April 25, 2006

Baseball comes up short against Amherst, 5-4

WALTHAM, Mass. – Amherst College sophomore DH Neal Allar (Floyds Knobs, Ind.) went 2-5 with a double and three RBI today, including the eventual game-winner in the ninth inning, as the visiting Lord Jeffs defeated the Brandeis University Judges, 5-4.

Amherst (17-9-1) snapped the eight-game winning streak by Brandeis senior starter Tim Dunphy (Cambridge, Mass.). The Lord Jeffs struck quickly for three runs in the first inning. The first four batters reached safely, including a two-run double by senior 1B Dave Levinson (Chester Springs, Pa.). Allar's first RBI of the game came on an infield grounder that put the visitors ahead, 3-0.

Brandeis (17-12-1) cut the lead to one in the third inning. After the first two batters reached on a single and a walk, junior RF Ben Dashefsky (Massapequa, Mass.) bunted them to second and third. Senior SS Zach Golden (Milton, Mass.) plated both runners with a single to right field.

Neither team got on the board in the middle innings, but Amherst struck for its first insurance run in the seventh. With one away, senior SS Zach Schonberger (Rye, N.Y.) singled and scored on Allar's double to the gap in right-center field. The Judges got the run back in the bottom of the eighth as junior DH Jon Winston (Nanuet, N.Y.) clubbed his eighth home run of the season to left-center field.

The visitors tacked on another key insurance run in the ninth. Junior RF Jared Banner (Brooklyn, N.Y.) led off with a bunt single and Levinson singled to right field to put runners at first and second. After Dunphy retired the next batter, Allar executed a perfect hit-and-run, slicing the ball through the right side of the infield as the Judges were covering the steal.

Brandeis had a golden opportunity in the bottom of the ninth, as senior catcher Phil Aurigemma (Westborough, Mass.) singled to lead off the inning and sophomore CF Chuck Sheehan (Lexington, Mass.) doubled to center field, putting runners on second and third. Amherst senior righty Rob Anderson (Winnetka, Ill.) retired the next three batters on ground balls, however, allowing just one run to come home and pick up his fifth save of the season.

In addition to Allar's two-hit performance, Levinson finished with a 3-4 performance with two RBI and a double, while Banner was 3-5 with two runs scored. Sophomore Chris Edgar (Massapequa, N.Y.) improved to 3-0 with five innings of three-hit ball. He struck out six and walked four while allowing two earned runs. Anderson earned the save, allowing five hits and two runs in four innings of action.

Sheehan was Brandeis's only multiple hitter with three hits, a two-bagger and a run scored, while Golden was 1-4 with two knocked in. Dunphy suffered his first loss since March 18 despite tossing his sixth complete game of the season. He struck out seven and walked one, allowing five runs (four earned) and 13 hits.