March 13, 2013

Baseball falls twice on fourth day of UAA tourney

SANFORD, Fla. -- The Brandeis University baseball team suffered a pair of losses on the fourth day of action in the 2013 University Athletic Association tournament. In their opener today, the Judges fell behind early and dropped a 13-5 decision to Washington University. In the second contest of the day, Brandeis and defending UAA champion Emory went back-and-forth before the Eagles emerged with an 8-6 victory. Brandeis closed the day with a 4-7 overall record, 2-3 in the UAA. WashU is now 7-4, 3-1  in the UAA, while Emory is 8-8, 2-3 UAA. 

In the opener, Washington U. tallied an unearned run against junior starter Brian Ing (Sandwich, Mass./Sandwich) in the first inning, but the Bears blew the game open with a six-run fourth that featured four hits, three walks and a hit batter. They tacked on three more runs in the fifth and sixth frames against senior Stefan Weiss (Jericho, N.Y./Jericho) to take a 10-run lead.

The Judges managed to cut the deficit in half in the fifth when they batted around, plating five runs on four hits and two WashU errors. The big blows were a two-run single by sophomore 2B Tom McCarthy (Yonkers, N.Y./Fieldston School), an RBI double by senior 1B Pat Seaward (York, Maine/York) and a run-producing single by junior 3B Kevin Barry (No. Andover, Mass./St. John's Prep). Unfortunately, that was all the scoring Brandeis would get, while Washington tacked on three more late runs to earn the 13-5 victory. Seaward (2-4, RBI, R, 2B) and senior LF Nick Cortese (Guaynabo, P.R./Baldwin School of Puerto Rico), who was also 2-4 with a run scored and a walk, were the only multiple hitters for Brandeis. Ing suffered the loss and fell to 0-2 on the season.

In the second game of the day, the lead changed hands five times, but it was Emory who had the last big inning as the Eagles emerged with an 8-6 win. Brandeis put runners in scoring position in the first two innings, but Emory jumped on the board in the bottom of the second on back-to-back doubles and a bases-loaded groundout. 

The Judges stranded two more runners in the third and fourth frames before finally breaking through in the fifth. Senior DH Chris Ferro (Walpole, Mass./Walpole) drew a lead-off walk and Cortese reached on an error by the pitcher. The duo then executed a double steal, and Ferro scored on another errant throw. After Cortese was bunted to third and Seaward walked, McCarthy knotted the game with a sacrifice fly to center. Brandeis wasn't done, though, as Barry and Ing singled, the latter driving home Seaward and chasing Emory starter Dylan Finer from the game. Matt McMahon avoided further trouble by striking out the first batter he faced. 

The Eagles bounced right back, however, scoring a pair of runs on just one hit thanks to a walk, a bunt, a wild pitch and a sacrifice fly to regain a 4-3 lead.

Brandeis reclaimed the lead in the top of the seventh. With one out, Barry drew a walk, followed by singles from Ing and junior Dan Gad (Mansfield, Mass./Mansfield) as a pinch hitter. That brought up rookie CF Liam O'Connor (Avon, Conn./Avon), who scorched a double down the right field line, giving Brandeis a 5-4 lead.

The Judges couldn't tack on any more runs, and Emory once again responded, plating four runs in the bottom of the seventh. The Eagles scored on just three hits, with two walks, a wild pitch and two errors playing large roles. Brandeis was able to add one run in the top of the ninth on an O'Connor sacrifice fly, but it was too little, too late. 

Brandeis fell despite outhitting Emory, 15-9, the Judges' second-highest hit total of the campaign. O'Connor, Barry and Ing each had three hits, a career-high for all three -players . O'Connor added three RBI, giving him a team-leading eight on the seaosn. Barry reached base in all five plate appearances, drawing two walks, and scoring two runs. 

Rookie James Machado (Dracut, Mass./Dracut), whose father Larry was a hurler for the Judges in the early 1980s, had a no-decision after he went six innings in his first start. Machado allowed five runs (all earned) on six hits, issuing four walks and striking out two. Senior Jesse Link (Weston, Conn./Weston) suffered the loss, allowing two hits and two runs in two-third of an inning. 

Brandeis returns to action on Thursday afternoon at 5 p.m. against Case Western Reserve University.