O'Neill falls in pitcher's duel as baseball drops two to #20 WashU

Sean O'Neill '18 (photo by Sportspix.com / Mike Broglio)
Sean O'Neill '18 (photo by Sportspix.com / Mike Broglio)

BOSTON, Mass. – The Brandeis University baseball team was unable to solve a pair of terrific pitching performances by 20th-ranked Washington (Mo.) University today at Monan Park in Boston as the Judges fell to the Bears by scores of 1-0 and 8-0 in a University Athletic Association doubleheader. Brandeis falls to 4-18, 2-12 in the UAA, while WashU improves to 20-8, 8-2 UAA.

The opener was a terrific pitcher's duel between Washington's Brad Margolin and Brandeis junior Sean O'Neill (Reading, Mass./Reading Memorial). The two combined to allow just six hits across seven innings in their complete-game efforts. O'Neill (2-3) allowed four hits and struck out four with one walk. The complete game was his second of the year. Margolin (7-0) was even better, with two hits allowed in his complete-game effort, fanning three with one base on balls. The shutout was his third in a row for the Bears.

The game's lone run came in the third inning. WashU catcher Tate Maider led off by bouncing a ball through the right side, then DH Scott Nelson beat out a sacrifice bunt to put two men on with none out. Bear leadoff hitter Austin Darmawan sacrificed again to get the runners into scoring position, and rightfielder Auggie Mense got the run home with a grounder to second base. O'Neill got a strikeout to end the inning and keep it a one-run game.

Margolin took over from there, allowing just the two Brandeis hits the rest of the way. The Judges' best chance to score came in the bottom of the seventh, when their leading hitter on the season, rookie SS Victor Oppenheimer (West Hills, Calif./Chaminade) led off with a single to right field. Classmate Dan O'Leary (Lynnfield, Mass./Lynnfield) bunted Oppenheimer to second for the team's first runner in scoring position. Margolin bore down, however, and WashU 3B Joh Brinkman made two nice plays on grounders to the hot corner to end the game.

In the second contest of the day, the Brandeis bats were unable to get going against Washington starter John Howard. Howard struck out seven without walking a batter and allowed just three hits as he improved to 2-3 on the season.

The Bears scored three runs in the first inning against Brandeis senior Liam Coughlin (Townsend, Mass./Lowell Catholic). A pitch got away from Coughlin to start the game, hitting Darmawan to put a runner on. Coughlin got the first two outs of the inning, but Darmawan stole second and third. WashU followed with three-straight hits, including an RBI double by 1B Ted Daley.

The Bears upped their lead to 4-0 in the top of the third when LF Christian Santos blasted a home run over the left-field fence, his second of the season. Washington's CF Conor O'Hara led off the sixth with a triple and scored on a sacrifice fly by Daley. The Bears added three more runs on just one hit – a Santos two-run single - in the top of the seventh.

Brandeis's hits in the game came from rookie 2B Tim Lopez (Brooklyn, N.Y./East Side Community), senior 3B Marvic Gomez (Providence, R.I./Juanita Sanchez) and rookie DH Kyle Lussier (Hingham, Mass./Hingham), who was the only Brandeis player with hits in each game.

The Judges are scheduled for three home non-conference games next week, hosting Wentworth, Western New England and Trinity (Conn.) at 3:30 each afternoon starting on Wednesday.