WALTHAM, Mass.- A superb effort from junior starter Elio Fernandez (Bronx, N.Y./Fordham Prep.) and timely hitting led the Brandeis University baseball team to their third consecutive win, in dramatic fashion, over the UMass-Dartmouth Corsairs on Stein Diamond. The Judges improve to 10-12 on the season while the Corsairs fall to 8-11.
Fernandez was dealing through four innings, retiring 12 of the first 13 hitters he faced on just 29 pitches. In the bottom of the third, Brandeis gave their starter some run support. Junior shortstop Brian Allen (Salem, N.H./Central Catholic) led off the inning by working a walk and stealing second. Senior left fielder Brian Ing (Sandwich, Mass./Sandwich) followed with a single up the middle to move Allen to third. Next up was sophomore catcher Connor Doyle (Avon, Conn./Avon Old Farms) who drove in the game's first run with an RBI groundout to third, moving Ing over to second. Junior DH Tom McCarthy (Yonkers, N.Y./Fieldston School) capped the scoring with an RBI single between the first and second basemen to give the Judges a 2-0 cushion.
In the fifth inning, Fernandez worked his way in and out of trouble. After walking the first batter on five pitches and moving him to second with a wild pitch, Fernandez struck out the second batter. Still, a hit batter and single for the next two batters loaded the bases with one out. Fernandez escaped the jam by inducing a 5-2-3 inning-ending double-play.
In the top of the seventh, the Corsairs finally broke through against Fernandez. Trailing 2-0, junior shortstop Nate Farias (Fall River, Mass./Durfee) led off the frame with a walk on four pitches before junior RF Ben Monteiro (Swansea, Mass./Case) doubled him over to third. After two pop outs, it looked like Fernandez was going to escape again when sophomore catcher Mariano Suriel (Brookline, Mass./Brookline) ripped a game-tying two RBI single into left field with Monteiro sliding in safely just before the tag. Fernandez stranded Suriel on second but the damage was done.
Brandeis struck back in the bottom of the eighth off of junior reliever Ethan Kelley (New Bedford, Mass./Bishop Stang). Sophomore CF Liam O'Connor (Avon, Conn./Avon) began the two out rally with a single to left. Allen kept it going with an opposite field single of his own to put the go-ahead run on third. Then, in a play eerily similar to the sixth inning of the first Framingham State contest yesterday, Allen got caught in a pickle between first and second just long enough to allow O'Connor to scamper home for the 3-2 lead.
In the top of the ninth, Fernandez came out onto the mound one more time to try and close out a complete-game victory. A single and sacrifice bunt later had the tying run on second and forced Fernandez from the contest after an excellent outing. In came sophomore reliever Ryan Healy (Calrsbad, Calif./La Costa Canyon). After getting the first batter he faced to line out to left, Healy was not as lucky with junior outfielder Ryan Medeiros (Achusnet, Mass./New Bedford) who drove a 1-1 offering into the right-center field gap for a game-tying double.
In the bottom of the frame, Brandeis began their final rally. With one out, Doyle dropped a single into right field and was moved into scoring position on McCarthy's groundout to second. Next up was sophomore 3B Greg Heineman (Wilbraham, Mass./Minnechaug Reg.) who drove a single into left field, scoring Doyle for the walk-off, 4-3 win.
The Judges were led offensively by Doyle and rookie outfielder Ryan Tettemer (Westfield, Mass./Suffield Acad.) who each had two hits. Tettemer also swiped two bases.
The Corsairs were led offensively by junior 3B George Agostini (Rehoboth, Mass./Dighton-Rehoboth) who had a 3-for-4 afternoon while Suriel add two RBI.
Fernandez finished the contest with a no decision, going 8 and 1/3 innings allowing three runs on seven hits with two walks and two strikeouts. Healy (1-0) picked up the win with his 2/3 of an inning of work.
Rookie reliever Ted Savage (Plymouth, Mass./Plymouth South) took the loss to fall to 0-2 on the season after allowing the game-winning run in 2/3 of an inning. Sophomore starter Matt Russell (Townsend, Mass./North Middlesex) took a no decision with six solid innings, allowing two runs on six hits with four walks.
Brandeis is back in action tomorrow at Worcester State with a 3:30 p.m. start while UMD faces off against Salve Regina at home on Wednesday April 9th at 3:30 p.m.