Miller, Falkson lead baseball to split with St. Joseph's (Brooklyn)

Miller, Falkson lead baseball to split with St. Joseph's (Brooklyn)

AUBURNDALE, Fla. – The Brandeis University baseball team got a pair of terrific performances in the second game of a doubleheader today, as the Judges earned a split with the St. Joseph's (Brooklyn) College Bears at Lake Myrtle Park as part of the Russ Matt Invitational. The Judges dropped the opener, 7-4, but won the second game, 4-0.

The Brandeis victory was keyed by junior pitcher Sam Miller (Sudbury, Mass./Lincoln-Sudbury) and rookie shortstop Nick Falkson (Dedham, Mass./Thayer Acad.).

Miller was outstanding in making his first career start for the Judges in his seventh collegiate appearance on the hill. He went seven innings and scattered four hits. He struck out three and did not walk a batter. Miller allowed just one runner past second base and retired the side in order three times to pick up the shutout.

At the plate, Falkson was responsible for all four Brandeis runs, going 3-for-3 with two runs scored and three RBI. He doubled with one out in the first inning, but was stranded in scoring position.

In the third, after the Bears had turned a double play, he singled and moved to second on an errant pick-off throw. He scored what would prove to be the game-winning run on a double by senior LF Tom McCarthy (Yonkers, N.Y./Fieldston School).

In the bottom of the fifth inning, Falkson came to the plate with runners on first and second and launched his first collegiate home run to give Miller some breathing room. The round-tripper, Brandeis's second of the season, provided the final 4-0 margin of victory.

The Brandeis win improved the Judges to 2-2 on the season and provided head coach Pete Varney with the 694th win of his 34-year career.

In the opener, SJC earned head coach Jerry Sidman his first collegiate win, 7-4. The Judges scored two runs each in the second and fourth innings, but the Bears had runs in five of their six plate appearances. Sophomore catcher Remy Pontes (Arlington, Mass./Arlington), who went 2-for-3 in his first career start, drove in both runs in the second inning with his first collegiate hit, a bases-loaded single.

After Saint Joe's Domenic Camerada got one run back in the second, the Bears went ahead in the third on an RBI single by Thomas McKenna off of Brandeis starter Brent Edmunds (North Hampton, N.H./Winnacunnet). The Bears loaded the bases with none out when Varney went to the bullpen, and sophomore Anthony Nomakeo (Westfield, Mass./Northfield Mount Hermon) induced a double play to help minimize the damage.

The Judges went back on top on senior Rob Trenk's (West Orange, N.J./West Orange) RBI and an error on the left fielder that allowed Trenk to score after a Pontes single that made it 4-3. SJC tied it again on a one-out double-play ball that was dropped at first base. The Bears scored the winning run on Camerada's two-run single in the bottom of the fifth off of reliever James Machado (Dracut, Mass./Dracut) and tacked on an insurance run in the sixth on a McKenna sacrifice fly.

Brandeis has two contests left on their Florida trip, tomorrow against Capital (Ohio) and Sunday against Augustana (Ill.).