WALTHAM, Mass. — In a game that took just over an hour-and-a-half to play, Bridgewater State junior left-hander Chris Pessotti (Braintree, Mass./Braintree) outdueled Brandeis junior righty Kyle Brenner (Brookfield, Mass./St. Peter-Marian) as the Bears took a 3-0 decision from the Judges on Stein Diamond. Brandeis falls to 11-14 with their first home loss of the season, while BSU improves to 9-12.
Pessotti and Brenner each threw complete games with fewer than 100 pitches. Pessotti (1-1) earned his first win of the season with 65 strikes on 90 pitches (72 percent), allowing five hits. He didn't walk anyone and struck out seven, hitting one batter, as he faced just six over the minimum. Brenner was even more effective throwing strikes, with 74 in 98 pitches (76 percent). He struck out five and didn't walk anyone, but gave up 11 hits and three earned runs. It was Brenner's fifth complete game of the season and the 12th of his career, moving him into a tie for eighth on Brandeis's career list with major leaguer Nelson Figueroa '98. Brenner fell to 3-3 on the season.
BSU got all the scoring they would need in the fourth inning, when the first four batters singled. None of the balls were hit particularly hard, but the Bears were aggressive, with three of the four hitters swinging at first pitches. Rookie catcher Anthony Licciardello (Haverhill, Mass./Whittier Tech) bounced a ball through the right side with the bases loaded to open the scoring. Brenner kept the damage to a minimum by inducing a 6-4-3 double play, scoring the second run, and another grounder to short to end the inning.
Brandeis threatened a bit with two out in the bottom of the fourth on a single by rookie DH Cameron Shaw (E. Setauket, N.Y./Ward Melville) and an error at third base, but Pessotti got a grounder to second to close the inning.
The Bears tacked on an insurance run in the sixth, when junior 1B Nicholas White (Quincy, Mass./North Quincy) doubled to right-center field and scored two batters later on a single to third base by junior DH Ryan Manning (Plainville, Mass./King Phillip Regional).
The Judges' only runner to advance past second base came in the bottom of the sixth. With one away, rookie 3B Greg Heineman (Wilbraham, Mass./Minnechaug Regional) singled through the left side. He moved to second on a grounder to first and got to third on a wild pitch. After another Pessotti offering on strike three got away with Shaw at the plate, Heineman came too far down the line and was caught in a pickle to end the inning. The Judges had baserunners in the seventh and ninth frames, but were unable to muster an attack.
Brandeis had just one multiple hitter, senior 2B Dominic Schwartz (San Francisco, Calif./Lowell), who went 2-4 to give him seven hits in his last 11 at-bats. BSU's Manning and shortstop Jacob Souza (Acushnet, Mass./New Bedford) each went 3-4, while White had two hits, including his double.
Brandeis returns to action on Monday afternoon at Springfield College at 3:30 p.m. Bridgewater State has a MASCAC doubleheader tomorrow at 1 p.m. at home against Salem State.