WALTHAM, Mass. - The Brandeis University baseball team swept a twin-bill from visiting Rochester Institute of Technology today in the Judges' home opener. Brandeis won the opener, 7-5, thanks to four unearned runs, and took a 5-1 decision in the nightcap behind a complete-game eight-hitter from junior pitcher Drew Brzozowski (Concord, Mass./Concord-Carlisle). The Judges move to 7-8 with the wins, while the Tigers fall to 2-8 on the campaign.
In the first contest, the Judges scored five runs in the first two innings. Sophomore C Zach Wooley (Argyle, Texas/Jesuit College Prep) opened the scoring with an RBI single to center. After a walk loaded the bases, sophomore 1B Pat Nicholson (E. Walpole, Mass./Walpole) dropped a ball down the right-field line that plated two more runs. Brandeis added two more in the second, loading the bases with none out. After RIT got a line-drive double play for the first two outs, Brandeis senior LF Mike Alfego (Shrewsbury, Mass./St. Johns) reached on an error that allowed the two remaining base-runners to score.
RIT answered with three runs in the third. The Tigers scored on a long RBI double to left-centerfield by senior SS Jeremy Tosh (Woodbine, Md./Glenelg) and a two-run home run by sophomore C Dave Kernan (Liverpool, N.Y./Cicero-North Syracuse) to the same part of the park. It was Kernan's second of the season.
The Tigers climbed within one in the sixth when rookie DH Jeff Creagh (Binghamton, N.Y./Chenango Forks) scored on a wild pitch. Brandeis got two back in the bottom of the frame, thanks to three RIT errors, and they needed them, as Tosh homered with two out, producing the final score, 7-5.
Offensively, Brandeis was paced by Nicholson's two RBI day and rookie SS Sean O'Hare (Southampton, Mass./Hampshire Regional), who was 2-3 with a triple and two runs scored. Junior Kyle Ritchie (Brewster, Mass./Nauset Reg.) earned his first collegiate win with five innings of four-hit ball. He struck out seven and walked two and hit two batters. Rookie Alex Tynan (Barnegat, N.J./Barnegat) earned the save by working the seventh inning, fanning one.
Mike Marsillo (Scottsdale, Ariz./Desert Mountain) suffered the loss for RIT, going the distance and allowing seven runs (three earned) on six hits. He fanned three and walked one, hitting three Brandeis batters. Tosh was the Tigers' offensive star, going 2-3 with two RBI, two runs scored, a double and a home run.
In the second game, Brzozowski was the story with his second career complete game. After allowing one run in the top of the first inning on a Kernan sacrifice fly, Brzozowski kept RIT at bay. He only allowed one more runner past second base the rest of the way, scattering eight hits and striking out four while walking none. Brzozowski improved to 1-1 on the season.
After falling behind in the first, the Judges responded with three runs in the bottom of the inning, only one of which was earned. Brandeis loaded the bases on a single by junior DH Drake Livada (Cape Elizabeth, Maine/Cape Elizabeth) and walks to rookie 3B Jon Chu (Hollis Hills, N.Y./Bronx Science) and junior RF John O'Brion (Portland, Maine/Portland). Wooley followed with a grounder to third base. The Tigers got a force out at the plate, but the catcher's relay to first hit Wooley in the back, allowing Livada to score the tying run. After another walk, O'Hare singled to right field, driving in two more runs.
The Judges added two insurance runs later in the contest. They scored in the second on a Livada sacrifice fly and in the sixth on a home run by junior LF James Likis (Cambridge, Mass./Cambridge Rindge & Latin). It was his first round-tripper of the season and the second of his career. The Judges' five runs came on just five hits, but they also benefited from three more RIT errors and six walks.
RIT had the game's only multiple hitter in junior RF Geoff Dornes (Landsville, Pa./Hempfield), who went 2-3 with their only run scored. Junior 3B Kyle Desrosiers (No. Attleboro, Mass./Xaverian Bros.) doubled for the Tigers' only extra-base hit. Senior Chris Miller (Rochester, N.Y./Rush-Henrietta) suffered the loss on the hill, allowing five runs (three earned) in 5.2 innings. He allowed five hits, but walked six and struck out just one.
Brandeis is next in action on Monday against Salem State, while RIT takes on Babson in a doubleheader tomorrow.