April 17, 2006

Winston homers twice as baseball sinks UMass-Dartmouth, 11-8

WALTHAM, Mass. – Junior designated hitter Jon Winston (Nanuet, N.Y.) hit a pair of two-run home runs today to lead the Brandeis University baseball team to an 11-8 win over the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth Corsairs on Stein Diamond.

Brandeis (15-7-1) swept the season series from UMass-Dartmouth with their third win in four contests. Winston led the way, going 2-3 with four RBI and four runs scored. His first home run came in the fifth inning, when he pulled the first pitch he saw to left field for his sixth round-tripper of the season. With two away in the sixth, Winston went to the opposite field, turning a 7-6 deficit into an 8-7 Judges' lead. He also received an intentional walk in the decisive eighth inning and was hit by a pitch early in the contest.

The Judges jumped on UMass-Dartmouth (5-19) early, taking advantage of sophomore starter Brian Vanasse's (Sterling, Mass.) three walks and a hit batsman to score three runs on just one hit. With the Judges ahead, 4-1, after four innings, the Corsairs got to Brandeis sophomore Craig Letendre (Acushnet, Mass.) in the fifth, stringing together three straight hits after two walks. They tied the contest on a single by senior 1B Dan Mancini (Marlboro, Mass.). Sophomore Rocco Toppi (Portland, Maine) got the Judges out of the inning,

Brandeis answered with Winston's first homer in the bottom of the inning, but UMass-Dartmouth claimed their first lead in the top of the sixth against rookie reliever James Collins (So. Boston, Mass.). Rookie CF Sean Smolinsky (Hull, Mass.) tied the game on a single up the middle that put runners on the corners. The Corsairs went ahead, 7-6, when Collins's pick-off attempt went wide, allowing rookie 2B Peter Gomez (Bridgewater, Mass.) to score.

Winston's second home run of the game put Brandeis back on top, but junior LF Robert LoMuscio (W. Roxbury, Mass.) hit a pop-fly that landed just inside the left field line to square the game at 8-8.

In the bottom of the eighth inning, with one away, Brandeis sophomore CF Chuck Sheehan (Lexington, Mass.) drew a walk. Senior SS Zach Golden (Milton, Mass.) singled to right field with Sheehan running on the pitch, and moved up to second on a throw through to third. Winston was intentionally walked, bringing up junior LF Ben Dashefsky, who was hit on the arm by the second pitch he saw to produce the game-winning run. The Judges added two insurance runs on a wild pitch and a sacrifice fly by rookie RF Mike Alfego (Shrewsbury, Mass.).

In addition to Winston's big day at the plate, Golden finished 2-4 with three runs scored, while Alfego dove in two runs without a hit, getting one on the sac fly and another on a bases-loaded walk in the first. Senior Tim Dunphy (Cambridge, Mass.) retired all six batters he faced to win his seventh straight decision, improving to 7-2 on the season.

UMass-Dartmouth was paced by Mancini, who was 4-5 with two runs scored and an RBI. LoMuscio finished 3-4 with a double, two RBI and a run. Rookie Stephen Watson (Haverhill, Mass.) suffered the loss in relief to fall to 0-1 on the season.