April 27, 2006

Brandeis defeats Becker, 12-4, to snap four-game skid

LEICESTER, Mass. -- Sophomore pitcher Rocco Toppi (Portland, Mass.) went seven strong innings in his second start of the season and the Brandeis baseball team had six different players get two hits as the Judges defeated Becker College, 12-4, to snap a season-high four-game losing streak.

Brandeis (18-13-1) took advantage of wildness by the Hawks' starter to score four runs on just three hits in the top of the first inning. Senior 2B Scott Kuhen (Hamilton, N.J.) had the big blow in the frame with a two-run single, while junior RF Ben Dashefsky (Massapequa, N.Y.) had the team's only extra-base hit of the game, a one-out double. He scored the first run when rookie CF Dave Almeida (Bridgeport, Conn.) walked.

Becker (15-17) plated two runs in the second, but Dashefsky threw out a runner trying to tag and move to third on a fly ball to left to extinguish the threat. Brandeis added single runs in the third and fourth, two in the fifth and a four-run sixth to put the game away.

Kuhen wielded the big bat for the Judges, going 2-4 with a career-high five RBI. He had a two-run single in the sixth and a successful suicide squeeze in the in the fifth in addition to his big hit in the first. Senior SS Zach Golden (Milton, Mass.) reached base in all five plate appearances, going 2-2 with two walks and a hit by pitch. He scored four runs in the contest. Junior DH Jon Winston (Nanuet, N.Y.) went 2-4 with three runs scored, while sophomore 3B Malcolm Cone-Coleman (Portland, Maine) was the only player besides Kuhen with multiple RBI, going 2-5 with two knocked in.

On the hill, Toppi scattered 10 hits with one strike out and no walks over seven innings. He allowed four runs (three earned) to improve to 3-0 on the season. Four Brandeis relievers combined to get the final six outs, with sophomore Craig Letendre (Acushnet, Mass.) striking out two of the three hitters he faced.