April 3, 2007

Robinson fans career-high 13 to lead Brandeis past MIT, 3-2

WALTHAM, Mass. – Brandeis University junior lefthander Tyler Robinson (Manotick, Ont.) struck out a career-high 13 batters in 8 1/3 innings of work today as the Judges defeated visiting MIT, 3-2, in a non-conference baseball showdown on Stein Diamond.

Brandeis (8-7) fell behind early, as MIT (5-4) scored an unearned run in the top of the second without a hit. Sophomore LF David Nole (Torrington, Conn.) was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning. He moved to second on Robinson's only walk of the day and was at third after a Brandeis error loaded the bases when Robinson uncorked a wild pitch that gave the Engineers the lead.

The Judges answered in the bottom of third inning. With one out, rookie 3B James Likis (Cambridge, Mass.) singled to left. One batter later, Likis stole second. Sophomore DH Mike Alfego (Shrewsbury, Mass.) brought him home with a double to left, and senior RF Ben Dashefsky (Massapequa, N.Y.) gave Brandeis the lead with single back through the middle. After a wild pitch and a walk put runners on first and second, senior LF Jon Winston (Nanuet, N.Y.) doubled to deep center field to plate what would prove to be the winning run.

MIT got one run back in the next half inning. Nole was the catalyst again, reaching second on a dropped fly ball to lead off the frame. He moved to third on a long fly ball and came home on a single back through the box by sophomore RF Steven Nunez (Tulare, Calif.).

Robinson shut down the Engineers after that, allowing just one more base runner until the ninth inning. MIT sophomore reliever Stephen Toth (Walden, N.Y.) was effective as well, retiring 12 of the 14 batters he faced in four inning of work. The visitors had a chance to win the game in the ninth when sophomore DH Thomas Phillips (Durham, N.C.) singled to lead off the frame. After MIT bunted Phillips to second, Brandeis coach Pete Varney summoned sophomore James Collins (So. Boston, Mass.) from the pen. Collins induced a grounder to short, but an error put runners on the corners with one out. The right-hander was able to pick up his fourth save of the season when a suicide squeeze attempt was popped back to the mound for a 1-3 double play.

Robinson was the star for the Judges, allowing just four MIT hits and two unearned runs in 8.1 innings of work to improve to 3-2. His 13 strikeouts featured five frames with at least two whiffs, including striking out the side in the second. His previous career-high was 10, last April 26 against UMass-Boston. There were no multiple hitters in the game and doubled by Alfego, Winston and senior SS Zach Golden (Milton, Mass.) were the only extra-base hits.

MIT sophomore Kevin Foley (Libertyville, Ill.) suffered the loss, his first of the season. He went four innings, giving up three runs on five hits. Foley walked a batter and had no strikeouts.

Brandeis is next scheduled to take on Albertus Magnus tomorrow at 3:30 p.m. on Marcus Field, while MIT heads to New London, Conn., on Thursday to take on Coast Guard at 3:30 p.m.