Brenner goes the distance, but baseball falls in UAA opener, 6-2, to Rochester

SANFORD, Fla. – Despite a complete-game effort from senior Kyle Brenner (Brookfield, Mass./St. Peter-Marian) the Brandeis University baseball team dropped its 2015 University Athletic Association opener yesterday, 6-2, to the University of Rochester at Historic Sanford Stadium in Florida. The Judges fall to 2-5 on the season, 0-1 in the UAA. It was the first game of the season for Rochester, who is 1-0, 1-0 UAA.

For Brenner, it was the 15th time in his career that he went the distance, making him the seventh pitcher in program history with 15 CGs. He struck out 10, the third time in his career with double-digit strikeouts, while surrendering just one walk. Brenner allowed 10 hits and six runs, four of which were earned, with all of the scoring coming in two innings.

Rochester scored three times in the third inning, two of which were unearned. Yellowjacket 2B Brian Munoz started the frame with a double down the right field line. Brenner got a comebacker to the mound from the next batter, but it was dropped at first, putting runners on the corners. A single by CF Matt Todd broke open the scoring, and a bunt put two more UR runners in scoring position. Shortstop Steve Eychner, who reached on the error, came home on a passed ball, and the third run of the frame came home on a grounder to short.

The Judges got single runs back in the next two innings. In the top of the fourth, rookie 1B Ryan Pocock (Westford, Mass./Westford) hit his second home run of the season, a solo shot to left field.

In the fifth, junior RF Ryan Healy (Carlsbad, Calif./La Costa Canyon) singled up the middle with one away and moved to third on a hit-and-run single by senior 2B Brian Allen (Salem, N.H./Central Catholic School), who took second on the throw. Healy scored on an error by the shortstop with junior CF Liam O'Connor (Avon, Conn./Avon) at the plate. O'Connor stole second to put two runners in scoring position with one away, but UR starter Michael Mondon got a strikeout and grounder to second to escape further damage.

Rochester got three insurance runs in the bottom of the fifth, when Eychner single with one out. Todd followed with an RBI triple to right, while DH Josh Ludwig singled him home. Brenner got the next out on a called third strike, but a single by LF Lance Hamilton plated the third run of the inning before the Judges threw out a runner at third. Brandeis was unable to muster any offense over the final four innings, getting just one hit, an infield single by Allen in the seventh.

Brandeis returns to action Monday against NYU in the first meeting between the two schools since 1963, as the Violets field a varsity team for the first time since 1974.