April 18, 2009

Livada leads baseball team in split with Babson

BABSON PARK, Mass. (courtesy Babson sports information)– Junior DH Drake Livada (Cape Elizabeth, Maine) had a six-hit day as the Brandeis baseball team split a non-conference doubleheader with local rival Babson today. The Judges took game one, 5-4, before the Beavers rallied in the bottom of the ninth inning to take the second contest, 8-7. Brandeis moves to 13-19 on the season, while Babson goes to 17-15.

In the opener, senior righthander James Collins (So. Boston, Mass.) tossed 5.1 innings of seven-hit ball. The veteran righthander allowed three runs, walked one and struck out three,  but earned a no-decision when the bullpen blew his lead. Offensively, the Judges were paced by Livada, who went 3-for-4 with a homer, one run and three RBIs, while first-year Julian Cavin (Brooklyn, N.Y.), first-year Sean O’Hare (Southampton, Mass.), and sophomore Pat Nicholson (East Walpole, Mass.) each added two hits apiece.

Sophomore Corey Highfield (East Hampstead, N.H.) went 3-for-3 in defeat for Babson, which also received two hits apiece from O’Toole and junior Brian Scanlon. Junior Keane Steiding (Falmouth, Mass.) took the loss in relief for the Beavers, despite allowing just one run on four hits while fanning two in four strong innings of work.

Babson jumped out to an early lead with three runs in the first, highlighted by an RBI double by first-year Travis Jonasson (Needham, Mass.) and a run-scoring hit by Scanlon. However, Brandeis got one run back in the second on a sac fly by senior Nick Gallagher (Southboro, Mass.) and then jumped in front with three in the third – two of which came on Livada’s third home run of the season.

The Beavers tied the score at 4-4 in the bottom of the sixth, as first-year Billy Miller (Sagamore Beach, Mass.) walked, moved to third on a single by Highfield, and scored on a passed ball by sophomore Justin Duncombe (Canyon Country, Calif.). However, Brandeis came right back with a run in the top of the seventh, with Livada driving in his third run of the contest with a double. That would prove to be enough for Duncombe, who pitched around a leadoff single in the bottom of the seventh to finish off the 5-4 win.

Babson once again opened up an early three-run advantage in game two. After the two teams traded runs in the first, the Beavers plated three in the second, highlighted by a two-run single by sophomore Billy Besinger (Milton, Mass.). The Judges got two runs back in the top of the third, but Babson re-extended its advantage to 6-3 with a pair in the bottom half of the inning. Miller tripled in the first and later scored the second on a sacrifice fly by Highfield.

Brandeis once again pulled to within one with two runs in the fifth and then finally knotted the score when Nicholson singled in sophomore Tony Deshler (Pepperell, Mass.) with two outs in the top of the seventh. Babson then failed to score in the bottom half, sending the game into extra innings.

After both teams came up empty in the eighth, the Judges took their first lead since the first inning when Deshler doubled and scored on a two-out single by first-year Andrew Cohen (Beverly Hills, Calif.) in the top of the ninth. However, Babson rallied in the bottom of the inning when senior captain Bryan Evans (Bellaire, Texas) led off with a single, moved to third on an errant pick-off attempt, and scored on a single by fellow senior captain Jeff Wojnar (Bellaire, Texas) to once again tie the contest at 7-7.

After a sacrifice bunt and a fly out to left, Babson junior Jake Bartlett (Weymouth, Mass.) drew an intentional walk to put runners on first and second with two away. An infield error then loaded the bases for O’Toole, who smacked the game-winning single to center to give Babson the thrilling 8-7 victory. It was Babson’s second walk-off win of the year.

Senior Chris Legrow (North Andover, Mass.) earned his first win (1-0) of the year in relief in game two, going four innings and allowing two runs on five hits, walking none and striking out one. Duncombe shouldered the loss (1-3) in relief for Brandeis, giving up two unearned runs on four hits and walking one in 1 2/3 innings of work.

Highfield had two more hits in the nightcap to give him five safeties on the day, while Besinger, Evans, and Miller each joined him with two hits. Besinger and O’Toole each drove in a pair, and Miller scored twice.

For the Judges, Livada had his second three-hit performance of the day, while Gallagher, O’Hare, and first-year Jon Chu (Hollis Hills, N.Y.) contributed two hits apiece.