ATLANTA, Ga. – The Brandeis University baseball team took a five-run lead into the bottom of the fifth inning, but the host Emory Eagles scored eight runs in the bottom of the frame en route to a 17-7 University Athletic Association victory and a four-game sweep of the conference series. With the loss, the Judges fall to 9-9 on the season, 0-4 UAA, while the Eagles improve to 11-10, 4-0 UAA.
Brandeis opened the scoring in the first inning, when junior second baseman Victor Oppenheimer (West Hills, Calif./Chaminade) led off the game with a double and scored on a single to left by sophomore shortstop Mike Khoury (East Bridgewater, Mass./East Bridgewater). Emory answered with a pair of unearned runs in the bottom of the frame to take a 2-1 lead.
Brandeis responded by scoring two runs in three straight innings. In the third, sophomore third baseman Isaac Fossas (Dudley, Mass./Milton Academy) blasted his second home run of the series, driving in Khoury, who was hit by a pitch. The blast was Fossas's second of the season and third of his career. In the fourth, Khoury and Fossas each delivered an RBI single, but the Eagles turned a double play to avoid further trouble. In the fifth inning, rookie DH Liam Kennedy (Norwell, Mass./Milton Academy) added an RBI single, with a grounder by Oppenheimer later in the inning increasing the lead to 7-2.
Brandeis sophomore righty starter Mason Newman (New Rochelle, N.Y./New Rochelle) cruised through the second, third and fourth innings. He got into a bit of trouble in the fifth, with a single and one-out double putting two runners in scoring position. Emory loaded the bases on a catcher's interference call, but Newman induced a grounder to second for the second out of the inning. Unfortunately, another error in the inning allowed two more runs to score and opened the floodgates for an eight-run inning. Emory tied the game on a two-run single by DH Michael Wilson, and a bases-clearing double by third baseman Zeke Diamond put the hosts ahead, 10-7. The Eagles were able to take advantage of a taxed Brandeis bullpen, scoring three more runs in the sixth and four in the seventh to invoke the UAA's 10-run rule.
Offensively, Brandeis was paced by the top three in their batting order of Oppenheimer, Khoury and Fossas, who went 5-for-10 with six RBI, three runs scored, a double and a home run. Kennedy also added three hits for the Judges. Newman suffered the loss, despite giving up just one earned run in 4.2 innings. Emory had eight unearned runs against him, to go with eight hits. Newman struck out five and walked one as he fell to 1-2 on the season.
Emory's top hitter was Diamond, who went 2-5 with a double and four RBI and catcher Eric Terry, who was 1-4 with a three-run home run, while scoring three runs. The Eagles' second reliever of the game, Joey Bock, was able to settle down the Brandeis offense, tossing 2.2 hitless innings. He walked three without a strikeout to improve to 2-2 on the season.
The Judges return to New England and UAA play with a four-game set against 25th-ranked Washington University in St. Louis next weekend starting on April 5.