WINTER HAVEN, Fla. – The Brandeis University baseball team continued its torrid start today, as the Judges wrapped up their 2020 February break trip to Florida with an 11-5 victory over Augustana (Ill.) College. With the win, the Judges improve to 5-0 for their best start since the 2002 season. It also marks the first time in program history that Brandeis has scored 10 or more runs in five straight games.
The Judges wasted no time in jumping on the Viking pitching, scoring nine runs in the first two innings. In the first, senior second baseman Victor Oppenheimer (West Hills, Calif./Chaminade) and junior DH Tommy Sand (South Windsor, Conn./South Windsor) each delivered a two-run double to stake Brandeis to a 4-0 lead. In the second, junior catcher Luke Hall (Georgetown, Mass./Georgetown) delivered a bases-loaded single to plate two more runs, and Oppenheimer followed with another two-run hit. Sand singled home a run two batters later to make it 9-0.
That was more than enough offense for senior lefty Greg Tobin (Medway, Mass./Catholic Memorial School), who was in control throughout his six innings of work. Tobin allowed just two hits and two walks, striking out seven Viking batters. He did not allow a runner to advance past second base. Tobin improves to 2-0 on the season with his eighth career victory and lowers his ERA to 1.50.
After Brandeis scored on a wild pitch in the top of the seventh to reach the 10-run plateau, Augustana spoiled the shutout bid in the bottom of the frame, scoring an unearned run. Oppenheimer delivered his fifth RBI of the day in the eighth, and the Vikings scored one in the eighth and three in the ninth for the final score.
For the game, Oppenheimer had the big day, going 3-for-5 with a career-high five RBI. He had two doubles and two runs scored. He took over the team lead in RBI with 10 over the first five games and is now hitting .500 for the campaign (10-20). Sand was 2-for-3 with three RBI, Hall, despite going just 1-for-4, had two RBI and three runs scored. He is also hitting .500 (11-22) and leads the Judges with 12 runs scored.
Augustana had just one multiple hitter, second baseman Jake Huber, who was 2-for-4 with a run scored. Reserve catcher Matt Ozanic had an RBI double and run scored in his time in the game, the Vikings' only extra-base hit. Josh Wintroub took the loss, lasting just 1.1 innings and allowing six earned runs on four hits and three walks.
Brandeis's win over Augustana was just their second in 13 meetings. The Judges' five wins to start the season is the best since 2002 when they also won their first five. Those are the two longest winning streaks to start a campaign in the UAA era of Brandeis baseball. Five in a row marks the fifth-longest streak to start a season, with a six-game streak to start the 1987 campaign next on the list. The Judges will have quite a way to go for the best start in program history, the 1979 squad that won 23 in a row, tied for the longest winning streak by any Brandeis team with the 2008 softball team.
The Judges are scheduled to start their New England slate next Saturday, February 29th, at WPI at the New England Baseball Complex in Northborough, Massachusetts.