O'Hare slam rallies Judges, but Johnson & Wales walks off with 8-7 win

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (courtesy JWU sports information) – Brandeis sophomore SS Sean O'Hare (Southampton, Mass./Hampshire Regional) hit a grand slam to cap a five-run eighth inning and tie the game at 7-7, but Johnson and Wales junior Teddy Katz (Pittsburgh, Pa.) responded with a walk-off solo home run in the bottom of the ninth to give the Wildcat baseball team a thrilling 8-7 victory against Brandeis in a non-conference contest at Pierce Field on Thursday afternoon. 

Brandeis took the 1-0 lead in the top of the first on an RBI single by sophomore Jon Chu (Hollis Hills, N.Y./Bronx H.S. of Science).  Johnson & Wales responded in the bottom of the first when senior Jonathan Melendez (Providence, R.I.) led off with a single and scored on an RBI groundout by sophomore Zach Boyes (West Warwick, R.I.).  The Wildcats took the 2-1 lead on an infield single by senior Rich Fonseca (East Providence, R.I.) that plated junior Nick Alosco (Mahopac, N.Y.) with the go-ahead run.  After a scoreless second inning, the visiting Judges knotted the game at 2-2 on a two out RBI single by Chu.  JWU regained the lead in the bottom of the third after Boyes reached on a fielders choice and later crossed the plate on a run scoring double by Fonseca to take the 3-2 advantage. 

Fonseca’s third RBI of the afternoon in the bottom of the fifth increased JWU’s lead to 4-2 and the Wildcats later capitalized on a Brandeis error to go up 5-2.  In the bottom of the sixth, Melendez belted his ninth home run of the season and fourth in the last two games to put the squad up 6-2.  The Wildcats extended their lead on an RBI double by junior Bryan Sayers (Chelmsford, Mass.) to go ahead 7-2.  Brandeis rallied in the top of the eighth, scoring five runs, including O'Hare's second round-tripper of the season and the fourth of his career to knot the game at 7-7.  Katz then provided the heroics in the bottom of the ninth to give JWU the 8-7 victory.

Katz went 4-for-5 with two runs and an RBI while Fonseca was 3-for-4 with a run and three RBI for Johnson & Wales.  Junior Matt Yaeger (Glendale, Ariz.) notched the win on the mound for the Wildcats, pitching one scoreless inning of relief to earn his second win of the season.  Junior Tony Deshler (Pepperell, Mass./Lawrence Acad.) was 3-for-5 with two runs and a stolen base while Chu went 3-for-5 with a run and two RBI in the setback for Brandeis.
With the win Johnson & Wales is now 11-22 while Brandeis falls to 8-18 for the season.  The Judges are scheduled to return home for the first time since March 28 when they face Babson in a doubleheader on Saturday afternoon at noon.