April 19, 2006

Baseball rallies past Eastern Nazarene, 9-8

WALTHAM, Mass. – The Brandeis University baseball team took advantage of six errors to score six unearned runs, including the game-winners in the bottom of the seventh inning as the Judges defeated Eastern Nazarene College, 9-8, on Stein Diamond today.

Brandeis (16-9-1) jumped out to a 7-1 lead after four innings. Junior RF Ben Dashefsky (Massapequa, N.Y.) opened the scoring in the bottom of the first inning with an RBI single. ENC answered in the third on a sacrifice fly by senior CF Matt Watson (Pepperell, Mass.), but the Judges answered with four runs in the bottom of the frame, all unearned. The first two came home on a bases-loaded single by rookie LF Mike Alfego (Shrewsbury, Mass.) that left runners on second and third after an outfield error. Dashefsky then scored on a wild pitch and Alfego came home on a double play ball. Junior DH Jon Winston's (Nanuet, N.Y.) RBI double and Dashefsky's ensuing single in the fourth pushed the Brandeis lead to six runs.

ENC (14-16) battled back against Brandeis starter Tim Dunphy (Cambridge, Mass.), however. The Crusaders got two runs back in the fifth on an RBI double by senior SS Graham Crain (Hamilton, Ohio) and a Brandeis error before striking it big in the top of the seventh.

Two of the first three batters struck out swinging against Dunphy, but the third had reached on an error. With two away, three of the next four ENC batters hit RBI doubles. Junior DH Brad Mountain (Cape May, N.J.) tied the game with a two-bagger while sophomore 2B Jarred Wiedenroth (Swampscott, Mass.) legged out a ball to shortstop to give the Crusaders the 8-7 advantage.

In the bottom of the seventh, ENC reliever Dave Dickerson (No. Plainfield, N.J.) retired the first two batters he saw before Brandeis senior catcher Phil Aurigemma (Southborough, Mass.) singled back up the middle. The Judges then pinch-hit with rookie Dave Almeida (Bridgeport, Conn.), who drove the ball to right field, where it carried and glanced off the right fielder's glove to allow Aurigemma to score and the hitter to reach second base. Senior 1B Chris Navis (Walpole, Mass.) hit a hard single to left field against Crusader sophomore Matt Maganelli (Charlestown, Mass.) for the game-winning run.

Brandeis was paced by senior SS Zach Golden (Milton, Mass.), who went 3-4 to raise his team-leading batting average to .453. He had a double and scored three runs in the contest. Dashefsky was the only other multiple hitter for Brandeis, going 2-4 with two RBI and a run scored.

All nine ENC starters had hits, and eight different players crossed the plate. Watson finished 2-4 with a double and two RBI, while senior 1B Leif Jannson (Westminster, Mass.) went 3-5 with a two-bagger and an RBI.

On the hill, Dunphy improved to 8-2 on the season for the Judges, winning his eighth-straight decision. He tossed his fifth complete game of the campaign, striking out two while walking none. Dickerson suffered the loss for the Crusaders, falling to 2-5 on the season.