Judges hold off Springfield College, 8-7

Elio Fernandez '15

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (adapted from the Springfield College press release) - The Brandeis baseball team withstood a furious ninth-inning rally on Monday, hanging on for an 8-7 win against Springfield College on Monday afternoon.

The Pride trailed by five runs heading into the bottom of the ninth, but scored four times on three hits to come within a run. Brandeis improves to 12-14 with the win, while Springfield falls to 12-11 with the loss.

Brandeis was led by junior 1b Kyle Brenner (Brookfield, Mass./St. Peter-Marian), who went 3-for-5 with two runs batted in. Sophomore 3b Greg Heineman (Wilbraham, Mass./Minnechaug Regional) picked up three RBI's while classmate Connor Doyle (Avon, Conn./Avon Old Farms) tacked on two hits for the Judges.

Springfield was led by Billy Peterson (Wareham, Mass.), Jared Hopkins (Cranston, R.I.) and Corey Wilcox (Montville, Conn.) each with two hits. Steve Starr (Lebanon, Conn.) and Brent Poulin (Atascadero, Calif.) each drove in two runs.

The teams combined for no runs on four hits through the first four frames, as Brandeis junior Elio Fernandez (Bronx, N.Y./Fordham Prep) and Springfield's Alex Williams (East Hartford, Conn.) were both dealing early.

Brandeis got on the board in the top of the fifth, jumping out to a four run advantage. Sophomore centerfielder Sam Miller (Sudbury, Mass./Lincoln-Sudbury) took a lead-off walk to start the inning and junior Brian Allen (Salem, N.H./Central Catholic) and senior Brian Ing (Sandwich, Mass./Sandwich) followed it up with back-to-back singles to load the bases with no outs in the inning. Doyle drove in the game's first run on an opposite field single, scoring Miller. Junior DH Tom McCarthy (Yonkers, N.Y./Fieldston School) made it a two-run game, reaching on an error that scored Allen. Brenner and Heineman both grounded into RBI fielder's choices, giving the Judges a 4-0 lead.

Springfield got on the board in the bottom of the sixth inning to make it a 4-1 game. The Pride tacked on two more in the seventh. With one out, Adam Zandri (Ridgefield, Conn.) had a pinch hit single to left field and scored on a double by Hopkins for a 4-2 game. The Pride came within one run one a sacrifice fly by Starr to deep right field, scoring Wilcox to make it a 4-3 game.

Brandeis put up an insurance run in the top of the eighth, as Heineman reached on an error and later scored on a single by rookie right fielder Ryan Tettemer (Westfield, Mass./Suffield Acad.) to give the Judges a 5-3 lead.

The Judges built up a five-run lead with three more runs in the ninth. Heineman drove in two on a double to left and Brenner brought home Heineman on a single to center to take an 8-3 lead.

Springfield made it interesting in the bottom of the ninth, nearly erasing the five-run deficit. The Pride loaded the bases on two-straight hit batters and a single by Wilcox. With one out in the inning, Starr beat out a grounder to third base, scoring Dan Bergami (Schenectady, N.Y). Poulin drove in Wilcox and Keith Cotnoir (Westhampton, Mass.) on a double to the gap in left center and the Pride made it a one-run game on a ground ball out by Frank Calabrese (East Longmeadow, Mass.). Brenner, pitching in relief, got out of the jam one a grounder to second base to escape with the win.

Fernandez earned the win, going 6.1 innings, giving up seven hits, three runs, all earned. It was the second-straight strong start for the junior, who allowed three runs in 8.1 innings against UMass-Dartmouth last week. Williams took the loss for Springfield (1-2) going six innings, allowing six hits, four runs, three earned with two strikeouts.