Brenner keys Judges in split with JWU

Kyle Brenner '15 (photo by Sportspix/Mike Tureski)

WALTHAM, Mass. – Brandeis University baseball sophomore Kyle Brenner (Brookfield, Mass./St. Peter-Marian) tossed a complete-game five-hitter and drove in a run in the opening game of a double-header as the Judges defeated visiting Johnson and Wales University, 5-0. The Wildcats bounced back for a 6-3 win in the nightcap to give their head coach John LaRose his 300ths career victory.

In the opener, Brandeis got on the board early with three runs in the bottom of the first, including an RBI single by junior DH Dan Gad (Mansfield, Mass./Mansfield) and a two-run double by sophomore 2B Tom McCarthy (Yonkers, N.Y./Fieldston School).  The Judges added to their lead in the bottom of the second on an RBI single by senior RF Nick Cortese (Guaynabo, Puerto Rico/Baldwin School of Puerto Rico) and capped off the scoring in the bottom of the fifth on Brenner's RBI. Cortese and Brenner recorded two hits apiece in the win for the Judges  

Brenner also earned his first win six decisions this season with seven innings of five-hit ball. He struck out five without a walk. It was his fifth career complete game - second this season - and first career shutout. 

Senior Zack Boyes (West Warwick, R.I.) and Pete Rosa (Ambler, Pa.) each had a pair of hits in the setback for JWU.  Gian Bianchi suffered the loss, allowing nine hits and five runs in five innings of work. He falls to 2-2 on the season.

The nightcap saw Brandeis again take the early lead with an RBI single by Brenner in the bottom of the first for the 1-0 lead.  JWU responded in the top of the second and took the 2-1 advantage after a two-run blast by Rosa. The Judges had chances to reclaim the lead in the third and fourth, loading the bases with one out in each frame, but Johnson and Wales rookie hurler  Lane Compton (Freeland, Mich.) worked out of trouble with three Ks and a comebacker to avoid surrendering the lead.

The Wildcats added to their lead in the top of the fifth when they exploded for four runs, including a two-run single by junior Alex Pezzuto (Hastings, N.Y.) to make the score 6-1.  Brandeis threatened in the bottom of the sixth when they tallied a pair of unearned runs, but it wouldn't be enough as JWU held on for the 6-3 victory to give LaRose the 300th win of his career.  

Junior Jack Hocking (Hanover, Mass.) notched a pair of hits in the victory for the Wildcats. Compton picked up the win for JWU, allowing three unearned runs on seven hits with five strikeouts in five innings of work.  Senior Aaron Fenstermacher (Dixfield, Maine) picked up his second save of the season, pitching two scoreless innings of relief. Brandeis sophomore Elio Fernandez (Bronx, N.Y./Fordham Prep) suffered the loss after allowing two run and four hits in 2.2 innings. He falls to 0-2 on the campaign.

With the split JWU is now 23-10 on the season while Brandeis is 9-17 for the year. The Judges return to action on Thursday at Roger Williams University.