Big inning costs baseball against Augustana (Ill.), 7-3

AUBURNDALE, Fla. -- The Brandeis University baseball team gave up seven runs in a two-inning span and suffered a 7-3 defeat at the hands of Augustana University at the Russ Matt Invitational in Florida. The Judges, who played two games against NAIA Davenport, fell to 0-3, while AU won its first outing of the season to go to 1-0.

In the costly five-run fourth inning, the Judges gave up just three hits but were burned by two walks, two hit-batsmen and a pair of balks in the frame. The Vikings' big hit was a bases-loaded triple by senior RF Mike Lamb off Brandeis sophomore starter Dylan Britton (Poughquag, N.Y./Arlington) that opened the scoring. The next two AU runs came home on a a bases-loaded walk and a balk by reliever Mike Swerdloff (Scarsdale, N.Y./Ardsley).

The Judges had a chance to get some of the runs back in the bottom of the fourth after three straight singles with two outs loaded the bases, but junior Mike Trotta wriggled out of trouble. That allowed the Vikings a chance to pad their lead in the top of the fifth, as Lamb doubled in a run and scored another. The Brandeis bullpen held the fort after that, however, as the trio of rookie Colin Markel (Scarsdale, N.Y./Scarsdale) and sophomores Stefan Weiss (Jericho, N.Y./Jericho) and Jesse Link (Weston, Conn./Weston) limited AU to just one hit over the final three frames.

Brandeis got one run back in the sixth after senior SS Toney Deshler (Pepperell, Mass./Lawrence Acad.) doubled to lead off the frame and scored two batters later on a double-play ball by sophomore CF Nick Cortese (Guaynabo, P.R./Baldwin School of Puerto Rico). In the seventh, the Judges added two more runs. With one on base, junior 3B Jon Chu (Hollis Hills, N.Y./Bronx HS of Science) hit a double to advance junior catcher Kenny Destremps (Mashpee, Mass./Mashpee) to third.  Sophomore catcher Chris Ferro (Walpole, Mass./Walpole) doubled for two RBI.  Unfortunately, Brandeis couldn't keep up the momentum, suffering their third-straight loss.

The Judges managed 12 hits, including three from Nicholson. Both Deshler and Ferro doubled. Chu and junior RF Andrew Cohen (Beverly Hills, Calif./Montclair Prep School)  also had two hits. Britton suffered his first loss of the season on the hill.

For Augustana, Lamb was the star, going 2-for-4 with four RBI and two runs scored, a double and a triple. 1B Pat Wilson was the only other Viking with multiple hits, going 2-for-4 with a run scored. Trotta scattered nine hits over six innings of work to earn the win, striking out four and walking none.