SALEM, Mass. – Brandeis University sophomore Luke Hall (Georgetown, Mass./Georgetown) drove in six runs in the second game of a doubleheader today to help the Judges gain a split with host Salem State University. The Vikings took the opener, 11-4, before Brandeis bounced back with an 11-7 win in Game 2. The Judges' record now stands at 8-4, while SSU is 5-4 on the season.
After dropping their second-straight game in the opener, the Judge struck quickly in the second contest, scoring two in the first and three more in the third. Sophomore 3B Isaac Fossas (Dudley, Mass./Milton Academy) opened the scoring with a sacrifice fly, while Hall delivered his first RBI with a single right. In the third, it was an RBI double by sophomore SS Mike Khoury (E. Bridgewater, Mass./E. Bridgewater) and two more knocked in by Hall that gave the Judges the 5-0 advantage.
SSU looked to get back in the game by loading the bases with no out in the bottom of the third, but Brandeis cut down a runner trying to score at the plate on a single. Rookie Cam Roberts (Leominster, Mass./Nashoba Regional) retired the next two Viking batters to escape further trouble. Brandeis pushed their lead to 9-1 with four runs in the fourth, including another two-run single by Hall. The hosts cut into the lead in the fifth on a two-run home run by Matt Marquez, but Brandeis got the runs right back on Hall's fourth run-producing hit of the game, an RBI double, and a single by rookie catcher Liam Kennedy (Norwell, Mass./Milton Academy) that made it 11-3. After Roberts was relieved in the seventh, Salem State made things interesting with four runs in their final at-bat, but the Judges were able to finish off the victory.
Hall finished going 4-4 with six RBI, becoming the third different Brandeis player with six RBI or more in a game this season. Khoury and sophomore CF Dan Frey (Ipswich, Mass./St. John's Prep) each scored three runs. On the hill, Roberts improved to 2-0 on the season with a career-long outing, going six innings and allowing three runs (one earned) on eight hits. He struck out five and walked two, scattering eight hits. Salem State's Matthew Enos gave up seven runs (three earned) in 3.2 innings to suffer the loss.
In the opener, the teams traded single runs in the bottom of the first and the top of the second before SSU broke things open with four unearned runs in the bottom of the fourth, scoring their first three runs on Brandeis errors. Fossas singled home a run in the third to cut the Viking lead to 5-2, but the hosts got two more back in the bottom of the frame. The Judges' final two runs came in on a wild pitch in the fifth and an error in the seventh, but it was too little, too late, as Salem State added four more runs in the fifth for the 11-4 final.
Brandeis's Victor Oppenheimer (West Hills, Calif./Chaminade) went 3-for-4 with a double and two runs scored. Fossas and sophomore 1B Alex Parrott (Nashua, N.H./Nashua South) also had two hits for the Judges. Sophomore Albert Gutierrez (Miami, Fla./Belen Jesuit Prep) suffered the loss, falling to 2-1 on the season, after going 4.2 innings and giving up nine runs (five earned) on nine hits, with four strikeouts and four walks.
SSU was paced by right fielder Pat Fitzgerald, who had four hits and two RBI, and second baseman Christian Burt, who was 2-for-3 with two RBI and two runs scored. The Vikings had 12 hits in the game, none for extra bases. Brock Riley earned the win with six innings of eight-hit ball. He struck out six and walked just one to move to 1-1 on the season.
Brandeis continues a nine-game road trip next week with games at Springfield on Monday and Amherst on Tuesday. Both are slated for 3:30 p.m. starts.