McGrath shines, but Endicott scratches out 4-3 win in 11 innings

McGrath shines, but Endicott scratches out 4-3 win in 11 innings

BEVERLY, Mass. (info taken from an Endicott press release) -- The Brandeis baseball team got a stellar starting performance from junior John McGrath (New York, N.Y./Trevor Day), who tossed a career-high eight-and-two-thirds innings, but the Judges could not hang on to get him the win as they fell, 4-3, in 11 innings at Endicott College today. Brandeis falls to 9-20 on the season, while Endicott improves to 22-12.

Brandeis got on the board in the top of the fourth without benefit of a hit. Sophomore 3B Jon Chu (Hollis Hills, N.Y./Bronx H.S. of Science) and rookie catcher Chris Ferro (Walpole, Mass./Walpole) both walked to start the inning. Senior DH Artie Posch (Hopedale, Mass./Hopedale) grounded to third and beat out a relay throw from second to put runners on the corners. Junior 1B Eric Rosenberg (Oakland, N.J./Indian Hills) followed with a sacrifice fly to left to give Brandeis a 1-0 lead. It was the fourth time in five games that Rosenberg has recorded an RBI.

The Gulls answered in the bottom of the frame when DH Aaron Santos (Cambridge, Mass.) knocked in an RBI double, one of only two extra-base hits by either team on the day. He scored one batter later on an infield error struck by Colin Sitarz (West Hartford, Conn.), giving the hosts a 2-1 lead, but McGrath got the final two outs on a come-backer to the mound and pop to third base to escape any more damage.

Brandeis scored single runs in the sixth and seventh innings, but had the opportunity to add more, leaving the bases loaded each time. With two away in the sixth, Ferro singled back through the box, Posch was hit by a pitch, and Rosenberg singled to third to pack the sacks. Sophomore SS Sean O'Hare (Southampton, Mass./Hampshire Regional) drew a walk to knot the game at 2-2.

In the seventh, Brandeis took its second lead of the day when rookie RF Nick Cortese (Guaynabo, Puerto Rico/Baldwin School of Puerto Rico) drew a leadoff walk and came around to score on a Chu single in the hole at shortstop. The Gulls tied the game with two out in the eighth inning when Sitarz hit an RBI single to left field that scored Ralph Fidaleo (Fairfield, Conn.).

Endicott’s Matt Sharon (Wallingford, Vt.) shut down the Judges over the final three innings and received some help when Chris Dominguez (Braintree, Mass.) and Eric Lemke (Southington, Conn.) turned in a spectacular double play to get out of the 10th inning.  O’Hare hit a Sharon offering deep into the hole at short but Dominguez ranged to his right and threw to second off his back foot. Lemke stepped over the bag, getting the out at second, and in one motion, threw over to first to retire the side.

In the bottom of the 11th, Sitarz drew a leadoff walk and was sacrificed into scoring position by Andrew Betts (Bristol, Conn.). Joe Kasabuski stepped to the plate and stroked a Mike Swerdloff (Scarsdale, N.Y./Ardsley) offering into the gap in left-centerfield that allowed Sitarz to score and gave the Gulls the walk-off, 4-3 victory.

For the Judges, McGrath earned a no-decision while throwing 8.2 innings, giving up eight hits and three runs (two earned) with four strikeouts in his career-long outing. Swerdloff suffered the setback, going the final 1.2 innings while giving up only one hit and one earned run. At the plate, Brandeis was led by multi-hit days from Chu, Ferro and Rosenberg, as the three players combined to go 9-for-13 at the plate with two RBI and two runs scored. Cortese picked up the only other hit for the Judges, going 1-for-3 with a run scored.