WALTHAM, Mass. - The Brandeis University baseball team broke past the .500 mark with two wins in Saturday's afternoon doubleheader against Springfield College. The Judges won the first game, 6-2, and followed it up with a 5-3 victory over the Pride. With the two victories Brandeis improve to 10-9 on the year, while Springfield falls to 3-12.
The starting pitchers for Brandeis were the story on the day as both pitched complete games. In the first game, Pat Nicholson (E. Walpole, Mass./Walpole) allowed only two run on five hits and one walk while striking out six batters. His only major blemish on the day was a home run in the first inning to Springfield's junior LF Joe Kropa (Cranford, N.J./Roselle Catholic). Nicholson gave up a double to junior 1B Travis Turgeon (Norwich, Conn./St. Benard) in the second inning but after that went on to retire nine straight Springfield batters and collect his fourth win of the season. In the second contest, the Judges put junior Drew Brzozowski (Concord, Mass./Concord-Carlisle) on the mound. He pitched seven innings giving up three runs on four hits and three walks while striking out eight batters, tying his career-high, to pick up his second win of the year.
Both pitchers were backed by the defense. Rookie 3B Jon Chu (Hollis Hills, N.Y./Bronx Science) made the play of the day in the seventh inning of the second game. He made a backhand stab on a one-hop line shot which knocked him down, got to his feet and threw a perfect shoot over to first base for the second out to close the door on Springfield.
The offensive production was as timely as it has been all season as well. With a 3-2 lead going into the bottom of the sixth inning of the first game, Brandeis extended their lead. Rookie SS Sean O'Hare (Southampton, Mass./Hampshire Regional) broke things open with a two-out, two-RBI single on a line shot over the third baseman which highlighted the inning. This produced the cushion Nicholson needed to finish off the Pride and take home the victory.
The second game was much of the same. Brandeis had another 3-2 lead but this time it was going into the bottom half of the fourth. The inning started with a leadoff walk by junior RF Eric Javor (Uncasville, Conn./St. Benard). O'Hare then singled and advanced to second on the throw to third. Javor then scored on a wild pitch and O'Hare moved to third. The call of the game was a suicide squeeze play which was performed perfectly by senior LF Mike Alfego (Shrewsbury, Mass./St. John's) to bring home O'Hare.
The Judges are scheduled to play at Wheaton on March 29, at 1:00 p.m.
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