AMHERST, Mass. (info taken from an Amherst College release)– The Brandeis University baseball team rallied from a 4-0 deficit in the late innings today to defeat host Amherst College, 6-4, in the Mammoths' home opener. The win improves the Judges to 9-5 on the season and marks their first over Amherst since 2009. The loss drops AC to 6-4 on the campaign.
Over the first five innings, the hosts were led by senior Wilson Taylor, who faced the minimum 15 batters over that stretch. Meanwhile, Amherst senior designated hitter Chase Henley had three hits and drove in three of Amherst's four runs. Henley laced a one-out single down the left field line in the bottom of the first to plate a pair of runs after his teammates drew a pair of walks. Henley added a third RBI and scored the Mammoths' next run in the bottom of the third to give the hosts the 4-0 lead.
Taylor struck out five batters and had gone 1-2-3 over the first five innings before Brandeis right fielder sophomore Dan O'Leary (Lynnfield, Mass./Lynnfield) led off the sixth with a double to center field. Rookie DH Connor Sheehan (Lincoln, R.I./Lincoln) reached base on a bunt single to load the bases for the Judges, who then scored three runs in the inning on a passed ball, a groundout to shortstop and a single to center by sophomore shortstop Mike Khoury (E. Bridgewater, Mass./E. Bridgewater).
Now trailing by just a run, the Judges went to senior Daniel Schupper (Villanova, Pa./Harriton), the fifth pitcher of the day, and he kept the deficit at just one by working around a leadoff walk, while rookie Gavin Dauer (Winchester, Mass./St. John's Prep) struck out the side in the bottom of the seventh. All three Ks were looking. Dauer (1-1) would go on to earn his first collegiate win when Brandeis took the lead with two runs in the top of the eighth. Like the sixth, three of Brandeis's seven hits came in that inning, including a double to left by sophomore catcher Luke Hall (Georgetown, Mass./Georgetown) to plate classmate third baseman Isaac Fossas (Dudley, Mass./Milton Academy) and give Brandeis a 5-4 lead.
Dauer gave way to classmate Marc Maestri (Katonah, N.Y./Somers), who followed suit and struck out the Amherst side in the bottom of the eighth inning. Maestri would go on to pitch a perfect ninth as well and earn his first save of the year.
Taylor ended up with two earned runs over five and a third innings, giving up just two hits and one walk to go with his five strikeouts. Junior Zach Horwitz took the loss for the Mammoths (1-1), while classmate Jack Harlan struck out the side in the top of the ninth, though allowed an unearned insurance run to the Judges.
Six players had Brandeis's seven hits, with Sheehan going 2-4 with two runs scored. Hall and O'Leary's doubles were the only extra-base hits for the Judges.
Brandeis begins University Athletic Association (UAA) play with four games at Emory University in Atlanta this weekend.