WALTHAM, Mass. – The Brandeis University baseball team was one strike away from finishing their season with a three-game winning streak, but visiting UMass Dartmouth got a two-run single in the top of the ninth to defeat the Judges, 4-3, on Stein Diamond. Brandeis closes its season with a 13-20 record, while the Corsairs improve to 20-14.
Both teams score in the first inning, with UMD getting an RBI groundout from George Agostini two batters after Ryan Medeiros singled and moved to second when the ball was over-run in the outfielder. Brandeis answered on Ryan Healy's (Carlsbad, Calif./La Costa Canyon) single that plated rookie Nick Falkson (Dedham, Mass./Thayer Acad.), who had doubled and moved to third on a wild pitch.
Most innings from the second to the sixth produced runners, but no scoring, with both teams escaping big innings via the double play and catching runners stealing.
The visitors broke the deadlock in the seventh against Brandeis reliever Bradley Bousquet (Athol, Mass./Athol) without a hit. Leadoff hitter Zach Courier reached on a strikeout, chasing a pitch out of the zone that got away from the catcher. He stole second and came around to score when Bousquet's pick-off attempt went into center field.
The Judges responded in the bottom of the seventh. Sophomore Ryan Tettemer (Westfield, Mass./Suffield Acad.) blooped a single into left, but two outs later, the Judges still had a runner on first. Junior Connor Doyle (Avon, Conn./Avon Old Farms) had a solid single to left, and UMD pitcher Michael Theriault hit senior Brian Allen (Salem, N.H./Central Catholic School) with a pitch to load the bases. Junior CF Liam O'Connor (Avon, Conn./Avon) fouled off five pitches, before bouncing one up the middle to give the Judges the 3-2 lead. Theriault followed by walking Falkson, but reliever Matt Russell got Healy to line out to center to leave the bases loaded.
Brandeis sophomore Justin Freeman (Chelsmford, Mass./Brooks School) came on to pitch the eighth, and retired the Corsairs 1-2-3 for the first time all afternoon. The Judges squandered a one-out double by Tettemer in the eighth, setting up UMD's heroics with a series of pinch hitters.
Cory DeMedeiros led off the top of the ninth with a double to center that hit midway up the fence. Freeman induced a grounder to third that got DeMedeiros 90 feet away and followed with a strikeout for the second out of the inning. Ryan Medeiros coaxed a walk, then stole second. Freeman got ahead of Nick Farias, 1-2, but he fought off a pitch, then laced a hit to left field that put the visitors ahead, 4-3.
UMD rookie Matt Cronin came on in the ninth and got the first two outs before walking O'Connor, but he caught the next hitter on a check swing to end the game.
The game featured three multiple hitters – Agostini (2-4, RBI) for UMD and Falkson (2-4, R, 2 2B) and Tettemer (2-3, 2B, SB) for Brandeis.
Rookie Ryan Pocock (Westford, Mass./Westford) started for the Judges on the hill, allowing one unearned run on four hits and three walks with two strikeouts in four innings. Bousquet didn't allow a hit in three innings of work, but did surrender an unearned run. He walked two and fanned two. Freeman fell to 1-1 on the season, allowing two earned runs on three hits in two innings. He had three Ks and a walk.
Theriault received a no-decision after 6.2 innings of seven-hit ball. He struck out four and walked two, giving up three earned runs. Russell gave up one hit in an inning-and-a-third to improve to 1-2 on the season. Cronin's fourth save came after one inning with one walk and one strikeout.