Baseball rallies but falls short after #9 Emory's big inning, 12-10

Luke Zeccola '18 (Photo by Tim Farrell)
Luke Zeccola '18 (Photo by Tim Farrell)

WALTHAM, Mass. – One big inning cost the Brandeis University baseball team today, as the Judges fell to ninth-ranked Emory, 12-10, in the University Athletic Association (UAA) Tournament today.

      The Judges, who had combined to score just five runs in their first three UAA contests, were tied with the Eagles, 2-2, after four innings. Emory scored twice in the first on just one hit, thanks to a hit batter, catcher's interference and a Brandeis error. Brandeis performed the same feat in the fourth, as two walks and a Ryan Healy (Carlsbad, Calif./La Costa Canyon) single loaded the bases. Senior Kyle Brenner (Brookfield, Mass./St. Peter Marian) drew a free pass with the bases loaded to plate the Judges' first run, and sophomore Greg Heineman (Wilbraham, Mass./Minnechaug Reg.) hit a sacrifice fly two batters later to tie the game.

      Emory appeared to put the game away in the bottom of the fifth, when the first 10 Eagles reached base and scored. Emory had just one extra-base hit, as David Coble, who led off the inning by getting hit by a pitch from starter Liam Coughlin (Townsend, Mass./Lowell Catholic), hit a three-run home run to left field against reliever Anthony Nomakeo (Westfield, Mass./Northfield Mt. Hermon) to cap the outburst.

After allowing another single, Nomakeo and two rookie relievers, Ryan Pocock (Westford, Mass./Westford) and Bradley Bousquet (Athol, Mass./Athol) settled down and allowed just three more base-runners the rest of the way. Pocock had a rare four-strikeout inning in the sixth, thanks to a dropped third strike.

The Judges showed they weren't done competing when they scored once in the top of the sixth inning, as senior Tom McCarthy (Yonkers, N.Y./Fieldston School) doubled with one out and scored on Heineman's single.

Brandeis made it interesting in the seventh when they scored five runs on four hits, three walks and took advantage of two EU errors. Brenner drew his second bases-loaded walk to open the scoring and McCarthy followed with a sacrifice fly to center. After Heineman singled to load the bases again, the Judges got run-producing singles from sophomore Connor Doyle (Avon, Conn./Avon Old Farms) and junior Liam O'Connor (Avon, Conn./Avon). The Judges cut their deficit to 12-8 when rookie Nick Falkson (Dedham, Mass./Thayer Acad.) reached on an error by the third baseman, but the rally ended when the Eagles cut down another Brandeis runner trying to score.

In the eighth inning, McCarthy trimmed the deficit to 12-9 with a two-out RBI single. In the ninth, with one out, rookie Luke Zeccola (Garden City, N.Y./Chaminade) pinch hit and slugged his second home run in as many days. The Judges brought the tying run to the plate in the ninth after Falkson singled with two away, but Emory reliever Michael Byman got Healy to fly to left to end the game.

      Offensively, Falkson was the Judges' top hitter, going 4-for-5 with a double and two runs scored, raising his batting average to a team-best .429. O'Connor, McCarthy and Heineman each had two hits, with McCarthy and Heineman adding two RBI and a sacrifice fly each. Healy led the team with three runs scored. Brandeis's 14 hits matched a season-high.

      The Judges (2-8, 0-4 UAA) return to action tomorrow when they start the second half of conference play at 2 p.m. against Washington University.


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