Baseball takes 7-4 defeat at Salem State

SALEM, MASS.  (courtesy Salem State sports information)–  The Brandeis University baseball team cut a six-run deficit in half, but it wasn't enough as the Judges suffered a 7-4 loss at Salem State in their second game of the season. SSU's Stephen Keskinidis pitched four scoreless innings and struck out five while not allowing a hit, and the Vikings racked up 12 hits at the Central Campus Baseball Field on Tuesday afternoon. The Vikings go to 2-0 on the year while the Judges slip to 0-2.

Brandeis sophomore starting pitcher Tim Lopez (Brooklyn, N.Y. / East Side Community) pitched out of trouble in the first, when after a base hit by Jose Cedano (put runners on second and third, Lopez induced a third called strike to end the inning.

The Vikings plated two runs in the third with two outs. RJ Warnock walked and following a passed ball, came around to score on a single by Joe White for the first Salem State run. Alex Toomey then knocked in White with an infield single for a 2-0 Vikings' lead.

Rookie Mason Newman (New Rochelle, N.Y./New Rochelle) replaced Lopez and after giving up a walk to load the bases, he ended the threat with a groundout to first.

Lopez went 2.2 innings and was charged with two runs on four hits with a pair of walks and strikeouts.

Brendan Greene added another run after leading off the fourth with a single to center. A sacrifice bunt by Mac Daniel Singleton put Greene on third, who then scored on a passed ball.

Andrew McLaughlin replaced Keskinidis on the mound for SSU in the fifth. Rookie CF Dan Frey (Ipswich, Mass./St. John's Prep) led off the fifth with a double into the right-field corner for Brandeis. A one-out single by first-year catcher Luke Hall (Georgetown, Mass./Georgetown) put runners on the corners. Another rookie, LF Alex Parrott (Nashua, N.H./Nashua South) then put the Judges on the scoreboard with a sacrifice fly to center to make the score 3-1.

Matt Marquez and Singleton each added RBI singles in the fifth as Salem State went up 5-1. Kyle O'Connor then broke the game open with a two-run triple into the right-field corner giving Salem State a six-run lead.

Rookie 3B Mike Khoury (East Bridgewater, Mass./East Bridgewater) and sophomore SS Victor Oppenheimer (West Hills, Calif./Chaminade) led off the sixth with a walk and single respectively for the Judges. A fielder's choice put Khoury on third before he scored on a sacrifice fly by rookie 1B Isaac Fossas (Dudley, Mass./Milton Academy). Frey then added the third Brandeis run with a triple into right field.

Sophomore Kyle Shedden (Spencer, Mass./David Prouty) replaced Gutierrez on the hill in the bottom of the sixth for Brandeis.

McLaughlin, who went two innings for the Vikings earned the win. He allowed three runs on four hits with two strikeouts before giving way to Brock Riley in the seventh. Brandeis added another run when Oppenheimer knocked in Khoury with a single to right after a walk and wild pitch in the eighth.

Shedden pitched three scoreless innings in relief with a walk and two strikeouts for the Judges. Riley picked up the save after giving up just a run on a hit and a walk in three innings of work. Riley ended the day with four strikeouts.

Frey (2-4, R, RBI, 2B, 3B) and Oppenheimer (2-4, RBI) had multiple hit games for the Judges. O'Connor, White, Cedano and Toomey all had two hits for Salem State.

The Judges return to action this weekend with a pair of doubleheaders at the New England Baseball Complex in Northborough, Massachusetts. They will take on Bowdoin College on Saturday and Western New England University on Sunday. Both twinbills are slated for 12 noon starts.