SANFORD, Fla. -- The Brandeis University baseball team fell behind early, allowing four runs in the first two innings, and could not rally to defeat Case Western Reserve University as the Judges fell, 8-4, in the only meeting between the two teams in the 2011 University Athletic Association tournament today.
Brandeis senior Pat Nicholson (E. Walpole, Mass./Walpole) suffered his first loss of the season in his third start. He fell behind early, allowing five of the first six Spartan hitters to reach base, giving up three runs in the process. After giving up another run in the second, Nicholson settled down to retire 10 of the last 11 batters he faced, with the only base-runner cut down on a stolen base attempt.
The Judges had men on base in each of the first four innings, but a pair of double plays and another runner lost on the bases kept them off the board until the fifth. In that frame, junior 2B Sean O'Hare (Southampton, Mass./Hampshire Regional) singled home sophomore LF Nick Cortese (Guaynabo, P.R./Baldwin School of Puerto Rico).
Brandeis added two more in the sixth, with Cortese and sophomore RF Andrew Cohen (Beverly Hills, Calif./Montclair Prep) producing the RBI with one-out singles to cut the deficit to 4-3. A wild pitch put the two of them in scoring position, but Brandeis couldn't get the big hit to tie the game.
After escaping danger in the previous half inning, Case expanded their lead with three in the top of the seventh, with the big blow a two-out, two-run double by left fielder Sam Alexander. Each team scored a run in the eighth inning to close the scoring at 8-4.
The Judges had three multiple hitters in Cortese, O'Hare and sophomore catcher Chris Ferro (Walpole, Mass./Walpole). They did not have any extra-base hits.
Brandeis wraps up University Athletic Association action tomorrow at 9 a.m. against Washington University.