NORTHBOROUGH, Mass. – The Brandeis University baseball team had its biggest inning of the season in the opener of a doubleheader against Western New England University today, but the Golden Bears were able to keep the Judges at bay in the second contest as the teams split a doubleheader at the New England Baseball Complex today. Brandeis won the opener, 13-1, while WNEU claimed the second game, 4-0. Brandeis is now 6-4 on the season, Western New England 3-4.
Thirteen was a lucky number for the Judges in the opener, as they scored 13 runs and got a career-high 13 strikeouts from senior pitcher Greg Tobin (Medway, Mass./Catholic Memorial).
Western New England scored two batters into the game, as EJ Dudley tripled to start the contest and Vincent Caccavale delivered him home with a sacrifice fly. That would be one of only two Golden Bears to advance past second base against Tobin who allowed just four hits while striking out a career-high 13, the most by a Brandeis pitcher since 2007. Tobin improved to 3-0 on the season with the win. It was his 10th career victory.
Meanwhile, the Judges tied the game in the bottom of the second on a lead-off double by junior catcher Luke Hall (Georgetown, Mass./Georgetown) and an RBI single two batters later from junior LF Tommy Sand (South Windsor, Conn./South Windsor). They took the lead for good in the bottom of the fourth thanks to a pair of rookies, as 3B Brian King (Palos Verde, Calif./Palos Verde) led off with another double, stole third, and came home on shortstop Drew Michaud's (Madison, Conn./Xavier) suicide squeeze bunt.
Brandeis blew things open in the fifth by scoring 11 runs on eight hits, four of which were home runs. Fifteen batters came to the plate, and nine of the runs came with two out. The big blows were a grand slam by Michaud, his second home run of the year and the Judges' second grand slam. After Michaud's big blow, a walk to centerfielder Sam Nugent (Mansfield, Mass./Mansfield), the Judges hit back-to-back-to-back homers from their 2-3-4 hitters, juniors Mike Khoury (E. Bridgewater, Mass./E. Bridgewater), Isaac Fossas (Dudley, Mass./Milton Academy) and Hall. Sand added an RBI double as well.
Michaud finished with a season-high 5 RBI, going 1-3 with a sacrifice. Sand and Khoury also had multi-RBI games, while Hall scored three runs on just two hits, Khoury and Fossas each had three hits.
WNEU's Jake Romano had two of the Golden Bears' four hits. Brandon Kohl suffered the loss by allowing eight hits and four earned runs in four innings of work. He struck out three and walked three.
In the second game, WNEU again scored in the first inning, this time striking for three runs against Brandeis junior Mason Newman (New Rochelle, N.Y./New Rochelle). With two out, 1B Zach Nussbaum singled to right, and the next two batters each delivered home runs. Catcher Ben Harrison struck one to center field, then right fielder Joe Webber hit a solo blast, also to center.
That was all the offense the Golden Bears needed as a trio of pitchers held Brandeis to just three hits and one walk. Newman also settled down, retiring the side in order in the next five innings, thanks to a double play in the second and a pickoff in the third. WNEU knocked Newman out of the game in the top of the seventh when Webber led of the frame with his second homer of the game, this time to right field. Rookie reliever Christian Tejada (Providence, R.I./Bishop Hendricken) avoided further trouble in the frame despite some wildness, but the Judges couldn't take advantage despite a one-out walk to Hall in the bottom of the seventh.
Newman shouldered the loss after going six innings and allowing five hits and four earned runs, walking two and striking out three. Nugent, Fossas and sophomore DH Liam Kennedy (Norwell, Mass./Milton Academy) had the Brandeis hits. Jeff Zebrowski earned the win for WNEU, going 2.2 innings of relief without allowing a baserunner, striking out three. Webber was the only multiple hitter in the game, going 2-3 with two RBI and two runs scored on his two solo homers.
Brandeis returns to action on Wednesday afternoon at 3 p.m