WALTHAM, Mass. - The visiting Johnson and Wales University baseball team struck for seven runs in the first four innings and were able to hold off host Brandeis University by turning three key double plays in the late innings as the Wildcats defeated the Judges, 7-3, on Stein Diamond today. JWU improves to 15-14 with the win, while Brandeis falls to 11-18.
The visitors jumped on Brandeis junior Kyle Ritchie (Brewster, Mass./Nauset Regional) for six runs in 2.2 innings of work. Big hits for the Wildcats included a pair of first-inning doubles by junior CF Waldis Garcia (Lowell, Mass./Lowell) and senior DH Kohn Kuschman (Glastonbury, Conn./East Catholic), who both came around to score. Kuschman added an RBI single in the third, followed by a two-run single from senior 3B Frank Nadjavestky (Avenel, N.J./Colonia).
Brandeis snapped a 17-inning scoreless streak in the bottom of the third on three straight singles by rookie SS Julian Cavin (Brooklyn, N.Y./Beacon School), rookie CF Sean O'Hare (Southampton, Mass./Hampshire Regional) and sophomore 3B Tony Deshler (Pepperrell, Mass./Lawrence Acad.). O'Hare was thrown out rounding second on Deshler's RBI hit, draining some of the momentum from the Judges' inning.
JWU answered with a run in the top of the fourth without a hit, as junior LF Michael Sarfati (N. Plainfield, N.J./N. Plainfield) walked, stole second, moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on a Mike Murphy (Pawtucket, R.I./St. Raphael Acad.) ground out.
Brandeis added single runs in the fifth on an O'Hare sacrifice fly and in the seventh on a two-out single by Deshler. Despite allowing runners in every inning, The Wildcats were able to work out of trouble by inducing three double plays, including two in the last three innings.
Wildcat junior starter Nick Marine (Bristol, R.I./Mount Hope) improved to 3-2 with six innings of seven-hit ball. He gave up three earned runs and did not walk or strike out a batter, though he did hit three with pitches. Rookie Marc Sommerhalter (Emerson, N.J./Emerson) earned his third save with three innings of scoreless ball.
Ritchie suffered the loss after 2.2 innings of seven-hit, six-run ball. The back end of the Brandeis bullpen was impressive, as sophomore John McGrath (New York, N.Y./Trevor Day) and rookie Alex Tynan (Barnegat, N.J./Barnegat) held the Wildcats scoreless over the final six innings, allowing four hits, two walks and two hit batters between them.
Offensively, Brandeis was paced by Deshler, who went 2-5 with two RBI, and Cavin, who reached in all four of his plate appearances with three singles and a hit-by-pitch. Junior DH Drake Livada (Cape Elizabeth, Maine/Cape Elizabeth) also had two hits, while sophomore RF Eric Rosenberg's (Oakland, N.J./Indian Hills) double was the Judges' only extra-base hit.
JWU had four multiple hitters: Garcia, Kuschman, Nadjavestky and senior catcher Eric Rapuano (Clinton, Conn./Morgan), who reached base in five plate appearances, by going 2-2 with a walk and getting hit by two pitches. He scored two runs and drove in one.
Brandeis wraps up a three-game homestand tomorrow at 3 p.m. against Salem State College, while Johnson & Wales travels to Albertus Magnus for a GNAC twin-bill on Saturday afternoon.