BOSTON, Mass. – The Brandeis University baseball team faced a stiff test in their season opener as they faced third-ranked UMass Boston on the road. The Judges got a pair of fine pitching performances, but were unable to overcome some early miscues as they suffered a 4-1 loss to the Beacons. Brandeis falls to 0-1 on the season, UMB improves to 2-0.
Brandeis pitchers combined to give up seven hits with nine strikeouts and just one walk in eight innings of work. Senior Sean O'Neill (Reading, Mass./Reading Memorial) went three innings in the start, allowing five hits and three runs, all of which came in the first inning and were unearned. O'Neill fanned five and did not walk a batter. He was relieved by sophomore Greg Tobin (Medway, Mass. / Catholic Memorial), who went five frames and allowed just two hits and one earned run. Tobin struck out four UMB hitters, walked one and hit two batters.
UMB scored three times in the first, taking advantage of two errors after O'Neill struck out the leadoff hitter. Chris Fowler made the Judges pay with a two-run double, followed by a Nick Herzog single that drove in Fowler to make it 3-0.
Brandeis got one run back in the top of the fourth, when rookie 1B Isaac Fossas (Dudley, Mass./ Milton Academy) led off with a single and moved to second on a passed ball. Classmate and centerfielder Dan Frey (Ipswich, Mass./ St. John's Prep) followed with a double to right field just over the first-base bag for his first collegiate RBI. UMB pitcher Sal Frosceno settled down to strand Frey at second with a grounder to the left side, a fly out and a grounder to second.
The Beacons got the run back in the bottom of the fifth. After retiring the first two UMB batters, Tobin hit a batter and gave up a bunt single to Herzog. Ryan McCormick followed with a single to center that made it a 4-1 game. The Judges were able to put runners on in the final three innings, but a pair of UMB double plays erased the threats.
Five different Brandeis hitters accounted for their seven hits, with sophomore rightfielder Dan O'Leary (Lynnfield, Mass. / Lynnfield) and rookie catcher Luke Hall (Georgetown, Mass./ Georgetown) each recording two hits. Frey's double was the only extra-base hit for the Judges.
UMB's seven hits were bunched among their 5-6-7 hitters, as Fowler went 2-2 with two RBI, two runs and a double. Herzog was 3-4 with an RBI, while McCormick was 2-4 with a run knocked in. Ben Gottesman gave up two hits in three innings of relief to earn the win, and Bobby Tramondozzi earned the save with a hitless ninth, though he did walk one batter and hit another.
Brandeis is back in action tomorrow afternoon at Salem State University for a 3:00 p.m. start.