May 7, 2008

Brzozowski pitches baseball to 5-0 win over Rivier in ECAC opener

WALTHAM, Mass. – Brandeis University sophomore Drew Brzozowski (Concord, Mass.) needed just 62 pitches to get through 7.2 innings to lead the fourth-seeded Judges past No. 5 seeded Rivier College, 5-0, in an ECAC Division III New England tournament first-round game tonight on Stein Diamond. With the win, the Judges advance to the double-elimination tournament this Friday, when they will take on top-seeded Roger Williams University at 1 p.m.

Brandeis (19-18) got all the offense they needed in the bottom of the first inning. Rookie LF Tony Deshler (Pepperrell, Mass.) singled up the middle and sophomore James Likis (Cambridge, Mass.) sent one through the right side. Rivier (16-16) senior ace Isaac Burkett (Hudson, N.H.) struck out the next batter, but a double steal followed by a walk loaded the bases. Rookie DH Pat Nicholson (E. Walpole, Mass.) bounced another ball through the right side, plating Deshler, though Likis was thrown out at the plate. Burkett got another strikeout to minimize the damage.

That was all Brzozowski would need as he threw 52 strikes and just 10 balls, allowing just one runner to second base in his 7.2 innings of work. He gave up four hits and struck out seven without walking a batter. Brzozowski only allowed one two-ball count, and only had two innings in which he threw more than 10 pitches. He improved to 4-1 on the season and was followed by three relievers who struck out three of the four batters they faced.

Brandeis added two more runs in both the third and fourth innings as the top two in the Brandeis line-up came through again. In the third, Deshler singled off the pitcher and Likis doubled down the left-field line before sophomore 2B John O'Brion (Portland, Maine) singled them home. In the fourth, Deshler singled up the middle to bring home senior SS Malcolm Cone-Coleman (Portland, Maine) and scored on Likis' second double of the game. The Judges' top two finished the night going a combined 6-for-9 with four runs scored, two RBI, two doubles and three stolen bases.

Burkett suffered the loss for the Raiders, surrendering 12 hits and five earned runs in seven innings. He struck out eight and walked three. He also went 1-3 at the plate with one of Rivier's four hits. Senior CF Franco Pisano (Lynnefield, Mass.), senior RF Roger Larochelle (Pelham, N.H.) and senior outfielder John Nicoloro (Cambridge, Mass.) had the visitor's other three hits.