April 23, 2008

Bats come alive in baseball's 20-6 win over UMass-Boston

WALTHAM, Mass. – The Brandeis University baseball team tallied a season-high 20 runs on 22 hits as the Judges defeated visiting UMass-Boston, 20-6, on Stein Diamond.

The Judges (15-14) batted around twice in the contest, sending 14 men to the plate in the fourth inning, when they scored 10 runs off four different pitchers. Brandeis added six more in the eighth, when 10 men batted.

The fourth inning was highlighted by back-to-back home runs from rookie LF Tony Deshler (Pepperell, Mass.) and sophomore 2B John O'Brion (Portland, Maine). Deshler's blast gave the Judges a 5-4 lead they would not relinquish, while O'Brion added a bases-loaded double later in the inning that put Brandeis ahead, 12-4.

Deshler also went deep to lead off the sixth inning, finishing the day 3-6 with four RBI, two home runs and a double. O'Brion was 2-6 with a homer, double, four RBI and a team-high four runs scored. Sophomore 1B Drake Livada (Cape Elizabeth, Maine) had a career-high five hits in six at-bats, with one RBI and one run scored. Livada now has a 17-game hitting streak to raise his batting average to .457 on the season.

Also producing three-hit games for the Judges were junior DH Dave Almeida (Bridgeport, Conn.) and senior Malcolm Cone-Coleman (Portland, Maine). Senior CF Chuck Sheehan (Lexington, Mass.) was 2-4 with three RBI, including a successful suicide squeeze bunt that helped the Judges build an early 3-0 lead. Sophomore 3B/RF James Likis (Cambridge, Mass.) reached base four times, rapping a double and getting hit by a pitch on three different plate appearances. Likis, Cone-Coleman and Sheehan all scored three runs.

Sophomore pitcher Drew Brzozowski (Concord, Mass.) was the beneficiary of the outburst. He went seven innings, allowing six runs (five earned) on 11 hits. He struck out two and walked none to improve to 3-1 on the season.

UMass-Boston (12-19) held a brief lead in the fourth inning, when the Beacons sent eight men to the plate and scored four runs. After junior RF Tom Michael (Manchester, N.H.) was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning, five straight UMB batters hit singles to tie the game at 3-3. Brzozowski induced a 6-3 double play with the bases loaded as the go-ahead run scored, but he got the next out to keep the damage to a minimum.

The Beacons were paced by rookie catcher Timothy Fontaine (Worcester, Mass.), who went 3-5 with a run and an RBI, while junior catcher Eric Salvador (Middleboro, Mass.) was 2-5 with two RBI and a run. Senior Mike Dorval (Belchertown, Mass.) surrendered Deshler's first home run and suffered the loss, falling to 1-3 on the campaign.