman Mike DiCenso ’24 then singled to right, allowing Schleer and Heafey to score. Brandeis added two more in the fifth on a Hall 2-run homer and three more in the sixth.
Maestri threw 79 pitches, 58 of which were strikes. Maestri struck out seven and walked no one. The complete-game shutout was the second of the week for the Judges after Mason Newman (GRAD) tossed nine scoreless frames against Wentworth Institute of Technology in a 9-0 win on March 23.
The offensive attack was balanced for the Judges, as seven of the nine starters had at least one hit.
Saturday, March 26 (Game 2): Brandeis 7 – Amherst 4
Luke Hall hit two homers and the Judges scored three runs in the sixth to sweep the doubleheader against Amherst.
Tied 4-4 in the bottom of the sixth with two outs, Nugent drew a walk. Nugent then stole second and scored on a Simon single to right. Khoury, who won Division III National Hitter of the Week for the week of March 14-20, crushed a home run to right to extend Brandeis’s lead to 7-4.
Brandeis navigated through a jam in the top half of the sixth. Amherst’s Jackson Reydel led off the inning with a homer off pitcher Gavin Dauer ’22 to the left-center, which tied the game at 4-4. After Dauer issued a walk, Brandon Musto (GRAD) came out of the bullpen. An infield single put runners on first and second with no one out. Musto got Amherst’s Christian Limon to strike out but walked the subsequent hitter to load the bases with one out. The next hitter hit a slow roller to third. King barehanded the ball and threw a strike to Hall at the plate to force out the Mammoth’s runner trying to score. Musto got out of the inning by inducing a fielder’s choice.
Pitcher Sean Decker-Jacoby ’24 relieved Musto in the seventh and retired all three hitters he faced to seal the win for the Judges and pick up his first career collegiate save. Christian Tejada ’23 looked sharp in his second appearance of the season, throwing 1.2 scoreless innings while striking out three. Khoury’s homer was his team-leading seventh of the season, while Hall hit his fifth and sixth homers of the year.
Brandeis will open University Athletic Association play this weekend when they travel to Cleveland to take on Case Western Reserve University for a four-game series beginning Friday, April 1.