Baseball takes home opener, 10-9, from Bridgewater State

WALTHAM, Mass. – Brandeis University rookie left fielder Chris Ferro (Walpole, Mass./Walpole) had an impressive home debut, going 4-for-4 with five RBI, three runs scored, a stolen base, a double and a home run today as the Judges scored in the bottom of the ninth to defeat visiting Bridgewater State College, 10-9, on Stein Diamond.

Brandeis (3-7) fell behind early as Bridgewater State (5-3) struck for four runs against Judge rookie righty Dylan Britton (Poughquag, N.Y./Arlington). Junior LF Ian Williams (Taunton, Mass./Taunton) went deep to center field in the first to give the visitors a 3-0 lead. Senior Tom Couet (E. Freetown, Mass./Apponequet) also hit a round-tripper to centerfield in the second, staking the Bears to a 4-0 lead. The home runs were the first of the season for both players.

Brandeis got one run back in the bottom of the second when Ferro singled, stole second, moved to third on a passed ball and scored on sophomore Zach Malis's (Merrick, N.Y./Bellmore JFK) sacrifice fly to center. Rookie CF Nick Cortese (Guaynabo, P.R./Baldwin School of Puerto Rico) singled to short and came home two batters later on an error in the third to get the Judges to within 4-2.

Ferro hit his second collegiate home run in the fourth with a runner on first to knot the game at 4-4. Brandeis loaded the bases later in the inning, but BSC junior Brian Guillotte (New Bedford, Mass./New Bedford) got out of trouble by inducing a grounder back to the mound. The Bears answered with three runs in the top of the fifth on a two-run double off the wall in center by senior catcher Matt Greenberg (Norwell, Mass./Norwell) followed by an RBI single to left by rookie CF John Garabedian (Mansfield, Mass.).

The Judges responded with three runs of their own in the bottom of the frame. With one out, senior 1B Drake Livada (Cape Elizabeth, Maine/Cape Elizabeth) singled and stole second. Ferro doubled him home and then scored himself when senior 2B John O'Brion (Portland, Maine/Portland) hit a two-bagger of his own, just missing clearing the fence in left. O'Brion moved to third on a Malis single and scored on a wild pitch, tying the game at 7-7.

Judge senior Drew Brzozowski (Concord, Mass./Concord-Carlisle) retired the side in order in the sixth, allowing the hosts to take their first lead in the bottom of the inning. With one out, sophomore SS Sean O'Hare (Southampton, Mass./Hampshire Regional) hit a double. Two batters later, Ferro singled on a ball knocked downby the second baseman, and O'Hare scored all the way from second. The Judges went on to load the bases, but BSC rookie Jonathan Surrette (Lynn, Mass./Lynn English) got a strikeout to escape further damage. Brzozowski left the sacks packed in the top of the seventh, and stranded two more in the eighth to set up a dramatic ending.

Brandeis added a key unearned in the bottom of the eighth, as sophomore DH Jon Chu (Hollis Hills, N.Y./Bronx Science) reached second on a throwing error and pinch runner Joe Galli (Wakefield, Mass./Wakefield Memorial) scored on consecutive long fly balls by Livada and Ferro to give the Judges a 9-7 lead.

In Bridgewater State's ninth, Brzozowski struck out the first batter he faced, but Williams followed with a well-struck single through the left side. That brought up rookie pinch hitter Tyler Dennis (Stoughton, Mass./Stoughton), who launched the second pitch he saw to deep left field, tying the game at 9-9. The Bears got another runner in the inning, but Judge senior Kyle Ritchie (Brewster, Mass./Nauset Regional) got out of the inning without further damage.

In the bottom of the ninth, Malis was hit by a pitch to start the inning and stole second. After a failed bunt attempt led to a strikeout, junior catcher Zach Wooley (Argyle, Texas/Jesuit College Prep) hit a soft line drive to first, but it went through the fielder's glove for a crucial error. Junior 3B Tony Deshler (Pepperell, Mass./Lawrence Acad.) then knocked a ball back up the middle that was deflected by BSC junior pitcher Jeff Puopolo (Brockton, Mass./Brockton). The Bears were unable to convert it into an out as Malis dashed home from third for the walk-off win.

Ferro now leads the Judges with 11 RBI and a .407 batting average in nine collegiate games. In addition, Livada (2-5, 2 R, SB) and O'Brion (2-3, 2 BB, 2B, R, RBI) were also multiple hitters for Brandeis. Ritchie earned the win with two-thirds of an inning of work, allowing one hit and striking out one.

BSC was paced at the plate by Williams (3-5, 2 RBI, 2 R, HR) and Greenberg (2-4, 3 RBI, 2 R, 2B). Surrette suffered the loss despite not allowing a hit and striking out two in 2.1 innings. He gave up two unearned runs, walked two and hit a batter, while two Brandeis hitters reached on errors on his watch.

The Judges are back in action next Monday afternoon at Salem State College at 3 p.m., while BSC has its home opener against Husson University on Sunday at noon for a doubleheader.

BRANDEIS-BRIDGEWATER STATE BOX SCORE