April 3, 2006

Almeida single in the 10th gives Brandeis baseball 3-2 win over MIT

WALTHAM, Mass. – Brandeis University rookie left fielder Dave Almeida (Bridgeport, Conn.) singled through a paritally drawn-in infield in the bottom of the tenth inning today to give the Judges a 3-2 victory over visiting MIT today on Stein Diamond.

Brandeis (10-5) scored the game-winning run in the 10th thanks to three walks. Sophomore 3B Chuck Sheehan (Lexington, Mass.) coaxed a walk on a full count to lead off the inning and was bunted to second by senior SS Zach Golden (Milton, Mass.). MIT (9-3) elected to walk junior DH Jon Winston (Nanuet, N.Y.), but Sheehan stole third and Winston moved up to second on the first pitch to junior RF Ben Dashefsky (Massapequa, N.Y.). Dashefsky then drew the second intentional walk of the inning. With the infield at double-play depth, Almeida worked the count to 2-2 against MIT sophomore Joseph Yurko (Irwin, Pa.), fouling off a couple of pitches before driving the ball between third and shortstop for the walk-off victory.

MIT had jumped on top in the fifth inning on back-to-back doubles by senior SS Greg Williams (Clancy, Mont.) and junior CF Jason Witzberger (Wheeling, W. Va.). Witzberger also drove in the Engineers' second run in the top of the seventh, singling up the middle with two outs to plate rookie RF Steven Nunez (Tulare, Calif.). MIT held onto the lead by cutting down two Brandeis runners at the plate in the game.

The Judges broke through against MIT sophomore righty Jay Turner (Holliston, Mass.) in the bottom of the seventh as rookie pinch hitter Mike Alfego (Shrewsbury, Mass.) drove a ball back up the middle with runners at second and third. In the bottom of the eighth, Brandeis tied the game when junior RF Jeff Bourdon's (No. Adams, Mass.) fielder's choice to second base with runners at first and second was thrown away, allowing Winston to score from second. The Judges had runners on the corners with just one out, but Turner induced a double-play ball back to the mound to escape with a tie game and allowing for Almeida's heroics.

Brandeis got a terrific pitching performance from senior Tim Dunphy (Cambridge, Mass.), who tossed his 10th career complete game by going a career-high 10 innings. Dunphy improved to 4-2 by scattering eight hits and striking out four while walking just one. He allowed just the two earned runs to lower his team-leading ERA to 1.91. Offensively, Brandeis was paced by Winston, who was 2-4 with a double and a run scored, while Bourdon was 2-4 with a run.

MIT was led by Witzberger, who was 3-5 with a double and both Engineer RBI. Rookie DH Thomas Phillips (Durham, N.C.) and sophomore 1B Kevin Wheeler (Tuscon, Ariz.) also had multi-hit games. Turner received a no-decision despite allowing just one earned run in eight innings of work. He gave up nine hits and struck out two while walking one. Yurko fell to 0-1 on the season with the loss.