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Baseball goes through tough stretch

After starting the season with mostly games away, the Brandeis baseball team played a long stretch of home games in this early part of the season. Before this stretch, they played one more away game against Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) on March 16. 

At the start of the game, it looked like WPI was going to get on the board early with a leadoff single, however senior pitcher Asher Kaplan ’23 induced a double play that ended that threat. In the top of the second inning, senior third baseman Brian King ’23 hit a solo home run to right center field. WPI responded in the bottom of the fourth inning with two runs and two more runs in the fifth. The Judges next best opportunity came in the top of the seventh inning when senior left fielder Steve Simon ’23 led the inning off with a single. That was erased shortly after with a double play and WPI put the game out of reach with four more runs in the bottom of the eighth. Brandeis lost the game 1-8.  King led the team in hits with two. Kaplan pitched 4.2 innings, while allowing four hits and four runs. He struck out three batters and walked four. Sophomore James Murphy ’25 in relief and struck out six batters in just 2.1 innings. Marc Maestri (GRAD) pitched the final inning while allowing four runs, while striking out two batters. 

Next was a three game home series against Bates College. Game one was an offensive battle. Bates quickly scored three runs in the top of the second inning, however Brandeis responded with three of their own in the bottom of the inning. Sophomore catcher Justin Keeler ’25, freshman right fielder Jake Beaney ’26 and senior center fielder Sam Nugent ’23 all singled consecutively to score the runs. Bates just kept on scoring from there. The Judges fought back with one run in the fourth inning, however it was difficult to keep up. In the bottom of the seventh inning, the Judges nearly made an incredible comeback after scoring four runs. However, they fell just short and lost 8-13. Simon, Keeler and Beaney all had two hits in the game and led the team. Nugent led the team in runs batted in (RBI) with two. Senior Christian Tejada ’23 pitched the first inning and struck out one batter. Christian Petrisko (GRAD) followed with 2.1 innings. He allowed seven hits and five runs, while striking out three batters. Senior Reid Latham ’23 pitched 1.2 innings and allowed five runs and five hits. Freshman Vincenzo Terraciano ’26 pitched the final two innings and struck out two batters and allowed one run. 

Game two was a tough one. Bates scored from innings two through five and built a 7-0 lead. They added two more runs late in the game. The Judges answered in the bottom of the ninth inning as they attempted to mount a comeback. A triple from Nugent drove in two runs and he came home after a double from freshman Alex Kim ’26. However, they could not complete the comeback and ultimately Brandeis lost 3-9. Nugent tied the lead in hits freshman catcher CJ Dunston ’26, with two hits each. Freshman Tyler Hill ’26 pitched 3.2 innings allowed five runs on four hits, while striking out six batters. Senior Jakob Newman ’23 pitched next and allowed three runs but also struck out six batters through 3.1 innings. Gavin Dauer (GRAD) ended the game with two innings pitched and one allowed run. The final game of the series was postponed to a later date. 

Wentworth Institute of Technology was next on March 22. In this home game, the Judges got off to a fast start. They scored four runs in the bottom of the first inning after RBI singles from Nugent, Keeler and freshman outfielder Matthew Motiwalla ’26. The Judges never gave up that lead from there. They scored another run in the second and two more in the seventh. The final score of the game was 7-4 in favor of Brandeis. Kaplan pitched a strong game after going 8.2 innings while allowing just three earned runs on eight hits. He also struck out five batters. Maestri came in and got the last out and earned a save. Motiwalla led the team in hits with three. 

Two days later, the Judges played another home game. This one was against Endicott College. Through the first three innings of the game, no runs were scored. However, Endicott got on the board first with a run in the top of the fourth inning. Brandeis proceeded to answer right away. King had an RBI single through the left side of the infield as he started the scoring for the inning. The Judges would score two more runs and were leading 3-1 after four innings. Endicott responded in the sixth inning with three big runs to take the lead back. They added one more run in the ninth inning and the Judges could not catch up. Endicott got the win 5-3. Kim, King and Keeler led the team in hits with two hits each. Junior Sean Decker-Jacoby ’24 pitched a great game. He pitched five innings and allowed just one unearned run. Maestri followed him and allowed three runs on two hits. Newman closed the game with 3.1 innings, one run and two strikeouts. The Judges were set to play Amherst College the next day, but the game was postponed to April 11. 

On March 26, Brandeis faced Emerson College in a double header. Game one started off well for the Judges. They scored two runs in the third inning and had a lead. However, Emerson scored six runs in the fifth to put the game out of reach. Brandeis could not come back. The final score was 7-2 in favor of Emerson. Simon had a great overall game with three hits and one RBI. Hill pitched 3.1 innings and allowed five earned runs on three hits. Petrisko followed him and pitched the final 3.2 innings and allowed 0 earned runs and struck out one. 

Game two was a similar story. The Judges scored three runs in the first inning. King had an RBI single and Schleer drove in a run after getting hit by a pitch. Emerson ended up scoring six runs again, this time in the third inning. They added three more over the two innings after. Brandeis started to come back in the ninth inning. King hit a double and Keeler was hit by a pitch before senior Drew Michaud ’23 hit a three run home run. However, this was not enough and Brandeis fell to Emerson in game two 6-9. Simon, King and Michaud tied the team lead in hits with two each. Murphy pitched 2.2 innings and allowed four runs and struck out four batters. Latham pitched 0.1 innings and allowed two hits and two runs. Sophomore Winston Wacha ’25 came next and allowed two earned runs and struck out four. Junior Chris Liang ’24 pitched the final two innings and allowed two hits and no runs. 

The Judges ended the home game streak with a makeup game against Springfield College on March 28. A single from Simon and a double from Kim got the Judges’ offense going quickly. Nugent then drove in Simon with a sacrifice fly and King drove in Kim with a triple. Michaud then doubled and scored King. After the first inning the Judges were leading 3-1. Brandeis scored another in the third and the sixth. With two innings left to go, the Judges held a 5-2 lead.

Springfield scored two runs in the bottom of the eighth, but the Brandeis pitching closed out the game to give them a 5-4 win. Simon had another great game from the leadoff spot with a team leading three hits in the game. Kaplan had a strong pitching performance with five innings pitched and just one run allowed. Dauer pitched an inning and allowed one run, while striking out one. Latham pitched a clean seventh inning. Newman pitched the final two innings and earned the save. 

The Judges will next face New York University in a four game away series starting on March 31.

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