Seven-run seventh leads Brandeis baseball past Tufts, 9-2

WALTHAM, Mass. – The Brandeis University baseball team sent 12 men to the plate in the seventh inning, scoring seven runs, as the Judges rallied past Tufts University, 9-2, on Stein Diamond today.

Brandeis (10-8) trailed, 2-1, headed into the big inning. Rookie DH Ryan Healey (Lynn, Mass.) singled to left field to open the frame. He was replaced at first by senior Shane Butland (Columbus, Ohio), who stole second and moved to third on a balk. After Tufts senior starter Carlos Lopez (Brooklyn, N.Y.) got a strike out, rookie 3B James Likis (Cambridge, Mass.) doubled off the left field fence to knot the game at 2-2. Senior 2B Jeff Bourdon (No. Adams, Mass.) then plated what proved to be the game-winning run after a 10-pitch at-bat, singling up the middle.

The next six Brandeis batters also reached base. The big blows a two-run triple by senior RF Ben Dashefsky (Massapequa, N.Y.) that knocked Lopez out of the game, a suicide-squeeze bunt single by sophomore 1B Nick Gallagher (Southboro, Mass.) that greeted rookie reliever David Gibbs (Harrison, N.Y.), and a two-run double down the line by Butland.

Tufts (13-6), ranked No. 4 in New England by the New England Intercollegiate Baseball Coaches Association, took a 2-1 lead with single runs in the fourth and fifth innings. Junior RF Steve Ragonese (Upper Saddle River, N.J.) doubled home senior 1B Bryan McDavitt (Holden, Mass.), who had also doubled in the fourth. Ragonese drew a bases-loaded walk in the fifth that brought home sophomore CF Dave Katzman (No. Andover, Mass.).

Brandeis junior Tyler Robinson (Manotick, Ont.) got the win in relief. He gave up back-to-back walks in the fifth to allow the go-ahead run, but gave up just one hit in 2.2 innings, striking out three and walking three to improve to 4-2 on the season. Classmate Craig Letendre (Acushnet, Mass.) gave up six hits and two earned runs in 4.1 innings in the no-decision.

Lopez fell to 1-1 with the loss. He allowed 10 hits in 6.1 innings, giving up six earned runs. He struck out five and walked just one.

Offensively, Likis had a big day for the Judges, going 3-4 with a double while driving in the tying run and scoring the game-winner. Dashefsky was 2-5 with two RBI and two runs scored with his third career triple. Bourdon and Healey also had multiple hits, while Butland was the only other player with two RBI.

Katzman was the top hitter for the Jumbos, going 3-4 with a stolen base. McDavitt was 2-4 with a double and run scored, while Ragonese was 1-2 with two walks and two RBI.

Brandeis is next in action tomorrow at home against WPI at 3:00, while Tufts hosts Bowdoin in a NESCAC showdown on Friday at 3:00.