O'Neill pitches baseball to first UAA win of season, 4-2, at NYU

Sean O'Neill '18 (photo by Robert Shaw)
Sean O'Neill '18 (photo by Robert Shaw)

BROOKLYN, N.Y. – Junior righty Sean O'Neill (Reading, Mass./Reading) continued his career mastery of New York University today with a complete-game victory as the Judges defeated the Violets, 4-2, in the first of a four-game University Athletic Association series at MCU Park in Brooklyn today.

O'Neill (2-2) tossed his first complete game since his rookie season, going nine innings and scattering eight hits. He struck out five and walked two, hitting one batter. O'Neill also kept the Violets at bay by inducing three double plays on the afternoon. In his three seasons, O'Neill is 4-1 over the course of six starts against the Violets, with a 2.80 ERA (14 earned runs in 45 innings) and 27 strikeouts with just 10 walks.   

In today's game, Brandeis got off to a 2-0 start in the top of the second inning thanks to an RBI double by sophomore 3B Kyle Lussier (Hingham, Mass./Hingham), followed two batters later by a single up the middle by rookie catcher Brian Shaw (Conway, Mass. / Northfield Mount Hermon).

The Violets got one run back in the bottom of the inning on a two-out RBI single by catcher Will McKenna. It looked like the one-run lead might hold up, as O'Neill got a double play to end a threat in the third and left the bases loaded in the fifth. Violet shortstop Jon Iaione knotted the game on his own, leading off the sixth inning with a solo home run to knot the game at 2-2.

O'Neill retired the next six NYU hitters in a row, and in the top of the eight, the Judges broke through thanks to some wildness by the Violet pitchers. Senior Anthony Nomakeo (Westfield, Mass./Northfield Mount Hermon) led off the frame by getting hit by a pitch. He was bunted to second, but the next two Brandeis hitters drew walks to load the bases, and rookie LF and Brooklyn native Tim Lopez (Brooklyn, N.Y. / East Side Community)  singled to right to give the Judges the lead. Classmate and 2B Victor Oppenheimer (West Hills, Calif./Chaminade) followed with a sacrifice fly to deep center to give the Judges an insurance run.

O'Neill was steady in the last two NYU at-bats, getting a double play to negate a one-out walk in the eighth, and stranding a one-out double at second in the ninth to secure the win.

Offensively, Oppenheimer and Lopez each had two hits for the Judges, while Opponheimer, Nomakeo and Lussier each doubled.

NYU's Cam Serapilio-Frank (2-1) suffered the loss going 7.1 innings and giving up eight hits and four earned runs. Jack Walter, Jack Elias and Iaione each had two hits for the Violets.

Brandeis (2-14, 1-4 UAA) and NYU (12-8, 1-8 UAA) will meet tomorrow at noon for a doubleheader before wrapping up their series on Sunday.