Brandeis baseball drops home opener to No. 18 Wheaton, 8-1

WALTHAM, Mass. – The Brandeis University baseball team dropped its home opener today as the Judges fell to 18th-ranked Wheaton (Mass.) College, 8-1. The Lyons were able to take advantage of four Brandeis errors to score five unearned runs.

Wheaton (10-4) got all the scoring they would need in the third inning when they scored four runs on just one hit, as the Judges committed three errors to go along with a hit batsman and a wild pitch. Lyon senior 2B Jake Yagjian (Brewster, Mass.) drove in two of the runs on a double down the right-field line for the only hit of the inning.

Brandeis (5-4) avoided trouble in the fourth when senior lefty Tyler Robinson (Manotick, Ont.) picked off a runner after allowing a lead-off single, but Wheaton again scored multiple runs with just one hit in the fifth. After sophomore LF Paul Malaguti (Andover, Mass.) walked and Yagjian was hit by a pitch, the two runners were bunted to third by rookie DH Sean Munley (Trenton, N.J.).

Brandeis coach Pete Varney called for an intentional walk to senior 3B and clean-up hitter Scott Guillerault (So. Portland, Maine), but sophomore catcher Jeff Lieneck (Foxboro, Mass.) made the Judges pay with a single down the left-field line, plating two. Wheaton's third run of the inning came when Guillerault scored from second on an errant pick-off throw. Malaguti added an RBI single in the sixth to make the lead 8-0.

The Judges broke up the shutout bid by Wheaton junior lefty Brian Hughes (Dudley, Mass.) in the seventh. With one away and runners at first and second, rookie DH Pat Nicholson (E. Walpole, Mass.) singled up the middle for his first collegiate RBI. Wheaton junior Jared Barnes (No. Attleboro, Mass.) got two grounders to second to end the inning.

Brandeis had two multi-hit games, as sophomores 2B John O'Brion (Portland, Maine) and 3b Drake Livada (Cape Elizabeth, Maine) each went 2-4. Junior 1B Nick Gallagher (Southboro, Mass.) had the Judges' only extra-base hit, a double in the fifth inning.

Wheaton was paced by Malaguti, who was 2-3 with two runs scored and an RBI. He also reached twice as a result of getting hit by a pitch. Yagjian finished 1-2 with three walks, two RBI, two runs scored and a double.

On the hill, Hughes was efficient in winning his third game of the season, allowing just five hits in 6.1 innings of work. He struck out three and walked two, throwing 88 pitches, 55 for strikes. Brandeis starter Robinson fell to 2-1 on the campaign. Robinson also allowed just five hits, but he walked four and hit two batters and was the victim of all four errors to surrender eight runs, only three of which were earned. Three other Brandeis pitchers combined to allow just four base runners over the final 3.1 innings.