Baseball pounds NAIA Warner (Fla.), 12-3, in season opener

Colin Markel '14 (Photo by Sportspix)

LAKE WALES, Fla. -- The Brandeis University baseball team opened the 2013 season today with a 12-3 victory over NAIA team Warner University. The top five batters in the lineup all had at least two hits as the Judges (1-0) pounded out 16 in total to support of junior Colin Markel (Scarsdale, N.Y./Scarsdale) who picked up the win. 

After Warner (2-10) got on the board first in the third inning, the Judges broke through for six runs in the fifth, sending 10 batters to the plate. An early error and two passed balls in the frame made all the runs unearned, but senior catcher Chris Ferro (Walpole, Mass./Walpole) had an RBI single, while sophomore right fielder Zach Bardwell (No. Andover, Mass./Central Catholic) had a two-run single in his first at-bat off the bench. 

Brandeis added three more runs in the sixth, as Ferro and sophomore 2B Tommy McCarthy (Yonkers, N.Y./Fieldston School) each had RBI singles and sophomore 1B Kyle Brenner (Brookfield, Mass./St. Peter-Marian) had a run-producing double. Senior CF Nick Cortese (Guaynabo, P.R./Baldwin School of Puerto Rico) added an RBI single in the seventh, while Brenner knocked in one of a pair of unearned runs in the ninth. 

Cortese and Ferro each finished with three hits and two runs scored, while Brenner, McCarthy, Bardwell and junior DH Dan Gad (Mansfield, Mass./Mansfield) each had two hits. Ferro, Brenner and Bardwell each drove in two runs apiece, while Brenner and McCarthy each had doubles for the squad's only extra-base hits of the game.

All the offense came in support of Markel, who tossed 5.2 innings of four-hit ball. He allowed one run, walking two and striking out one. Rookie lefthander James Machado (Dracut, Mass. / Dracut) tossed an inning of one-hit ball with a strikeout and an unearned run allowed, while sophomore Elio Fernandez (Bronx, N.Y./Fordham Prep) retired the only batter he faced. Senior Mike Swerdloff (Scarsdale, N.Y./Ardsley) closed out the final two inning with three hits and one run allowed.