April 29, 2014

Brandeis baseball falls in ninth inning to WPI, 3-2

The Brandeis baseball team battled back from an early deficit on senior day, but lost in dramatic fashion to WPI on a crisp afternoon in Waltham. The Judges tied the game in the top of the ninth, but the Engineers scored in the bottom of the frame for a 3-2 win. It was the third-consecutive walk-off loss and fifth-straight defeat overall for Brandeis, who falls to 13-20. WPI improved to 18-15.

The game was played at Stein Diamond, but WPI was the home team. The Judges still celebrated senior day, and honored Dan Gad (Mansfield, Mass. / Mansfield), Brian Ing (Sandwich, Mass./Sandwich), Colin Markel (Scarsdale, N.Y./Scarsdale) and Dominic Schwartz (San Francisco, Calif./Lowell) in a ceremony before the game. Ing, Schwartz and Gad were the 1-2-3 hitters for Brandeis, while Markel started on the mound. Markel only faced three batters, as he threw six innings in a game on Sunday.

Both sides scored in the first two innings, then were held until the ninth. Trailing, 2-1, Brandeis sophomore Ryan Healy (Carlsbad, Calif./La Costa Canyon) led off the ninth with an infield hit. He reached second on an error and advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt. Ing was next at the plate, and he reached on a single to third base, tying things up at two runs apiece.

Unfortunately for Brandeis, the Engineers would score an unearned run of their own in the home half of the inning. DJ Ouelette led off with a pinch-hit single to center, and reached second when the ball was misplayed. A walk and a bunt single loaded the bases with nobody out, and Ouelette scored on a ball that was scorched to short by 1B Sean Greene.

Sam Miraglia pitched the ninth for WPI and earned the win (1-0). Rookie Liam Coughlin (Townsend, Mass./Lowell Catholic) allowed the unearned run and took the loss, falling to 0-3 on the year.

The Engineers led for nearly the entire game, as they scored two runs in the first inning. Markel walked 3B Zach Blanchard with one out, and with two down, junior relief pitcher Elio Fernandez (Bronx, N.Y. / Fordham Prep) gave up an RBI double to right fielder Brendan Walsh. Next up was center fielder Anthony Capuano, and he singled to right for the 2-0 advantage.

The Judges cut the deficit in half in the top of the second. With two outs, Healy doubled to the gap in right-center. Next up was sophomore catcher Connor Doyle (Avon, Conn./Avon Old Farms), and he lined an RBI single to left.

Neither side scored again until the ninth. In total, the two bullpens combined to allow just one earned run in 12.1 innings. Fernandez pitched five innings total after coming on for Markel, allowing just the one run.

Both sides pitched out of trouble on multiple occasions, as the Judges stranded eight runners, while the Engineers left nine men aboard. Brandeis had runners on second and third in the sixth but could not score, while WPI left them loaded in the bottom of the frame. The Judges had the bases loaded with one out in the eighth inning, but Mike Duclos induced an inning-ended double play.

Healy led the Judges with three hits and two runs. Ing and Schwartz celebrated senior day with a pair of hits each, and Doyle had two as well. Greene and Walsh had two hits apiece for the Engineers.

This was the final game of the season for WPI. The Judges wrap up their campaign tomorrow at UMass-Dartmouth.