April 25, 2007

Judges down UMass-Boston, 8-5, in the rain

WALTHAM, Mass. – The Brandeis University baseball team made a five-run seventh inning stand up today as the Judges returned to .500 by defeating the UMass-Boston Beacons, 8-5.

Brandeis (13-13), playing as the visiting team when the game was switched to Waltham, opened up with a pair of runs in the top of the first inning on just one hit. With one out, the Judges coaxed two walks and a wild pitch to put runners on second and third. That brought up senior LF Jon Winston (Nanuet, N.Y.) who singled to center field that gave Brandeis a 2-0 lead.

UMass-Boston (11-15) got a run back in the bottom of the frame on a double to left-center field by senior RF Sean Ketterer (Plymouth, Mass.) after a Brandeis error. The Beacons tied the score on a mammoth home run by rookie 3B Steve Bowers (Portland, Ore.) to left field on the first pitch in the bottom of the fourth inning. It was his first collegiate round-tripper.

The Judges answered in the top of the fifth. With one away, senior SS Zach Golden (Milton, Mass.) reached on a dropped third strike. Two batters later, Winston was hit by a pitch for the 35th time in his career, the most in Brandeis history, putting runners at first and second. Rookie 2B Jon O'Brion (Portland, Maine) then hit a slow grounder to shortstop and beat the throw to first. Meanwhile, Golden raced to an uncovered home plate as the catcher had gone to back up first base, scoring the go-ahead run.

In the big seventh inning, Brandeis sent nine men to the plate, getting three hits and taking advantage of two UMass-Boston errors and one walk. Senior RF Ben Dashefsky (Massapequa, N.Y.) and Golden led off with singles, with Golden moving to second on the throw as Dashefsky went to third. Both scored when a wild pitch ricocheted in the visiting dugout. Rookie 3B James Likis (Cambridge, Mass.) picked up an RBI on a sacrifice fly, while heads-up base-running on an infield single by pinch hitter Drave Livada (Cape Elizabeth, Maine) produced two more runs to give the hosts an 8-2 lead.

Brandeis pitchers worked around trouble in the seventh and eighth before the Beacons struck for three runs in the bottom of the ninth. Ketterer connected for a two-run, bases-loaded double off of reliever James Collins (So. Boston, Mass.) to cut the lead to 8-4. That brought on junior Mike Dax (Delmar, N.Y.), who got the final two outs, including a sacrifice fly by senior 1B Jaime Soto (Peabody, Mass.), to earn his second save in as many days.

Golden finished the day 1-3 with a pair of walks and three runs scored, while rookie catcher Ryan Healey (Lynn, Mass.) also drew three free passes and crossed the plate twice. Winston and Livada were the only players with two RBI for the Judges, while sophomore Nick Gallagher (Southboro, Mass.) doubled for the team's only extra-base hit. Junior Craig Letendre (Acushnet, Mass.) earned the win with six innings of three-hit ball. He walked two and struck out four, giving up two runs (one earned). Letendre improved to 2-2 on the season.

Ketterer had the best day at the plate for UMass-Boston, finishing 2-3 with three RBI and a double. Junior Mike Dorval (Belchertown, Mass.) suffered the loss to move to 2-2. He allowed six runs (three earned) in six innings of work. Dorval walked seven Brandeis batters and struck out two.
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