Baseball drops two to Western New England

Brad Bousquet '18 (Sportspix)
Brad Bousquet '18 (Sportspix)

NORTHBOROUGH, Mass. – The Brandeis University baseball team dropped a pair of games on Sunday at the New England Baseball Complex to the Western New England Golden Bears. The first game saw a late-game offensive explosion from the Golden Bears, as they went on to win, 12-4. The second game needed extra frames to determine a winner, with Western New England coming out on top in eight innings, 7-3. The Judges drop to 1-5 in 2018, while Western New England evens up its record at 2-2.

HOW IT HAPPENED – GAME ONE (Western New England 12, Brandeis 4)

  • Sophomore Victor Oppenheimer (West Hills, Calif. / Chaminade) got things started quickly for the Judges with a two-run home run in the first inning, giving them a 2-0 lead.

  • Western New England was able to answer quickly in the top of the second with its own two-run homer, off the bat of Brian Valeriano.

  • The Golden Bears took the lead in the fourth with a pair of RBI singles, and tacked on another run in the fifth with another RBI single, making it 5-2.

  • The Judges would not go quietly, however, as freshmen Dan Frey (Ipswich, Mass. / St. John's Prep.) and Isaac Fossas (Dudley, Mass. / Milton Academy) continued the Judges two-day home run barrage by going back-to-back to lead off the bottom of the fourth, closing the gap to 5-4.

  • Western New England again answered back immediately, as Zac Nussbaum hit a long solo home run in the top of the fifth to extend the lead to two.

  • After blanking the Judges in the bottom half of the fifth, the Golden Bears went to work in a big way in the sixth. After drawing two bases loaded walks, Valeriano hit his second home run of the game, a grand slam to left field, breaking the game open and making the score 12-4.

  • The rest of the game went quietly, with no runs scored in the final three half innings.

  • Paul Wetmore earned the win for Western New England, his first of the season, and he is now 1-0. Sophomore Albert Gutierrez (Miami, Fla. / Belen Jesuit Prep.) suffered the loss, and is 0-1.

HOW IT HAPPENED – GAME TWO (Western New England 7, Brandeis 3; eight innings)

  • Western New England got the scoring started in game two, as Alex Loparco drove home Kevin Johnson with an RBI single in the top of the first, making it 1-0.

  • Brandeis tied it up in the second, although there was some missed opportunity since the run came on a double play with the bases loaded and no outs.

  • The Golden Bears immediately regained the lead in the third when Nussbaum popped one down the leftfield line into no-man's land, good enough for an RBI double.

  • The Judges fought back in the bottom of the fourth, scoring two runs to make it 3-2. The first was scored on a ground ball with a man on third from freshman Tommy Sand (South Windsor, Conn. / South Windsor), on which the third baseman hesitated before throwing late to first base. Sophomore Donnie Weisse (Swampscott, Mass / St. Mary's) later drove in Sand with an RBI single to center.

  • Western New England was again able to answer back, though not without some controversy first. With men on first and second, Erik Lacaire roped one down the left field line that appeared fair, but was ruled foul by the home plate umpire. He then flew out to right field, advancing the runner on second to third. Nussbaum brought home that man on third with a groundout to second base, tying the game at 3 apiece.

  • The top of the seventh saw a stellar relief effort from junior Daniel Schupper (Villanova, Pa. / Harriton). After coming in with a man on second and one out, Schupper allowed a stolen base but then proceeded to strand the runner there, getting a huge strikeout for the second out and a groundout for out number three.

  • Brandeis came very close to walking it off the in the bottom of the seventh. Freshman Mike Khoury (East Bridgewater, Mass. / East Bridgewater) led off with a single an advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt. With two outs, Fossas hit one to deep center field that looked like it might clear the fence, but Lacaire made a fantastic running catch just a few steps from the wall to send the game to extras.

  • The Golden Bears took immediate advantage of that catch, bringing home four runners in the top of the eighth. Joe Cassella had the eventual game-winning hit with a two-RBI single to left field, and Western New England added two more runs on a sacrifice fly and a double.

  • The Judges were unable to get anything going in the bottom of the eighth, managing just a single before making three outs.

  • Brandeis had two solid pitching performances on the day. Pressed into starting duty due to injuries, senior relief pitcher Bradley Bousquet (Athol, Mass. / Athol) threw 3.1 innings, allowing two runs and striking out five. Sophomore Jackson Carman (Naples, Fla. / Naples) also impressed, coming in after Bousquet and tossing three innings of one-run ball, allowing just two hits and zero walks.

  • Western New England's Ryan Searles earned his first collegiate win, moving to 1-0 on the season. Schupper was saddled with the loss, and is now 0-1.


  • The Judges return to action this Tuesday (pending Mother Nature's cooperation), when they play their first game at Stein Diamond in 2018, taking on Bridgewater State at 3 PM.

  • Western New England heads to Florida next, playing eight games in nine days from March 17 to March 25.

--Corey Cohen