Pitchers shut down WPI, but Engineers prevail in two extra-inning affairs

Mike Swerdloff '13 and Pat Nicholson '11 (Photo by Sportspix)

Worcester, Mass. (Taken from a WPI press release) --- The Brandeis baseball team dropped a pair of extra inning contests in unconventional, yet dramatic  fashion against WPI on Saturday, winning the first game 3-2 and picking up a 2-1 victory in game two at H.L. Rochleau Field on the Assumption campus. WPI is now 14-8 on the season while Brandeis drops to 5-18.

The first game went into extra innings tied at 2-2 when, in the bottom of the ninth, Shane Sampson (Worcester, Mass.) came to the plate with runners at second and third with one out. Sampson laid down a perfect squeeze play bunt to score David Trujillo (Sutton, Mass.) from third as the Engineers walked off with a 3-2 result.  The inning started with Trujillo being hit by a pitch and advancing to second on a sacrifice bunt from Kyle Bartosik (Midland Park, N.J.), who reached on an error, and moved to third on a sacrifice bunt byMitch McClune (Pembroke, Mass.).

The Engineers spoiled an excellent outing by the Judges' junior Mike Swerdloff (Scarsdale, N.Y./Ardsley) who gave up only one earned run in 8 1/3 innings while striking out eight Engineers, the second highest total of his career. Rookie Brian Allen (Salem, N.H.) had a squeeze play RBI in the top of the second to tie the game for Brandeis at 1-1. Rookie Kyle Brenner (Brookfield, Mass./St. Peter-Marian) and grad student Pat Nicholson (Walpole, Mass./Walpole) each added base hits.

Nick Bean (Middleboro, Mass.) finished 2-for-3 with an RBI and Bartosik hit an RBI-single in the bottom of the sixth to tie the game at two runs apiece for the Crimson and Gray. Eric Johnson (Rutland, Mass.) had a great outing on the mound for WPI, giving up no earned runs and only three hits over nine innings.

In game two, WPI's Steve Petry (Worcester, Mass.) came to the plate in the bottom of the ninth with the score tied, the bases loaded and two outs. The storybook scenario proved anticlimactic as Petry was plunked by a pitch to score McClune from third, and the Crimson and Gray picked up their second walk-off win on the day with a 2-1 triumph.   Brandeis nearly wiggled out of trouble as WPI had runners on first and third with nobody out but the Judges used multiple substitutions and employed a five-man infield and got two outs before Petry was hit.

For the Judges, Nicholson had a strong outing on the mound, with six strikeouts and one run allowed in seven innings. Senior Kenny Destremps (Mashpee, Mass./Mashpee) had two hits including an RBI single up the middle to give his team a 1-0 lead in the top of the third. Dan Gad (Mansfield, Mass./Mansfield) added two hits while Allen had one.

Trujillo finished 3-for-4 while Bartosik hit an RBI single to center field in the bottom of the fourth to tie the game at 1-1 for the Engineers. Tim Erlandson (Hudson, Mass.) was 2-for-4 while Petry and John Flynn (Albion, Maine) each finished with base hits.

Andrew Portera (Alpharetta, Ga.) scattered eight hits and struck out five, going the distance on the mound for WPI. 

WPI travels to Clark on Tuesday, April 3rd for a 3:30pm NEWMAC game. Brandeis travels to UMass Dartmouth on Sunday, April 1st in a 12:00pm contest.