Baseball winning streak halted by Framingham State

Brian King swinging a bat, following through

NORTHBORO, Massachusetts – Playing in their first road games of the season, the Brandeis University baseball team saw its longest winning streak since 2016 snapped, as the Judges dropped both ends of a doubleheader to Framingham State University, 6-5 and 8-3. Brandeis falls to 8-3 on the season, while FSU improves to 7-7.

In the opener, the Judges jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the top of the first, batting around and hitting for the cycle in the process. After sophomore Sam Nugent (Mansfield, Mass. / Mansfield) led off the game with a triple, senior 1B Mike Khoury (E. Bridgewater, Mass./E. Bridgewater) stroked his third home run of the season. It was the 17th homer of his career, moving Khoury into sole possession of fifth on Brandeis's all-time list. Later in the inning, grad student Victor Oppenheimer (West Hills, Calif./Chaminade) had an RBI single, and sophomore Brian King (Palos Verde, Calif. / Palos Verde) laced a double down the rightfield line – his fourth in the last two days – to plate the Judges' fourth run. The final run of the frame came on a Framingham State error.

The Rams got two runs back in the bottom of the first on a sacrifice fly and a groundout to second. The pitchers settled down after that, with Brandeis starter Tim Lopez (Brooklyn, N.Y./East Side Community) and FSU's Anthony Panza and John DeCoste allowing just one runner among them past second base in innings two through five. The hosts broke through in the sixth, however, getting to Lopez and a pair of relievers for four runs on three hits and two Brandeis errors. FSU reliever Kevin Scerra got the win by retiring six of the seven batters he faced in the sixth and seventh innings. Brandeis reliever Gavin Dauer (Winchester, Mass. / St. John's Prep) was saddled with the loss in relief.

In game 2, the teams traded three-run innings in the bottom of the third and top of the fourth. The three FSU runs were unearned because of a costly error on a comebacker to the mound with a runner on first. Three batters later, Robert Higgins hit an RBI single, then he stole second and scored on a two-run single by Kevin Girardin.

The Judges responded with three more in the next half-inning, loading the bases without a hit on two hit batters and a walk. Senior Isaac Fossas (Dudley, Mass./Milton Academy) got Brandeis on the board with a sacrifice fly. Two batters later, with the bases loaded again, King tied the game by driving in two with a single to left, giving him RBI in four straight games. The Judges left a runner in scoring position, but tied the contest.

FSU answered right back with five of their own in the bottom of the frame. Matthew Shaver put the Rams back on top with a sac fly off of junior starter Cam Roberts (Leominster, Mass / Nashoba Regional), and Andrew Caulfield followed two batters later with a two-run single off of senior reliever Mason Newman (New Rochelle, N.Y. / New Rochelle). Robert Higgins delivered the final blow with a two-run home run off of Newman.

The hosts retired the side in order in the fifth and sixth, but Brandeis loaded the bases with two outs in the seventh thanks to a single and two walks. The Judges couldn't get them home, however, suffering their third loss of the season. King and sophomore Steven Simon (Hanover, Mass. / Hanover) were the only Judges with hits in both games, as a trio of Framingham State pitchers held the Judges two just two hits combined in the second contest. Roberts took the loss, falling to 0-1 on the season. He went 3.2 innings and allowed seven hits and six runs (three earned), striking out one and walking one.

Brandeis and Framingham State will meet again for a single game at 11 am on Saturday, April 17 in Waltham.