April 24, 2007

Eight-run sixth gives Brandeis 11-9 win over Amherst

AMHERST, MA – The Brandeis University baseball team plated eight runs in the sixth inning today, sending 12 men to the plate, as the Judges defeated host Amherst College, 11-9, in non-conference action.

Brandeis's (12-13) Ben Dashefsky wasted no time increasing his hitting streak to 11 games, as the senior tri-captain led off the game with a single up the middle. Classmate and fellow tri-captain Zach Golden followed with a liner to right center that got by a diving Tom Scott, advancing Dashefsky to third and giving Golden a stand-up double.

First-year Ryan Healy kept the no-out rally going with a bloop single to right field, bringing in Dashefsky for the first run of the game. Senior tri-captain Jon Winston recorded the first out with a fly ball to Scott, but it was deep enough to bring Golden home. First-year right-hander Teddy Blank got out of the inning with a 5-4-3 double play, as Amherst (12-10) found themselves trailing 2-0 in an early hole.

Sophomore Brendan Powers started a two-out rally in the bottom of the second with a liner up the middle, followed by a single from sophomore Angus Schaller . Junior Josh Card drew a walk to load the bases, but junior left-hander Tyler Robinson got out of the jam by getting first-year Andy Thal to line out to a leaping James Likis at third base.

Brandeis put runners on first and second with no outs in the fourth, but Blank drew three quick outs to end the threat. Senior co-captain Jared Banner found himself on third base in the bottom half of the frame after reaching on an error, advancing to second on a wild pitch and stealing third, but the Jeffs could not take advantage of the situation, as Robinson drew a pop out and fly out to preserve the 2-0 lead.

The Judges chalked up a third run in the top of the fifth, but the Jeffs played small ball in their half of the frame to climb back into the game. Card and Thal reached on back-to-back bunt singles, followed by a Mark Mazzone walk to load the bases. Scott tied the game with one swing of the bat on a 3-RBI double, and Junior Neal Allar gave Amherst a 5-3 lead on the next at-bat with a two-run homer over the fence in right center.

Brandeis cut its deficit to one run in the sixth inning after a hit, walk and Amherst fielding error, and Chuck Sheehan handed the lead back to the Judges by ripping a double down the right field line to plate two, chasing Blank from the game and bringing in junior Chris Edgar with no outs.

Everything seemed to be going Brandeis’ way in the top of the sixth, as the Judges plated eight runs with a combination of bloop hits, timely hitting and sloppy Amherst defense.

After Mazzone and Scott strung together singles to start the bottom of the seventh, Allar belted his second homer of the game, again showing off his opposite-field power, to cut the Jeffs’ deficit to three runs with no outs in the inning. The home run ended Robinson’s night, allowing junior Mike Dax to pick up the next three outs and preserve the 11-8 lead.

The Jeffs got one run back in the ninth but the Judges held on for the 11-9 win. Blank (2-2) allowed 10 hits and five earned runs in five innings of work, adding five strikeouts and just one walk.

Scott and Allar each went 3-for-5 and combined for eight RBIs and five runs scored, while Healy and Dashefsky each went 3-for-5 to lead the Judges. Robinson (5-2) allowed 10 hits in six innings, adding a pair of strikeouts, while Dax earned the first save of his career.