Nicholson pitches Judges to split with Springfield

Pat Nicholson '11 (Photo by Joe Burns)
Pat Nicholson '11 (Photo by Joe Burns)

WALTHAM, Mass. -- Brandeis senior Pat Nicholson (E. Walpole, Mass./Walpole) tossed a complete-game five-hit shutout in the second game of a doubleheader today to give the Judges a split with visiting Springfield College. The Pride took the opener, 11-8, with a big top of the seventh inning before Nicholson silenced their bats in a 4-0 victory. Brandeis moves to 24-15 on the season, Springfield is now 11-22. 

In addition to his seven innings of five-hit ball, Nicholson struck out two and walked one. He retired the first six Pride batters of the game and nine of the first 10. Nicholson improved to 3-1 on the hill and lowered his ERA to 3.18 on the season.

Nicholson was also at the plate when three of the squad's four runs were scored, plating one in the first on a double play ball. In the fifth, after a single by rookie SS Dom Schwartz (San Francisco, Calif./Lowell) and a pair of sacrifice bunts, the first of which senior CF Tony Deshler reached on an error, Nicholson came up with runners on second and third. A wild pitch as he tried a squeeze play made the score, 2-0, and he produced an RBI on a single through the left side.

Brandeis tacked on an insurance run in the sixth on an RBI double by rookie 3B Brian Ing (Sandwich, Mass./Sandwich)

The Pride got their first run in the top of the second.  With runners on first and second, junior Karl Quist (New Preston, Conn./Shepaug Valley) singled up the middle to bring in senior Michael Micik (Greenwich, Conn.).

The Judges responded with four runs of their own in the bottom of the inning.  Senior 1B Eric Rosenberg (Oakland, N.J./Indian Hills) led of the frame with a home run to deep right field.  Junior catcher Kenny Destremps (Mashpee, Mass./Mashpee) followed up with a single and a stolen base before advancing to third on a single from junior 2B Sean O'Hare (Southampton, Mass./Hampshire Reg.).  Rookie SS Dom Schwartz (San Francisco, Calf./ Lowell) doubled to left centerfield to plate Destremps, giving Brandeis a 2-1 lead.  Senior CF Tony Deshler (Pepperell, Mass./Lawrence Acad.) doubled down the right field line, sending O'Hare home.  Senior DH Pat Nicholson (Walpole, Mass./Walpole) hit the Judges' third two-bagger of the inning to bring in a  run and put Brandeis up 4-1.

Springfield knotted the score in the third. With two runners on base, senior CF John Schmaltz (Cromwell, Conn./Cromwell) struck a 3 RBI homer to right centerfield to tie the game 4-4. 

Springfield broke the tied in the top of the sixth.  Quist doubled to right center and moved into scoring position on a sacrifice bunt from senior Mike Robilotto (East Meadow, N.Y./Kellenberg). Junior Mike Corletta (Westtown, N.Y./Minisink Valley) hit a sacrifice fly to centerfield, to put the Pride ahead, 5-4.

Brandeis answered back with three runs of their own in the bottom of the sixth.  With Deshler on first, sophomore RF Nick Cortese (Guayanabo, P.R./Baldwin School of Puerto Rico) hit a two-run blast to right to give the Judges back the lead. It was the first home run of his career.  With two on, Destremps hit an RBI doubled to centerfield to put the Brandeis up 7-5 going into the final inning.

After Rookie Sean Smith (Broken Arrow, Okla./Bishop Kelley) singled to lead off the inning, a series of fielding and pitching changes put Brandeis rookie Brian Ing (Sandwich, Mass./Sandwich) on the hill. With two on, senior Brian Harris (E. Hartford, Conn./E. Hartford) hit an RBI double to bring his squad within one. A single from Quist and a double from senior Louis Nucci (Huntington, N.Y./Harberfields) brought in three more runs.  Corletta homered for 2 RBI, giving the Pride a 11-7 lead.

Brandeis managed three hits in the bottom of the seventh and an RBI single from Nicholson that left the bases loaded, but the Pride induced a game-ending double play to finish with an 11-8 score.

Brandeis senior John McGrath (New York, N.Y./Trevor Day) was unable to convert his eighth win of the season, picking up a no decision after six innings of nine-hit ball. He allowed six earned runs and struck out four without issuing a walk, though he hd three batters. Senior Mark Grant (Danbury, Conn./Danbury) went 5.2 innings and gave up 15 hits and seven runs in the start for the Pride, but reliever Travis Lane (Canton, Conn./Canton) got the win giving up three hits and one earned run in 1.1 innings of work.

At the plate, Destremps was the hot hitter for the Judges, going 6-for-7 across the two games, with an RBI and two runs scored. He was 4-for-4 in the opener and 2-for-3 in game two. Rosenberg had five hits, including a 4-for-4 performance that included a home run and a double, leaving him a triple shy of the cycle. Nicholson topped the Judges with three RBI and had four hits in eight at-bats. Quist paced the Pride with four hits on the day, going 3-for-4 with to RBI and two runs scored in the opener. Schmaltz and Corletta both finished with three RBI for Springfield, a team-high.

Brandeis closes out the home portion of their scheduled tomorrow at noon against Trinity College at noon.

Pride rally for 11-8 win in opener with six in the seventh; Nicholson tosses 5-hitter in 4-0 Brandeis win in game 2