Baseball falls to UMass Dartmouth, 9-4

Liam O'Connor '16 (photo by Sportspix/Jan Volk)
Liam O'Connor '16 (photo by Sportspix/Jan Volk)

WALTHAM, Mass. -- The Brandeis University baseball team dropped a non-conference contest at home to UMass Dartmouth today, as the Corsairs scored seven times in the 6th and 7th innings to snap a 2-2 tie en route to a 9-4 victory. The Judges fall to 7-14 with the loss, while UMD improves to 10-5.

UMass Dartmouth opened the scoring in the first inning on an RBI double by 1B Alberto Vasquez, and added another run in the third on a bases-loaded passed ball. The Judges got out of that inning by sniffing out a steal of home. 

In the bottom of the third, the Judges cut the deficit in half, when junior CF Liam O'Connor (Avon, Conn./Avon) reached on an error and rookie SS Nick Falkson (Dedham, Mass./Thayer Acad.) singled. After the Corsairs retired the next two hitters, junior 3B Greg Heineman (Wilbraham, Mass./Minnechaug Regional) singled to left to drive in O'Connor.

O'Connor and Falkson factored in Brandeis's tying run in the fifth. O'Connor legged out a single to short to open the frame. Falkson followed by driving a ball to right-center field. O'Connor scored all the way from first on the play, but UMD's cutoff man was able to nail Falkson trying to extend the hit into a triple. Junior outfielder Ryan Healy (Carlsbad, Calif./La Costa Canyon) singled and got around to third with a steal and a wild pitch, but the Judges couldn't bring him home for the go-ahead run.

UMass Dartmouth went back ahead in their next at-bat stringing together four straight singles. The damage was minimized to two runs as Brandeis cut down one runner on the basepaths, but the Corsairs' Ben Monteiro and Alex Newton produced RBI to give the visitors a 4-2 lead.

UMD blew things open in the top of the seventh, scoring five times on just four hits, as Judge pitchers issued two walks and hit a batter. The big blow came from Vasquez, a two-run double off of rookie reliever Bradley Bousquet (Athol, Mass./Athol)

The Judges got out of a bases-loaded one-out jam in the top of the ninth before scoring twice in the bottom of the inning. O'Connor walked and Falkson hit his second double of the game to put two runners in scoring position. Healy followed with a single to left that allowed O'Connor to score, while Falkson came home when the ball was bobbled in the outfield. UMD's Ted Savage retired the next three hitters to close out the game with a 9-4 score. 

The top of the order were the big hitters for Brandeis - O'Connor finished 2-4 with a walk and three runs scored, tying his career-best; Falkson was 3-5 two doubles, an RBI and a run scored; and Healy was 2-5 with an RBI. Brandeis senior Brent Edmunds (North Hampton, N.H./Winnacunnet) suffered the loss (0-2) despite a career-best 6.1 innings pitched. He gave up 10 hits and eight runs (five earned), striking out one and walking three.

UMD was paced by Vasquez, and SS George Agostini, who each had three hits. Vasquez also had a game-high three RBI and two doubles. David Tarr picked up the win (2-0) with six innings of seven-hit ball, striking out seven and walking one. He allowed two runs, only one of which was earned.

Brandeis's next chance at career win #700 for coach Pete Varney comes tomorrow at 3 p.m. against Worcester State University.