WALTHAM, Mass. – In a non-conference doubleheader at Stein Diamond today, the Brandeis and Framingham State baseball teams each picked up a win. In the opener, Judge rookie lefty Mike Swerdloff (Scarsdale, N.Y./Ardsley) tossed a complete-game four-hitter to earn a 6-1 victory. The Rams responded with a 7-5 win in game two, paced by junior 3B Joe Sheehan (Burlington, Mass./Burlington), who went 3-for-4 with two doubles, including what proved to be the game-winning hit in the fifth inning.
In the opener, Swerdloff tossed his first collegiate complete game, throwing 103 pitches, 70 for strikes. He struck out six, tying a career-high, and walked just one in his career-long outing. Swerdloff allowed just two runners past second base in the contest. In the second inning, with runners on second and third, he got an easy grounder to second to end the inning, and Framingham State scored their only run on a fourth-inning home run to left-center by junior catcher Danny Chiasson (Watertown, Mass./Watertown).
Meanwhile, Brandeis scored runs in four of their six trips to the plate. The Judges opened the scoring in the bottom of the second when seniors 1B Drake Livada (Cape Elizabeth, Maine/Cape Elizabeth) and catcher Artie Posch (Hopedale, Mass./Hopedale) executed a double-steal with two outs. Livada scored from third while Posch was caught in a run-down between first and second.
After FSC tied the score on Chiasson's home run, Brandeis responded with three runs in the bottom of the fourth. After rookie LF Chris Ferro (Walpole, Mass./Walpole) and sophomore DH Jon Chu (Hollis Hills, N.Y./Bronx Science) singled to start the inning, Livada laid down a bunt to advance them to second and third. Ferro beat the throw to third and scored when the ball got away. Another bunt advanced Chu and Livada, and senior 2B John O'Brion (Portland, Maine/Portland) and Posch drove them home to give Brandeis a 4-1 lead. Chu added a sacrifice fly in the sixth and sophomore CF Zach Malis (Merrick, N.Y./Bellmore JFK) laid down a squeeze bunt in the seventh for the final 6-1 tally.
In the second game, the team's traded four-run innings in the early going. FSC notched three unearned runs on five hits in the second inning, as the first batter of the inning reach on an error. That was followed Sheehan's first double and a sacrifice fly by junior RF Steven Tramantozzi (Watertown, Mass./Watertown) that opened the scoring. The Rams also got RBI singles from junior SS Justin Wijcik (Dracut, Mass./Greater Lowell Tech), junior 2B Daniel Tomasz (Newburyport, Mass./Newburyport) and rookie RF Will Crofton (Hopkinton, Mass./Marian) in the frame to establish a 4-0 lead.
The Judges answered in the bottom of the third. With the bases loaded and one out, Chu singled up the middle two drive in two and cut the lead in half, 4-2, moving to second on the throw. Livada grounded out to second to plate Brandeis's third run and junior 3B Tony Deshler (Pepperell, Mass./Lawrence Acad.) singled home Chu to knot the score at 4-4.
Framingham State bounced back with three in the top of the fourth, taking advantage of two Brandeis errors. Tomasz and Crofton both reached on Judge miscues to open up the frame. Junior DH Cory Ketterer (Plymouth, Mass./Plymouth North) singled to load the bases.
Brandeis rookie reliever Stefan Weiss (Jericho, N.Y./Jericho) got a comebacker to the mound for a force at the plate for the inning's first out and looked to get out of the frame with minimal damage after getting junior catcher Sean Callahan (Watertown, Mass./Watertown) on a sacrifice fly to center, but Sheehan answered by pounding his second two-bagger of the day to deep left-center field, giving the Rams a 7-4 lead. Weiss surrendered two more walks to load the bases, but Brandeis junior John McGrath (New York, N.Y./Trevor Day) got a slow roller to second to finish the inning.
The Judges looked to get back into the game in the bottom of the fourth, loading the bases with one out. After senior RF James Likis (Cambridge, Mass./Cambridge Rindge and Latin) and Malis singled to chase FSC starting pitcher Mike Cain (Gloucester, Mass./Gloucester), sophomore SS Sean O'Hare (Southampton, Mass./Hampshire Regional) loaded the bases against Ram junior Matthew Magazine (Marlborough, Mass./Assabet Valley). Magazine bore down, however, getting Ferro on a sac fly to center and striking out Chu to minimize the damage, and the Judges were unable to mount any further offense.
Sheehan was the hitting star of game two, going 3-for-4 with two doubles, two RBI and a run scored. Crofton also had three hits and two-bagger in the game, scoring one and driving in one. Magazine picked up the win for the Rams with 3.2 innings of two-hit ball. He retired 10 of the 13 batters he faced, striking out three and walking one.
Brandeis had two multiple hitters, as Likis and Malis were both 2-for-3 with a run scored. Weiss suffered the loss despite not giving up an earned run. He tossed 1.1 innings of two-hit relief, striking out one and walking two. McGrath, rookie Dylan Britton (Poughquag, N.Y./Arlington) and senior Kyle Ritchie (Brewster, Mass./Nauset Regional) combined for 3.1 innings of two-hit relief to close out the game.
Brandeis, which saw a four-game win streak snapped in the second game, is now 7-10 on the season. The Judges will travel to MIT on Tuesday at 3:30 p.m. Framingham State moves to 6-8 and will play at UMass-Dartmouth, also Tuesday at 3:30 p.m.
(image courtesy Joe Burns)