March 23, 2011

Baseball forces extras, can't rally past Wentworth, 5-4, in 10

WALTHAM, Mass. – Senior 3B Mike Diodato (Asbury, N.J./Warren Hill Regional) delivered a two-out, two-run double in the top of the 10th inning for the visiting Wentworth Institute of Technology baseball team and the Leopards stranded the tying run at third base to defeat the host Brandeis University Judges, 5-4, on Stein Diamond today. WIT improves to 8-6 on the campaign, while the Judges fall to 9-8.

Diadato's timely hit in the 10th came against Brandeis rookie reliever Colin Markel (Scarsdale, N.Y./Scarsdale), who had retired the first seven batters he faced after replacing sophomore Mike Swerdloff (Scarsdale, N.Y./Ardsley). Wentworth senior DH Doug Papuga (Branford, Conn./Branford) drew a one-out walk, but Markel rallied to get a strikeout for the second out of frame.

Leopard senior 2B Jake McManus followed with a flare down the right field line that put runners on the corners, bringing up Diadato. The senior captain lined the first pitch he saw from Markel to deep left field, plating both runners. Markel stranded the runner at second, giving the Judges a chance in the bottom of the inning.

Brandeis looked to be in a good position to rally in their half of the inning when junior SS Sean O'Hare (Southampton, Mass./Hampshire Regional) singled through the right side against WIT sophomore Ryan DeCotis (Nashua, N.H./Nashua). O'Hare moved to second on a wild pitch and scored when junior 3B Jon Chu (Hollis Hills, N.Y./Bronx H.S. of Science) dropped one down the right field line to cut the lead to 5-4.

After sophomore catcher Chris Ferro (Walpole, Mass./Walpole) bunted Chu to second for the first out, Chu advanced to third on a balk by DeCotis. That caused Wentworth coach Steve Studley to pull the infield in. The strategy paid off when sophomore DH Kenny Destremps (Mashpee, Mass./Mashpee) hit a hard grounder to McManus at second, keeping the runner at third. DeCotis then retired the final batter on a foul pop to first, earning his first win of the season.

The teams traded runs in the third inning on RBI singles by junior 2B Conner Flisnik (Marcy, N.Y./Whitesboro) for Wentworth and by Chu for the Judges. Sophomore catcher Ryan Delgado (Wareham, Mass./Upper Cape Cod Tech) and Papuga drove in runs in the fourth and seven innings to give the visitors a 3-1 lead, but a sacrifice fly by Brandeis senior CF Tony Deshler (Pepperell, Mass./Lawrence Acad.) in the seventh and an RBI ground out by senior 1B Eric Rosenberg (Oakland, N.J./Indian Hills) in the eighth knotted the game and forced extra innings.

The two starters in the contest both earned no decisions despite fine seven-inning outings. For Brandeis, Swerdloff scattered 10 hits, walking one and striking out two, allowing just three earned runs, while Wentworth rookie Ben Lewis (Middletown, R.I./St. George's School) gave up two earned runs on six hits and four walks with one K. DeCotis picked up the win with three innings of three-hit ball, walking one and fanning one, while Markel suffered the loss, falling to 0-2, despite giving up just two hits in three frames with a walk and two strikeouts.

Offensively, Chu was the big hitter for Brandeis, finishing 3-for-4 with two RBI and run scored, while a Deshler double was the team's only extra-base hit. Four different WIT players had two hits, with Diadato's two doubles and two RBI leading the way.

Brandeis is next scheduled to play tomorrow at 3 p.m. against Salve Regina University at home, while Wentworth returns to Stein Diamond tomorrow night at 7 p.m. to take on Lasell College.