March 14, 2012

Baseball rally falls short in 5-3 loss to WashU

SANFORD, Fla. – Sophomore Colin Markel (Scarsdale, N.Y./Scarsdale) tossed a complete-game eight-hitter, and the Brandeis baseball team scored twice in the ninth inning, but the Judges left the tying runs in scoring position as they dropped their fifth-straight game at the 2012 University Athletic Association (UAA) tournament, 5-3, to Washington (Mo.) University. With the loss, the Judges fall to 4-8, 0-5 UAA, while the Bears' improve to 12-3, 5-0 UAA, with their 12th-straight win.

The Judges, who had lost to WashU, 14-2, earlier in the tournament, opened the scoring in the top of the fourth inning. Rookie DH Dan Gad (Mansfield, Mass./Mansfield) and classmate LF Kyle Brenner (Brookfield, Mass./St. Peter-Marian) singled to lead off the frame. After  Bear starter Max Gordon got a grounder to first for the first out of the inning, senior RF Zach Malis (Merrick,N.Y./Bellmore JFK) singled to second base to start the scoring and put runners on the corners with one away. WashU was able to get out of further damage when center fielder Kyle Billig cut down Brenner at the plate trying to score on rookie SS Tom McCarthy's fly ball (Yonkers, N.Y./Fieldston School).

Washington got the run back in the bottom of the fourth, when RF Brandon Rogalski singled, moved to second on a wild pitch, and scored on DH Andrew Dwoskin's single and an infield error. Markel got defensive help to escape further damage, as senior 2B Sean O'Hare (Southampton, Mass./Hampshire Regional) helped turn a pop-up into a double play. The Bears  got a pair of runs in each of the next two innings to push their lead to 5-1. Shortstop Andrew Goldstick had an RBI single and Billig a sacrifice fly in the fourth. In the fifth, catcher Chris Lowery's run-scoring single proved to be the game-winning run, while 2B Noah Doppelt's sac fly added an insurance run.

Brandeis, which got just one runner past first base in the fifth through eighth innings, finally broke through again in the ninth against WashU reliever Brian Cizek, taking advantage of some early wildness. Sophomore 3B Brian Ing (Sandwich, Mass./Sandwich) walked to lead off the frame, and McCarthy was hit by a pitch two batters later. O'Hare followed with an RBI single to shortstop, while senior catcher Kenny Destremps (Mashpee, Mass./Mashpee) knocked in the Judges' third run with a hit to center field. With the heart of the lineup to follow, WashU called on reliever Max Zhang, who got a comebacker to the mound which put both runners in scoring position. Zhang then induced a fly ball to right to end the game.

For the Judges, who finished with eight hits, the big bat was wielded by Gad, who went 3-for-3 and was hit by a pitch with a run scored. Gad has hit safely in 10 straight games and is hitting a team-leading .417. Markel tossed his first collegiate complete game with eight innings of eight-hit ball. He allowed five runs (three earned) and struck out four while walking two. Markel falls to 2-1 on the season.

Rogalski was the only multiple hitter for WashU, while 1b Zack Kessinger's double was the only extra base hit of the game. Gordon improved to 2-1 on the season with eight innings of six-hit ball, allowing just one unearned run. He fanned five and walked four.

Brandeis is back in action at the UAA tournament tomorrow when they take on Case Western Reserve at 2:30 p.m.  in the first of two meetings between the squads over the last three days of the tournament.