Baseball suffers a pair of home losses to NYU, 6-5 and 15-10

WALTHAM, Mass. – The Brandeis University baseball team suffered a pair of losses at the hands of UAA rivals NYU today, as the Judges dropped a 6-5 decision in the opener and 15-10 slugfest in the second game. The Judges fall to 12-16, 0-10 UAA, while the Violets improve to 18-9, 4-6 UAA.

The opener was a back-and-forth affair. NYU struck first in the top of the third on an sacrifice fly by shortstop Ryan McLaughlin. The Judges bounced back in the bottom of the inning, scoring four times. Sophomore right fielder Scott Ziegler (Avon, Conn./Avon Old Farms) drew a one-out walk and junior second baseman Victor Oppenheimer's (West Hills, Calif./Chaminade) swinging bunt was thrown away, putting both runners in scoring position. Ziegler scored on a wild pitch, and Oppenheimer came home on sophomore shortstop Mike Khoury's (East Bridgewater, Mass./East Bridgewater) double to right-center. After a walk and a hit batter loaded the bases, Khoury scored on a passed ball and sophomore catcher Luke Hall (Georgetown, Mass./Georgetown) delivered a sacrifice fly to put Brandeis ahead, 4-1.

NYU knotted the game at 4-4 in the top of the sixth, when two Brandeis errors led to three unearned runs, thanks to an RBI single by right fielder Colrain Tait and a two-run hit by DH Zane Baker.

The Judges answered in the bottom of the sixth when sophomore right fielder Tommy Sand (South Windsor, Conn./South Windsor) reached on a one-out error, stole second then scored on a bloop single by rookie first baseman Aneesh Avancha (Plantsville, Conn./Chase Collegiate School).

NYU answered right back, putting runners on the corners with no outs on a walk, a single and an errant pickoff throw at second. McLaughlin then struck a ball to short that was bobbled, allowing the tying run to score, while first baseman Colman Hendershot bounced one up the middle that gave NYU a 6-5 lead that would hold up, as the Violet bullpen retired the last nine Brandeis batters of the game in order.

Brandeis junior lefty Greg Tobin (Medway, Mass./Catholic Memorial School) suffered the loss for the Judges, giving up nine hits and six runs, only two of which were earned. He struck out two and walked two, falling to 3-3 on the season. Sophomore Rik Jhamb (Shrewsbury, Mass. / Advanced Math & Science Academy) and senior Daniel Schupper (Villanova, Pa./Harriton) allowed two hits in two and one inning of work, with Schupper striking out two, but Jhamb allowed two key inherited runners to score.

NYU's Ford Ladd went 5.2 innings and gave up five runs (three earned) on five hits, striking out five and walking two, but Zach Cohen got the last out of the sixth to earn his third win. Paul Galladeta struck out two in two innings of work, and Joseph Prisco earned his UAA leading seventh save with a perfect ninth.

Offensively, Brandeis was led by Khoury, who went 2-4 with a pair of doubles, an RBI and a run scored, and Avancha, who was 2-3 with an RBI. NYU's Jack Walter had a three-hit game, while McLaughlin and Baker each drove in two runs.

The second game saw some offensive fireworks, with NYU's eight-run sixth inning proving the difference. The Violets sent 13 men to the plate to break open a game that stood at 6-5 in their favor. Brandeis battled back with five run of their own in the bottom of the sixth to cut it to 14-10, but it wasn't enough, as the visitors' bullpen was effective again, allowing just one hit over the final three innings.

The teams each scored one run in the first inning and three in the second. Brandeis took a 5-4 lead on a throwing error on a ball hit by rookie DH Liam Kennedy (Norwell, Mass./Milton Academy) in the third. NYU tied it in the fifth with a leadoff home run by second baseman Chris Cassandra. They went ahead later in the inning on an infield groundout by third baseman Jack Elias before striking for their big inning, when they took advantage of wildness from Brandeis's bullpen, drawing five walks and getting hit by pitches twice.

The Judges responded with a four-hit, five-run frame that was capped by a two-run double by sophomore center fielder Dan Frey (Ipswich, Mass./St John's Prep), but they could get no closer.

Offensively, Brandeis was paced by Frey and Khoury, who each drove in three runs. Khoury had a key two-run triple in the team's three-run second inning, while Frey knocked three doubles in the contest. The Violets' big hitters were Elias (3-5, 4 RBI, 2 R) and Cassandra (3-4, 3 RBI, 2 R, HR).

John Gassler pitched two innings in relief of Gabriel Golob to get the win. Gassler allowed a run but no hits in his two innings of work. Brandeis sophomore Kyle Shedden (Spencer, Mass./David Prouty) shouldered the loss, with four innings of seven-hit ball, allowing six runs (four earned) with a walk and a strikeout.

Brandeis and NYU will meet for two more games on Sunday at Victory Field in Watertown, Massachusetts, after tomorrow's planned doubleheader was moved because of expected bad weather.