WALTHAM, Mass. – For the second time this season, the Brandeis University baseball team (6-1) completed a doubleheader sweep of Johnson and Wales University (3-8). The Judges got a dramatic home run from senior Isaac Fossas (Dudley, Mass./Milton Academy) to take the opener, 12-11, and a fine pitching performance from grad student Tim Lopez (Brooklyn, N.Y./Brooklyn Community School) to claim the second, 9-2.
The opener was a slugfest, with JWU scoring three runs in the top of the first, including a leadoff home run by catcher Colby Greehalge and a two-run single by DH Clayton McAllister. Brandeis answered with two of their own the bottom, thanks to an RBI double by senior Mike Khoury (E. Bridgewater, Mass/E. Bridgewater), who scored on a groundout two batters later.
The Judges looked to put things away in the second, when they sent 13 men to the plate and scored eight runs. The big blow was a grand slam by senior catcher Luke Hall (Georgetown, Mass./Georgetown). Hall delivered a 3-2 pitch to left-centerfield to increase the Judges' lead from 4-3 to 8-3. The homer was Hall's second of the season and sixth of his career. It was his first career grand slam. Brandeis would tack on two more in the frame to make it a 10-7 lead, and Hall added another RBI on a sacrifice fly in the third.
JWU wasn't done yet, though, as the Wildcats had a big frame of their own, batting around in the fourth to produce seven runs. Shortstop Raimiel Rodriguez and right fielder Justin Perez each delivered two-run singles before Brandeis grad student Brandon Muston (Milton, Mass./Milton) got out of the jam. The Wildcats tied things up at 11-all in the sixth on an RBI single by 2B Jack Magane, but Musto got a strikeout and a fly to center to strand two runners in scoring position.
That set the stage for Fossas's dramatic homer in the bottom of the sixth. With one away, Fossas, the only Judge without a hit to that point, drove a 1-1 pitch out to left-center field, just to the left of the Brandeis scoreboard. It was Fossas's second round-tripper of the campaign and the ninth of his career. After JWU retired the next two hitters, Brandeis junior Cam Roberts (Leominster, Mass./Nashoba Regional) worked around a two-out single to record his first collegiate save.
In addition to Hall, who finished with a career-high five RBI, and Fossas's big home runs, Khoury and 3B Brian King (Palos Verde, Calif./Palos Verde) both had two hits, while LF Sam Nugent (Mansfield, Mass./Mansfield), grad student 2B Victor Oppenheimer (West Hills, Calif./Chaminade) and Khoury each scored two runs. JWU's Jack Magane led all players with three hits, including a triple. Musto allowed two hits, two walks and struck out two in 2.1 innings of work to earn his first career victory.
In the second game, Lopez was the story on the hill. He did not allow a runner past first base until the sixth inning. Lopez struck out seven and did not walk a batter, picking up his second win in the process. He gave up five hits and two earned runs before giving way to junior Gavin Dauer (Winchester, Mass./St. John's Prep) in the seventh.
Offensive, Brandeis got all the scoring they would need in the third inning on a two-run single by Khoury and a sacrifice fly by Fossas. They would add five more runs in the fourth, batting around with four hits and a Johnson and Wales error. Nugent and senior CF Dan Frey (Ipswich, Mass./St. John's Prep) each delivered RBI doubles in the frame. JWU broke up the shutout bid with three hits in the sixth inning, scoring on an RBI two-bagger by Rodriguez, who later scored on a double steal. Fossas added his second RBI of the game in the bottom of the sixth to close out the scoring.
The top four of Brandeis's order of Nugent, Khoury, Hall and Frey combined to go 9-14 with six runs scored, five RBI and three doubles. Nugent scored three times and had two doubles, while Khoury had three RBI.
Brandeis returns to action with two games against Lasell on Wednesday, April 14, starting at 3 p.m.