Baseball edged in season finale by WPI, 5-4

Sean Decker-Jacoby starts his windup
Sean Decker-Jacoby (Photo by Cayla Fernandes)

WALTHAM, Mass. – The Brandeis University baseball team closed out its 2022 campaign tonight with a 5-4 defeat at the hands of WPI under the lights of Stein Diamond tonight. With the loss, the Judges end their season at 18-16, while the Engineers finish at 16-18.

Most of the damage in this one came in the first two innings. The Engineers scored twice in the top of the first on a pair of two-out RBI singles by DH Joe Salvon and shortstop Martin McCormack. Brandeis answered in the bottom of the frame on a sacrifice fly by grad student centerfielder Dan Frey (Ipswich, Mass./St. John's Prep) and an RBI single by grad student second baseman Victor Oppneheimer (West Hills, Calif./Chaminade).

WPI took the lead for good in the top of the second. Jacob Hand delivered a two-out, two-RBI double to right, then scored what proved to be the winning run on Salvon's second RBI hit of the game that made it 5-2.

Brandeis started to claw their way back in the fourth, when Oppenheimer reached on a single to second. He advanced to third on an errant pick-off throw from the catcher, then scored on a wild pitch, making it 5-3. The Judges had a chance to get closer in the sixth when grad student catcher Luke Hall (Georgetown, Mass./Georgetown) singled to lead off the frame. He tried to score all the way from first on a Frey double, but was cut down on a nice relay throw from Engineer second baseman Michael Fraser. The Judges did get one closer in the eighth, when junior leftfielder Sam Nugent (Mansfield, Mass./Mansfield) tripled to lead off the inning and scored on a Mike Khoury (E. Bridgewater, Mass./E. Bridgewater) groundout. The visitors retired six of the last seven batters, with Noah Pins striking out the side in the ninth to earn a save.

Andrew Gray earned the win for WPI, his first of the season against two losses. He went six innings, allowing seven hits and three earned runs, striking out three and walking one. Ryan Malkowski allowed one hit and one earned run in two innings of relief, while Pins earned his fourth save of the season. Brandeis senior Marc Maestri (Katonah, N.Y./Somers) shouldered the loss, allowing six hits, two walks and five earned runs in 1.2 innings. He struck out two and walked two. Sophomore Sean Decker-Jacoby (Los Angeles, Calif./Vistimar) led a terrific bullpen outing by the Judges, throwing 5.1 innings of one-hit ball. He struck out six and walked just one. Senior Christian Petrisko (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. / Westminster Academy) and junior Jakob Newman (Manhattan Beach, Calif. / Mira Costa) each tossed a hitless inning of relief.

For Brandeis at the plate, Nugent led the way, finishing a home run short of the cycle. He went 3-for-4 with two runs scored, a double and a triple. Oppenheimer also had two hits in four at-bats, scoring one run and driving in another. Salvon (2-4, 2 RBI) was WPI's only multiple hitter.