BRUNSWICK, Maine -- Brandeis University junior catcher Kenny Destremps (Mashpee, Mass./Mashpee) hit his second career home run to lead off the top of the 11th inning as the Judges defeated host Bowdoin College, 8-7, today. With the win, Brandeis improves to 23-13, their most wins in a season since 2002, when they went to the NCAA tournament. Bowdoin, coached by Brandeis alumnus Mike Connolly '94, falls to 19-8, after losing for just the second time in the last 11 games.
Destremps's blast was one of three for the Judges in the game. Senior CF Tony Deshler (Pepperell, Mass./Lawrence Acad.) hit his team-leading third round-tripper of the season in the sixth inning, cutting into the Polar Bears' 4-0 lead. In the seventh inning, junior 2B Sean O'Hare (Southampton, Mass./Hampshire Regional) came up with the bases loaded and delivered the second grand slam of his career. O'Hare's fifth career home run gave Brandeis its first lead at 6-4. Deshler added an RBI single later in the frame to put the Judges up, 7-4.
Bowdoin got four hits in the bottom of the seventh, but were only able to get one run out of it, thanks to an outfield assist from sophomore LF Nick Cortese (Guaynabo, P.R./Baldwin School of Puerto Rico), who gunned down Polar Bear senior Adam Marquit trying to stretch a double into a triple. Jordan Edgitt hit a sacrifice fly with runners on the corners to cut into the lead, and senior CF Brendan Garner followed with a double, but Brandeis sophomore Dylan Britton (Poughquag, N.Y./Arlington) got a liner to third to get out of the inning and leave the game with a 7-5 lead.
Bowdoin knotted the game in the bottom of the ninth with two runs off of rookie Brian Ing (Sandwich, Mass./Sandwich). Rookie RF John Lefeber led off the frame with a home run, the first of his career, to get the hosts within one at 7-6. One out later, Edgett singled and pinch runner Kyle LeBlanc stole second. Ing induced a pop to short to get within one out of victory, but Polar Bear senior 3B Brett Gorman followed with a double to force extra innings. Each team got a runner on in the 10th without scoring before Destremps's bomb gave the Judges a happy bus ride back to Waltham.
For Brandeis, Deshler and Destremps were the lone multiple hitters. Deshler went 2-for-4 with two walks, including an intentional pass in the 11th, three RBI and a run scored. Destremps was 2-for-5 with an RBI and two runs scored, while O'Hare's only hit and four RBI came on his slam. Junior Alex Tynan (Barnegat, N.J./Barnegat) earned the win on the hill with two innings of hitless ball, allowing just two walks. Britton tossed seven innings of seven-hit ball, giving up five runs (four earned) with three walks and one K.
For Bowdoin, Lefeber was the top hitter, going 3-for-5 with two RBI, three runs scored and the key home run. Edgett (2-4, 2 RBI) also had multiple hits for the Polar Bears. Sophomore Gabe Faithful suffered the loss, with his lone hit allowed the game-winning circuit clout.
Brandeis returns home to face Keene State College tomorrow at 3:30 p.m., while Bowdoin kicks off a key NESCAC East series at Tufts University Friday at 3 p.m.