Baseball drops 4-1 decision to Tufts

WALTHAM, Mass. - The visiting Tufts University baseball team held host Brandeis University to just one run on six hits while making the most of their lead-off opportunities as the Jumbos took a 4-1 decision on Stein Diamond today.

      Tufts (6-13) used lead-off hits in the second, third and fourth innings to score single runs in each frame. Sophomore RF Chase Rose (Scottsdale, Ariz./Chaparral) was the catalyst in two of those innings, leading off the second with a double and the fourth with a triple. He came home on an Alex Perry (Danvers, Mass./Danvers) grounder and a Nate Bankoff (Lynnfield, Mass./Lynnfield) sacrifice fly. The Jumbos' other early run came when senior CF David Katzman (No. Andover, Mass./St. John's Prep) singled, moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on a single by senior 3B Kevin Casey (Milford, Mass./Milford).

      Brandeis (11-14) sophomore starter Pat Nicholson (E. Walpole, Mass./Walpole) allowed Tufts base-runners in the sixth through eight innings, but was able to dance around the trouble. Meanwhile, the Judge bats were relatively silent against Tufts rookie starter Chris DeGoti (Miami, Fla./Belen Jesuit Prep) and sophomore Derek Miller (Whitman, Mass./Whitman-Hanson), who allowed just four hits through 7.2 innings.

      Miller encountered trouble with two out in the eighth, though, when sophomore pinch hitter Eric Rosenberg (Oakland, N.J./Indian Valley) dropped a single into short right field. Miller then issued a walk, followed by a balk and another walk by rookie Dave Ryan (Trumbull, Conn./Trumbull). Tufts coach John Casey summoned junior Tom Hill (Robbinsville, N.J./Peddie School) from the pen, and he got the final out of the inning, a grounder to short, on his first pitch.

      Tufts added an insurance run in the top of the ninth on another Bankoff RBI, while the Judges snapped their scoring drought with a lead-off home run by junior 1B Drake Livada (Cape Elizabeth, Maine/Cape Elizabeth). After junior 2B Jon O'Brion (Portland, Maine/Portland) singled and rookie RF Andrew Cohen (Beverly Hills, Calif./Monclair Prep) reached on a fielder's choice, Hill threw two wild pitches and issued a walk to Brandeis rookie SS Sean O'Hare (Southampton, Mass./Hampshire Reg.). That brought Casey to the hill again, getting sophomore Ed Bernstein (Foxboro, Mass./Foxboro). O'Hare stole second to put two runners in scoring position, but Bernstein got a strike out and a fly ball to deep center field that died just short of the fence to secure the save.

      Tufts, which managed just four runs despite 12 hits and four walks, was paced by Bankoff, who was 3-4 with two RBI; Katzman, who reached in all four plate appearances, going 3-3 with a walk and a run scored; and Rose, who was 2-5 with two extra-base hits, a double and a triple, and two runs scored. Miller earned the win, improving to 2-1 with 3.2 innings of one-hit ball, with two walks and two strikeouts. Bernstein earned his first save.

      Brandeis got four of their six hits from two players: Livada, who was 2-4 with his second home run in as many games and the seventh of his career; and O'Brion, who was 2-4. Nicholson suffered the loss, falling to 4-3, going 8.2 innings and avoiding too much trouble despite 12 hits and four walks. He gave up four earned runs and struck out two.

      Brandeis is next in action on Saturday when they travel to Western New England College for a noon doubleheader, while Tufts hosts Middlebury in a NESCAC inter-division twin-bill Friday at 1:30 p.m.

BOX SCORE

- 30 -