Baseball season comes to a close in St. Louis

ST LOUIS, Mo. – The Brandeis University baseball team  saw its season come to a close today with a pair of close defeats at the hands of Washington University in St. Louis, 7-5 and 8-7.

HOW IT HAPPENED – Game One (WashU 7, Brandeis 5: Box Score)

The Bears jumped out to a 6-0 lead, and though the Judges cut their deficit to two runs at 6-4 and 7-5, they couldn't quite complete the comeback.

WashU (21-14, 10-6 UAA) scored once in the first inning on an RBI single by Henry Singer. The Bears added three more in the second as four-straight hitters reached base. Auggie Mense drove in a run with a single, as did Thomas Gardner. Johnny LaMantia added the third RBI of the inning on a sacrifice fly. Singer added a two-run single in the fourth to make it a 6-0 game.

Brandeis (3-25, 1-15 UAA) broke through in the fifth on an Isaac Fossas (Dudley, Mass./Milton Academy) RBI single. In the sixth, the Judges got within two after Mike Khoury (East Bridgewater, Mass./East Bridgewater) drove in a run with a single, followed by a two-run double by Fossas. WashU's Mitchell Black got one back with a sac fly in the bottom of the frame, while pinch hitter Tommy Sand (South Winsdor, Conn./South Windsor) plated a run with a groundout in the seventh to end the scoring.

Fossas finished with a career-high three RBI after going 2-3 with a double. Scott Ziegler (Avon, Conn./Avon Old Farms) scored two runs, while Dan O'Leary (Lynnfield, Mass./Lynnfield), Luke Hall (Georgetown, Mass./Georgetown) and Connor Sheehan (Lincoln, R.I./Lincoln) each had two hits.

WashU also had a 2-3 performance with three RBI courtesy Singer, while Gardner had a game-high with three hits.

On the hill, Brandeis's Tim Lopez (Brooklyn, N.Y./East Side Community) suffered the loss, giving up 10 hits and seven runs. He struck out a career-high eight and walked three. Tim Tague got the win for WashU, pitching three innings of seven-hit relief. He gave up four runs (three earned) and fanned five in relief of Matt Ashbaugh. John Brinkman tossed 1.2 innings of hitless relief with two strikeouts to earn a save, his first of the season. Brinkman also went 1-3 with 2 runs scored.

HOW IT HAPPENED – Game 2 (WashU 8, Brandeis 7: Box Score)

The Judges picked up their first lead of the series and mustered a late comeback, but WashU answered with a ninth-inning comeback of their own to close out the series.

Fossas picked up his fourth RBI of the day in the first inning to give Brandeis an early 1-0 lead. The Judges made it 4-0 in the top of the third when Khoury reached on an error with two men on to plate a run, followed two batters later by a two-run double by Dan Frey (Ipswich, Mass./St. Johns Prep).

WashU broke through for their only run against senior starter Bradley Bousquet (Athol, Mass./Athol) in the third on an RBI groundout by Collin Kahal. In the fifth, the Bears roared ahead against a reliever, rookie Mason Newman (New Rochelle, N.Y./New Rochelle). The hosts loaded the bases with no one out, but Newman nearly escaped, getting a pop foul and a called third strike for the first two outs. Washington did not let the opportunity go to waste, as LaMantia cleared the bases with a double to tie the game at 4-4, while Sean Robinson followed with a triple to put the home team ahead.

The Bears tacked on single runs in the seventh and eighth on another Lamantia RBI hit and a Schutter sacrifice fly, making it 7-4.

The Judges did not go quietly, however, as they managed to tie the game in the top of the ninth. With three straight singles to open the inning against Brinkman, Brandeis was able to take advantage. Khoury stung a ball to center that produced a sacrifice fly, and Fossas followed by bouncing one up the middle for his fifth RBI of the afternoon to make it a 7-6 game. John Howard came on to pitch for WashU, and he walked the first batter he faced, Frey, to load the bases again. Howard then hit O'Leary with a pitch to force in the tying run. After Troy Bauer came in in relief, he got a called third strike to end the inning.

In the bottom of the ninth, the hosts were able to answer. Evan Nagel led off with a single against Brandeis's Mike Musto (Milton, Mass./Milton). Then reliever Daniel Schupper (Villanova, Pa./Harriton) came on in relief and gave up a walk, a sacrifice bunt and a walk to load the bases with one out. WashU's Troy Bauer then singled to right to deliver the walk-off hit.