Baseball falls to Tufts, 5-4, as Jumbos score four in last two innings

Kyle Brenner '15 (Photo by Sportspix/Jan Volk)

MEDFORD, Mass. (courtesy Tufts sports information) - The visiting Brandeis baseball team carried a 4-1 lead into the bottom of the eighth innning, but the 21st-ranked Tufts Jumbos rallied with two runs each in the eighth and ninth to pull out a 5-4 non-conference victory today.

Until the eighth, Brandeis freshman Kyle Brenner (Brookfield, Mass./St Peter-Marian) had pitched well. He allowed one run in the first seven innings and had retired 13 of the previous 15 Tufts batters heading into the eighth.

Tufts had taken a 1-0 lead in the third on singles by freshman catcher Nick Barker (Weymouth, Mass.) and McDavitt, a sacrifice bunt by junior 2B Scott Staniewicz (Boca Raton, Fla.) and an RBIgroundout by Sager.

Four Tufts pitchers blanked Brandeis through the first six innings. Starter Dean Lambert (Cross River, N.Y.), senior Kevin Gilchrist (Medford, Mass.) and senior Jake Crawford (Boise, Idaho) did not allow a hit through four innings. A one-out single in the fifth by freshman 2B Tom McCarthy (Yonkers, N.Y./Fieldston School) was the first hit for the Judges.

However, Brandeis broke through for three unearned runs in the seventh to take a 3-1 lead. Junior 1B Pat Seaward (York, Maine/York) led off with a single, advanced on an error and scored on a wild pitch. Junior RF Dylan Britton (Poughquag, N.Y./Arlington) had an RBI groundout and senior LF Joe Galli (Wakefield, Mass./Wakefield) added a sacrifice fly in the inning.

The Judges added to the lead in the eighth when senior catcher Kenny Destremps (Mashpee, Mass./Mashpee) hit a one-out double and was awarded third on a balk. He scored on a sac fly by freshman SS Brian Allen (Salem, N.H./Central Catholic).

Tufts' comeback began with two outs in the eighth as senior DH Matt Collins (Hopkinton, Mass.) singled through the right side before Tufts junior RF Eric Weikert (Avondale Estates, Ga.) hit a two-run, opposite-field home run to pull the Jumbos (12-3) within 4-3. It was Weikert's third home run of the year.

Tufts senior SS Sam Sager (Cranston, R.I.) laced a two-out, two-run, walk-off double in the bottom of the ninth inning that proved to be the game-winning hit.  In the ninth, freshman LF James Howard (Rockville Centre, N.Y.) led off with a single and was sacrificed to second by older brother Tom Howard (Rockville Centre, N.Y.). Sophomore pinch-hitter Max Freccia (Stamford, Conn.) followed with a single to right and freshman CF Connor McDavitt (Holden, Mass.) walked to load the bases. After a fly-out, Sager ended it with a gapper to left-center.

Sager finished 2-for-5 with two doubles and three RBI for Tufts, who had 11 hits. Freshman 3B Wade Hauser (Palo Alto, Calif.) went 2 for 4. Freshman Willie Archibald (Milton, Mass.) recorded the victory after pitching a scoreless ninth with three strikeouts.

McCarthy's two hits led Brandeis offensively. Brenner allowed 11 hits and five runs with a  strikeout and two walks in 8.2 innings, throwing his third complete game of the season. Brandeis dropped to 5-20 overall. Three of the Judges' last four losses have all be by one run.