Brandeis baseball kicks off 2010 season, Texas-style

For the second year in a row, and just the second time ever, the Brandeis baseball team is kicking off its season in February! The Judges are in San Antonio to play one game against Texas Lutheran University on Feb. 15, then a three-game set at Trinity University. You can follow the Judges on-line from both sites. TLU has video for their 3 p.m. start on Monday afternoon, while Trinity has LiveStats and video. The Judges play the Tigers in a pair of night games on Tuesday and Friday before wrapping up their trip at 2 p.m. on Saturday.

The Brandeis University baseball team is looking to make a new start in 2010 after a tough 2009 campaign. The Judges have two 2009 All-UAA players returning, plus a pair of former Association Rookies of the Year. Leading the way is senior DH/1B Drake Livada, a first-team All-Association selection. Livada was the team’s top run-producer, driving in 30 runs and leading the squad with 50 hits and 70 total bases, as well. He had one stretch last season in which he hit safely in eight-straight games, including six multi-hit games, raising his batting average 75 points. Senior 2B John O’Brion, who finished third in the UAA in slugging percentage at .560, and 10th in batting average at .352. His .454 on-base percentage also topped the Judges. He earned second-team All-UAA honors despite missing 11 games due to injury. Senior C Artie Posch and junior 3B/SS Tony Deshler are both former top newcomers to the UAA. Posch player 21 games last season before an injury ended his campaign early, while Deshler’s 58 total bases were second on the squad. The Judges also look for another big season from sophomore 3B/OF Jon Chu, who had a squad-high nine doubles and two home runs to tie with Livada and O’Brion for the team lead in extra-base hits.

The Brandeis pitching staff will be anchored by senior Drew Brzozowski and junior Pat Nicholson who each posted five of the team’s wins. Nicholson led the team’s starters with a 4.58 ERA and 56 strikeouts, while junior Nick Pollack’s 24 appearances led all UAA relievers.