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Judges begin April play

Since the last issue of The Brandeis Hoot, the Judges’ baseball team has played 15 games against six different teams. As nine of these games were away, the Judges were busy traveling. Though their past few weeks of play have been a tough stretch for the Judges, they have been playing against some very talented teams. The Judges started this stretch on March 31 as they faced the New York University (NYU) Violets in Brooklyn for a four-game series. Later that week, the Judges hosted Babson College for one game. The following weekend, the Emory University Eagles visited Brandeis for a four-game series. Then, the Judges traveled to Amherst College for a game against the Amherst Mammoths. For their last four-game series of this stretch, the Judges traveled to St. Louis to face the Washington University Bears. To conclude this recap, the final game we will be recapping is the game against Colby College on April 19. 

Game one against NYU was slow to start with the pitchers battling it out until the top of the fifth inning when right fielder Jordan Greenaway ’26 singled to left and later scored the first run of the game. In the top of the seventh the Judges were able to further pull away from the Violets with one run batted in (RBI) from center fielder Sam Nugent ’23, and two more from catcher Justin Keeler ’25. Keeler was later able to score off of a single from SS Drew Michaud ’23. The following innings were rocky as the Judges experienced pitching challenges and quiet bats. The Violets were able to capitalize on the Judges’ shortcomings as they scored two runs in the bottom of the seventh and four additional runs in the ninth to pull out a 6-5 victory against the Judges. Despite this loss for the Judges, Sean Decker-Jacoby ’24 pitched a career-high of 6.1 innings and also matched his career-high of six in strikeouts. Greenaway came away from the game with a career-high of three hits. 

The second game of the day started differently as NYU was leading 4-0 by the end of the third inning. The Judges spent the remainder of the game trying to capture a win but ended up falling to the Violets by one point for the second time that day, 7-6. The Judges’ scoring began in the fourth with a single from Nugent followed by a two-out double by Greenaway. The Judges were able to capture the lead in the top of the eighth off of a homerun by Michaud with both Nugent and 3B Brian King ’23 on base. In the bottom of the eighth though, pitching mistakes and fielding errors allowed the Violets to score the winning run of the game as the Brandeis bats were quiet in the ninth. Nugent led the Judges in this game with three hits and two runs scored while Steven Simon ’23 and Heafey each had two hits. 

In their third game against the Violets, the Judges captured a win. The Judges started the game off strong with three runs in the first inning. They continued with their scoring in the fourth with another four runs. Having scored at least a run in most of the remaining innings, the Judges won 11-9. This was a season-high in runs scored during a game for the Judges. Kaplan made the difference as he led the Judges by throwing seven innings and striking out a season-high of eight batters. Leading the Judges in hitting were DH Alex Kim ’26 and Keeler each going 3-5 with a run scored. Heafey also had a strong offensive game, going 2-4 with two runs and two RBI. The Violets were able to collect nine runs, mostly from the later innings, but were outscored by the Judges in the end.  

In their fourth and final game of the series against NYU, the Judges were shut out 21-0 by the Violets. The Violets’ runs came from 14 hits off of ten different players. Due to the University Athletic Association (UAA) 10-run rule, the game ended early, after the seventh inning. Leading the Judges in hitting was King with two of the Judges’ six hits. 

To follow, the Judges faced the Babson Beavers in a non-conference contest at home in Waltham. The Beavers were ultimately able to capture a 13-2  win off of high-scoring third, fifth, and eighth innings. The Brandeis offense was led by Nugent who went 3-for-3 at-bat and scored a run. The Judges earned seven hits off of six different batters. Michaud earned the Judges’ only RBI of the game, and infielder Mike DiCenso ’23 scored the other run off of an error off of a hit from Kim. 

That following weekend, the Judges hosted the Emory Eagles for a four-game series. This was the first time ever played on the Judges’ Stein Diamond. Despite only having one less hit than the Eagles, the Judges fell 12-1 to them in their first contest. The Eagles got lucky with earning five walks, four hit batters, and three home runs. The Eagles score points in each inning between the second and sixth. The Judges only run came in the fourth on an RBI single from Keeler. 

The next day, the Judges faced the Eagles in a doubleheader. Due to the UAA 10-run rule, each of these games were shortened to seven innings. The Eagles scored 31 runs in each game which was a new UAA record for runs scored in a game. Their 62 runs were the result of 49 hits in the two contests. Simon led the Judges offensively for the day by going 4-for-4 and hitting a grand slam in the second game of the day. 

To wrap up the four-game series, the Emory Eagles completed the series sweep by winning the final game 9-1. The Judges’ single run of the game was the result of a homerun from Michaud to deep left field. The rest of the game was quiet for the Judges, having just three additional hits. 

The Judges’ away game against Amherst was played the following Tuesday. The Judges started off with two runs scored in the top of the first, but were followed by a strong eight-run  inning by the Mammounths in the bottom of the second. The first two points for the Judges came from two back-to-back doubles from King and Muchaud. The Judges scored their third and final run of the game in the third inning off of a homerun from King. He and Nugent led the Judges in hits, each with two. 

That Friday, the Judges traveled to St. Louis, Missouri to face WashU in a four-game series. Their first game of the series was held on Friday and concluded in a 4-17 loss for the Judges. The Judges’ first run of the game came from a bases-loaded walk for DH Aidan Schleer ’25 but were unable to capitalize on that prime scoring opportunity. The Bears extended their lead to 17-1 after a seven-run fourth inning, and a six-run fifth inning to conclude their scoring for the contest. The Judges had a strong seventh inning as they scored three runs off of another bases-loaded walk as well as a two-run single by Heafey. Despite this, the game concluded after the seventh inning due to the UAA 10-run rule. 

The following day, the Judges played the Bears in a single game and lost 11-1. The Judges’ only run came in the second off of a grounder to short from DJ Griffin Bodow ’25 which drove Kim home. The Bears scored in every inning but the first and second, earning 12 hits. The game concluded after the top of the first due to the UAA 10-run rule. 

For their final contests in Missouri, the Judges faced the Bears in a doubleheader on Sunday, April 16. Though the Judges lost each of the games this day, they did earn three more hits than the Bears in the first competition. The Judges also exhibited their best pitching of the series in the first game of the doubleheader with Marc Maestri (GRAD) who went seven innings and struck out six. The Judges were the first on the board with one run in the first, but the Bears captured the lead in the fourth and never looked back. Bowdow finished the first game of the day having earned a career-high three hits while DiCenzo and King each had two. In the second game of the day and the final game of the series, the Judges fell to the Bears for the fourth time, losing 15-3. The Judges gave up a 4-0 lead in the first inning and were unable to capture the lead during this contest. In the second and third, the Judges scored single runs by Matthew Motiwalla ’26 and Greenaway. The game concluded after the seventh inning when DiCenzo earned an RBI double. 

In their final game of this stretch, the Judges faced the Colby College Mules in a non-conference competition. The Judges started off the competition by scoring the only run of the first inning. This run was the result of a single from King, which drove in Simon. Despite this, the Mules responded with four runs in the second. To follow, the Mules pulled away with some multi-run innings while the Judges only had two more runs, which came in the third and seventh innings. The Judges’ relievers were effective from the fifth inning until the ninth when they allowed the Mules five more runs to conclude the competition. The Judges used nine pitchers in this game, each earning at least one strikeout. The bottom of the ninth was not conducive to any runs for the Judges, and thus, the game concluded with a score of 3-13. 

Looking ahead, the Judges are currently in the midst of a four-game series with the Case Western Reserve University Spartans.

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