Nicholson, heart of the lineup, lead Brandeis past UMass-Boston, 9-2

Nicholson, heart of the lineup, lead Brandeis past UMass-Boston, 9-2

WALTHAM, Mass. - Brandeis sophomore right-hander PatNicholson (E. Walpole, Mass./Walpole) tossed histeam-leading third complete game of the season and the Judges'4-5-6 hitters went 9-for-13 with a home run, three RBI and fiveruns scored  to defeat the visiting UMass-Boston Beacons, 9-2,on Stein Diamond today. Brandeis moves to 14-19 overall, while UMBfalls to 13-18.

      Nicholson improved to 5-4 on theseason by scattering seven hits over nine innings of work. Hestruck out six and did not walk a batter, allowing just one earnedrun. Nicholson snapped a personal three-game losing streak, but itwas the third-straight game that he worked into the ninth inning.

      Offensively, the trio of junior1B Drake Livada (Cape Elizabeth, Maine/CapeElizabeth), sophomore 3B Tony Deshler (Pepperell,Mass./Lawrence Acad.) and junior 2B John O'Brion(Portland, Maine/Portland) were the stars. Livada, theclean-up hitter, recorded his fourth-straight game with at leastthree hits, going 4-for-5 with two RBI and a run scored. His RBI inthe first inning tied the game at 1-1 after UMass-Boston had openedthe frame with a home run in the first. Livada, the reigning UAACo-Player of the Week, has 15 in last 22 at-bats (.682), raisinghis season average from .290 to .365.

      Deshler went 2-4 with a runscored out of the five-hole, while O'Brion was 3-for-4 with threeruns scored, an RBI and a solo home run. His round-tripper leadingoff the second gave Brandeis a 2-1 lead. It was O'Brion's third ofthe season, tying him for the team lead in homers and extra-basehits with nine.  

      After UMass-Boston tied the gamein the top of the third, the Judges scored the game-winning run inthe bottom of the frame on an error in the outfield that allowedrookie SS Joe Correia (Belleville, N.J./Montclair KimberlyAcad.) to score from second on a Livada single. They addedtwo more runs in the fourth on RBI ground-outs, and blew it openwith four in the seventh, with the big blow a two-run single bysenior DH Mike Alfego (Shrewsbury, Mass./St.Johns).

      The Beacons were paced bysophomore 2B Ryan Walsh (Newton, Mass./Newton North), who producedthe team's solo home run in the first as part of a 2-3 day. JuniorLF Drew Tambling (Streling, Mass./Littleton) also had two hits onthe afternoon, while rookie RF Ty Buccetti (Wallingford,Conn./Xavier) had the team's only other extra-base hit, afifth-inning double. Sophomore Frank Yarovsky (Phillipston,Mass./Narragansett Regional) suffered the loss on the hill, lastingfour innings and giving up six hits, five runs (three earned). Hestruck out one and hit a batter.

      The Judges are back in actiontomorrow at 3 p.m. against Endicott College, coached by 1999Brandeis graduate and former assistant coach Bryan Haley.UMass-Boston heads to top-ranked Southern Maine at the same timefor a Little East Conference game.