Baseball rallies to defeat UMass-Dartmouth, 9-8

NORTH DARTMOUTH, MA (courtesy Umass-Dartmouth sports info) - The visiting Brandeis University Judges scored five runs in the seventh and eighth innings and came from behind to defeat the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth’s baseball team, 9-8, in a non-conference game at the UMass Dartmouth Athletic Complex Saturday.

The Judges took the lead for good in the seventh when sophomore 2B John O’Brion (Portland, Maine) reached on catcher’s interference with the bases loaded, and classmate 1B Drake Livada (Cape Elizabeth, Maine) followed with a sacrifice fly. Junior DH Nick Gallagher (Southboro, Mass.) singled in two runs in the eighth and scored on an error.

Senior first baseman Dylan Zygmont’s (Swansea, MA) RBI single in the first inning staked the Corsairs to a 1-0 lead. Brandeis rookie 3B Pat Nicholson (E. Walpole, Mass.) doubled in a run in a two-run sophomore catcher Artie Posch (Hopedale, Mass.) made it 4-1 Judges in the third.

UMass Dartmouth rallied, getting a run in the fourth on junior DH Casey Askeland’s (Dartmouth, MA) run-scoring single and three more in the fifth on Askeland’s two-run single and a run-scoring hit by sophomore LF Tom LaDore (Milford, CT) to take a 5-4 lead. The Corsairs scored three in the eighth on senior catcher Kevin Narey’s (Lynn, MA) RBI single and a two-run single by sophomore center fielder Jeff Macchi (Franklin, MA), but Nicholson moved to the mound from third base and escaped a bases-loaded jam by getting Zygmont to ground out, then retired the side in order in the ninth to earn his second save of the season.

Senior Rocco Toppi (Portland, Maine), the fourth of seven Brandeis pitchers, earned the victory with two scoreless innings and improved to 2-1, while senior right-hander Brian Vanasse (Sterling, MA), who started and pitched into the ninth inning, took the loss and dropped to 0-3.

The Corsairs dropped to 1-12 with the loss, while Brandeis improved to 7-6 with the victory. UMass Dartmouth will return to action when they host Southern Maine Sunday in a Little East Conference doubleheader, while the Judges will visit Babson Monday.