March 2, 2007

Baseball drops home opener to Salve Regina, 6-2

WALTHAM, Mass. – The Brandeis University baseball team suffered a 6-2 loss to Salve Regina University in their home opener today on Stein Diamond.

Salve Regina (8-5) got on the board first in the top of the first inning on an RBI double by rookie 1B Riley Diaz (Miami, Fla.). Brandeis (5-6) answered in the bottom of the frame on a two-out single by rookie catcher Artie Posch (Hopedale, Mass.) that plated senior RF Ben Dashefsky (Massapequa, N.Y.). SRU jumped back on top in the top of the third inning when the Seahawks put runners on second and third with no one out. Brandeis junior Rocco Toppi (Portland, Maine) got three straight ground outs to shortstop to escape allowing just one run.

The game's big blow came in the top of the fifth inning. After two singles and a bunt put runners on second and third with one away, sophomore RF Justin Collett (So. Portland, Maine) hit a home run to straight away center field to put the visitors ahead 5-1. It was his second home run of the campaign.

The Judges got one run back in the sixth inning, as senior 2B Jeff Bourdon (No. Adams, Mass.) doubled and scored on a single by rookie 3B James Likis (Cambridge, Mass.). Brandeis couldn't mount any momentum, though, as Salve senior Richard Fuller (Danbury, Conn.) got a fly out and started a 1-6-3 double play to get out of the inning. The Seahawks added an insurance run in the eighth on a sacrifice fly by Diaz. Senior William Riggieri (Worcester, Mass.) shut the door over the last three innings for his first save of the campaign.

Brandeis had just one multiple hitter on the day, rookie 1B Ryan Healey (Lynn, Mass.), who went 2-4 with a double. Bourdon also had a two-bagger. Senior Zach Golden (Milton, Mass.) reached base with three walks.

Salve was paced by Collette, who went 1-3 with four RBI and the home run. Senior LF Joseph Leafe (Manchester, N.H.) and junior CF Brendan Haire (Waterford, Conn.) each went 3-4 with two runs scored.

On the hill, Toppi suffered the loss for Brandeis to fall to 0-1 on the season. He allowed five earned runs in 4.1 innings, allowing six hits and one walk with no strike outs. Fuller improved to 3-1 for Salve with six innings of six-hit ball. He gave up two earned runs and struck out six. Riggieri struck out two and walked two in three innings of action for the save.

Brandeis hosts Springfield College tomorrow at 3:00 p.m., while Salve Regina hosts New England College in a double header Saturday at noon.