WALTHAM, Mass. – By scoring in four of five innings before a torrential downpour forced the end of the game, the Brandeis University baseball team defeated visiting UMass Dartmouth, 11-6, on Stein Diamond today. The Judges improve to 10-21 with the win, while the Corsairs fall to 18-13.
Brandeis owned a 5-1 lead after three innings. Junior CF Tony Deshler (Pepperell, Mass./Lawrence Acad.) led off the game with a double and scored two batters later on a single to center by sophomore 3B Jon Chu (Hollis Hills, N.Y./Bronx H.S. of Science) to give the Judges a 1-0 lead. In the second, rookie RF Nick Cortese (Guaynabo, P.R./Baldwin School of Puerto Rico) drove in senior LF Artie Posch (Hopedale, Mass./Hopedale) with a two-out single to center.
The Judges put up a crooked number in the bottom of the fifth on a sacrifice fly by rookie catcher Chris Ferro (Walpole, Mass./Walpole) and back-to-back RBI singles by Posch and sophomore DH Kenny Destremps (Mashpee, Mass./Mashpee). Both hits came on 0-2 pitchers as the Judges took a 5-1 lead into the fourth.
UMass-Dartmouth – which had gotten on the board in the second with an RBI ground-out by rookie RF Matt Worden (New Bedford, Mass./New Bedford) out of the nine-hole in the order - rallied in the top of the fourth. A key two-out error allowed junior 1B Anthony Fiorita (No. Reading, Mass./St. Johns Prep) to reach, followed by a Worden walk. Junior SS Ryan McDermott (Pembroke, Mass./Pembroke) singled home Fiorita. Two batters later, with the bases loaded, Brandeis junior John McGrath (New York, N.Y./Trevor Day) hit Corsair senior CF Jeff Macchi (Franklin, Mass./Franklin) with a pitch to drive in UMD's third run. McGrath responded by getting Corsair junior DH Zak Talis (Lynnfield, Mass./Lynnfield) – ranked third in the NCAA in hitting with a .523 batting average – on a tapper back to the hill.
Trailing 5-3, UMass Dartmouth claimed their first lead of the game in the top of the fifth. With runners on first and second, Fiorita cut the lead to 5-4 with an RBI single, while an overrun in the outfield allowed runners to get to second and third. Worden had his second productive out of the game with grounder to short that plated the tying run, while McDermott smashed a double to right field that gave the visitors the 6-5 advantage. McGrath got a foul out end in the inning.
As the rain worsened in the bottom of the fifth, the Judges were able to capitalize on the slippery ball by scoring six runs on three hits and three UMD errors. Junior 1B Eric Rosenberg (Oakland, N.J./Indian Hills) led off with a single just past the third baseman and moved to second on a wild pitch. Back-to-back Corsair errors – including one on a bunt by senior 2B James Likis (Cambridge, Mass./Cambridge Rindge and Latin) – loaded the bases, bringing Destremps to the plate. He singled back through the middle, driving home what proved to be the winning two runs. The Judges added four more in tie including a sac fly by Chu and a double by Ferro that closed out the scoring.
Brandeis had three multiple hitters on the day. Destremps went 2-for-3 with three RBI and a run scored, while Posch was 2-for-3 with a career-high three runs scored and an RBI. Chu went 2-for-3 with two RBI, a double, a sacrifice fly and a run scored. Deshler and Ferro also had doubles for the Judges, with Deshler's being his team-leading 11th of the season.
For UMass-Dartmouth, McDermott was 2-for-4 with a double and two RBI, while Fiorita was 2-for-3 with one run driven in and one scored. Worden also had two RBI with a walk and a run scored on the day, despite not getting a hit.
On the hill, McGrath earned his first collegiate win with five innings of work, allowing eight hits and six runs (four earned). He struck out three, walked two and hit two batters. McGrath threw 86 pitches, 55 for strikes, in his first collegiate complete game. He is now 1-3 on the season. Junior Shane Campbell suffered the loss for the Corsairs, allowing 11 hits and nine runs (five earned) in four innings. He had one strikeout out, no walks, and three wild pitches.
These two teams are scheduled to meet again in Dartmouth on May 2. Brandeis returns to action tomorrow afternoon at 4 p.m. against Bowdoin College – coached by Michael Connolly '94 – while UMass-Dartmouth travels to Norton, Mass., on Thursday to take on rival Wheaton College at 3:30 p.m.
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