WALTHAM, Mass. - The Brandeis and Clark baseball teams split a pair of offensive-minded games today on Stein Diamond as the Judges took the opener, 13-6, while the Cougars captured the nightcap, 10-7.
In game one, Brandeis (11-13) gave up the first run of the game in the top of the first, but the Judges exploded for six in the bottom of the frame. Sophomore SS Tony Deshler (Pepperrell, Mass./Lawrence Acad.) tied the game with a towering home run to left-center field. After a bases-loaded walk to sophomore RF Eric Rosenberg (Oakland, N.J/Indian Hills) and a sacrifice fly by rookie CF Sean O'Hare (Southampton, Mass./Hampshire Regional), junior 2B Jon O'Brion (Portland, Maine/Portland) blasted a three-run shot to centerfield that gave the Judges a 6-1 lead after one inning.
Clark (9-15) battled back, scoring twice in the second and three more times in the third, with the big blow a two-run home run to deep left-center by rookie DH Mitch DeLorenzo (Berlin, Conn./Kingswood Oxford). Later in the third, sophomore catcher Kevin Kopec (Katonah, N.Y./Iona Prep) was hit with a pitch. He stole second, moved to third on a wild throw and scored on an infield grounder to tie the game at 6-6.
The Judges reclaimed the lead in the bottom of the frame, stringing together three singles. The last was a run-producing shot through the left side by O'Brion, who went 2-3 with four RBI and two runs scored in the game. Brandeis went on to score in each of their next three turns at the plate, taking advantage of five Cougar errors to push the lead to 13-6.
Meanwhile, Judge junior Drew Brzozowski (Concord, Mass./Concord-Carlisle) kept Clark in check the rest of the way, stranding a runner on third with one out in the fourth and not allowing a runner past second the rest of the way. He improved to 3-1 on the season with 6.1 innings of eight-hit ball, striking out four and walking two while allowing six runs (five earned).
In game two, after a scoreless first inning, it was Clark's turn to jump out to the big lead. The Cougars struck for five unearned runs off of Brandeis senior starter James Collins (So. Boston, Mass./BB&N) after a key two-out error. The runs came courtesy a pair of mammoth home runs by junior CF Stephen DeMartino (East Haven, Conn./Notre Dame), a three-run shot, and junior RF Phillip DiMarco (Bellingham, Mass./Bellingham), a two-run blast.
After getting a single run back in the bottom of the second, the Judges climbed back in the game with three in the third. Deshler doubled home one run, while two more came home on a sacrifice fly by junior DH Drake Livada (Cape Elizabeth, Maine/Cape Elizabeth), including a runner from second after the throw home went into the dugout that cut the lead to 5-4.
In the fourth, Clark pushed the advantage back to two runs on a an RBI by sophomore LF Scott Hollingsworth (Tilton, N.H./Northfield Mt. Herman). Brandeis responded, tying the game in the bottom of the frame with two runs on just one hit. After a one-out single by O'Hare, Cougar starter Jonathan Merritt (E. Bridgewater, Mass./E. Bridgewater) walked the bases loaded. He then unleashed a wild pitch that allowed O'Hare to score, while a wild throw to Merritt, covering the plate, got loose and allowed the tying run to cross the plate.
The teams traded runs in the fifth before the Cougars cracked the game open with three runs in the sixth off of Brandeis sophomore Justin Duncombe (Canyon Country, Calif./Canyon). Hollingsworth led off the inning with a double to deep right field, and two batters later, DeLorenzo struck for the second time on the day, following suit to right field. Clark added another unearned run in the frame before Merritt retired the side in the sixth, earning the win to improve to 3-3, while senior David Gagnon (Harwich, Mass./Chatham) closed the door in the seventh for his third save of the campaign.
Brandeis is next in action tomorrow at 1 p.m. against Keene State College, while Clark is at Babson on Tuesday at 3:30 p.m. for a NEWMAC showdown.