March 18, 2009

Judges rally for five in ninth to defeat Bridgewater State, 9-5, in New England opener

BRIDGEWATER, Mass. - Rookie 3B Jon Chu (Hollis Hills, N.Y./Bronx High School of Science) cleared the bases and untied the game with a ninth-inning double today as the Brandeis baseball team defeated Bridgewater State, 9-5, in the New England debut for both teams. The Judges, who scored all nine runs with two outs, improve to 5-7 with the win, while BSC falls to 5-5.

Trailing, 5-4, headed into the ninth, Brandeis put pressure on Bridgewater State sophomore closer  Jeff Puopolo (Brockton, Mass./Brockton) early. Sophomore catcher Zach Wooley (Argyle, Texas/Jesuit College Prep) walked to lead off the frame and was bunted to second by junior 2B John O'Brion (Portland, Maine/Portland). Pupuolo got within one out of ending the game by fanning junior pinch hitter James Likis (Cambridge, Mass./Cambridge Rindge & Latin), but walked classmate Sean O'Hare (Southampton, Mass./Hampshire Regional). That brought up sophomore CF Tony Deshler (Pepperell, Mass./Lawrence Acad.) who delivered once again, singling up the middle to tie the score at 5-5. He advanced to second on an overthrow, putting runners on second and third.

After Puopolo hit senior DH Nick Gallagher (Southboro, Mass./St. Johns) to load the bases, Chu delivered his fourth double of the season, driving the first pitch he saw to left-center field and adding three more RBI to his total. Junior 1B Drake Livada (Cape Elizabeth, Maine/Cape Elizabeth) plated Chu with a single to give the Judges the 9-5 lead. Junior James Collins (So. Boston, Mass./BB&N) worked around a one-out walk to pick up the win in relief. Collins tossed 2.2 innings of one-hit ball to earn the win, allowing just one hit and one walk and letting one inherited runner score in the seventh inning.

Brandeis took an early 3-0 lead on O'Hare's first collegiate home run, a three-run blast in the second inning. After plating single runs in the second and fourth frames, BSC had three hits and took advantage of two Judges errors to score three runs in the seventh inning. The Bears' two RBI in the frame came from sophomore 1B Greg Steele (North Dighton, Mass./Dighton-Rehoboth) and fielder's choice by junior SS Brian Medairos (Brockton, Mass./Brockton), with another run coming home on an error.

Offensively for Brandeis, Deshler went 3-5 with a pair of doubles, an RBI and a run scored. He extended his hitting streak to nine games and recorded his seventh multi-hit game. Livada was 2-5 with an RBI and a run, while Chu had his second multi-RBI game with three driven in.

Bridgewater State got two-hit performances from sophomore 2B Seob Yoon (Tokyo, Japan/Mid-Pacific Institute), who drove in two and had a double, senior CF J.T. Mooney (North Attleboro, Mass./North Attleboro) and rookie DH David Dole (W. Bridgewater, Mass./W. Bridgewater). Puopolo suffered the loss, falling to 0-2. Senior Jeff Sarahs (Whitman, Mass./Whitman-Hanson) got the no-decision as the Bears' starter, giving up four earned runs on six hits in seven innings. He struck out four and walked three.

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