Baseball rallies to defeat Bridgewater State, 4-3

WALTHAM, Mass. – The Brandeis University baseball team took advantage of late wildness on the part of visiting Bridgewater State, scoring two runs in the eighth inning and one in the ninth without a hit and scoring the winning run on a passed ball as the Judges defeated the Bears, 4-3, on Stein Diamond tonight. With the win, the Judges improve to 16-19, while BSU falls to 13-20.

Brandeis got one hit in each of the first four innings, but were held hitless after that. The Judges got on the board in the bottom of the third. After BSU starter Alex McGrath got the first two outs, junior 2B Victor Oppenheimer (West Hills, Calif./Chaminade) reached on an error and sophomore 3B Mike Khoury (E. Bridgewater, Mass./E. Bridgewater) walked. Sophomore 1B Isaac Fossas (Dudley, Mass./Milton Academy) then bounced one through the right side to score Oppenheimer from second.

Bridgewater State went ahead in the fifth inning. Catcher Alexander Pappas led off with a single to right. After he was bunted to second, Brandeis sophomore Albert Gutierrez (Miami, Fla./Belen Jesuit Prep) got a pop foul for the second out. An intentional walk was issued to DH Kevin Bresciani, and RF Lewis Robinson made the Judges pay with a home run to left field. It was his second homer of the season.

McGrath held the Judges in check through the seventh inning, but the Bridgewater State bullpen was unable to hang on to the lead. Chris Hanna started the eighth inning, but walked the bases loaded while getting only one out. Shawn Smeglin came on in relief and retired the first batter he faced with a shallow fly to center. With two away, he issued a walk to sophomore RF Alex Parrott (Nashua, N.H. / Nashua South) got Brandeis's second run, then hit sophomore Domenick Raphael (Brooklyn, N.Y. / Xaverian) with a pitch to tie the game. Smeglin got out of eighth with a called third strike.  

Brandeis rookie Marc Maestri (Katonah, N.Y. / Somers) had come on in the eighth after rookie Cam Roberts (Leominster, Mass./Nashoba Regional) took a comebacker off his pitching hand. After the first batter he faced reached on an error, Maestri struck out the next four BSU hitters he faced, all swinging. He ended up with his first collegiate win.

In the bottom of the ninth, the Judges got a leadoff walk to Khoury, while Fossas was hit by a pitch. The Bears brought in Jack Mannion to try to finish the inning in relief of Smeglin, who fell to 3-4 on the season. Mannion threw to third on a bunt by Brandeis sophomore CF Dan Frey (Ipswich, Mass./St. John's Prep) and Khoury beat the throw to the bag. With the winning run 90 feet away, Mannion uncorked a passed ball on his first pitch to catcher Luke Hall (Georgetown, Mass./Georgetown), allowing Khoury to score the walk-off run.  

Brandeis got two hits from sophomore LF Tommy Sand (So. Windsor, Conn./So. Windsor), but only two other hits the rest of the game, from Oppenheimer and Fossas. The Judges did draw eight walks and get hit by three pitches.

Robinson was the big hitter on the day for Bridgewater State, finishing 2-4 with 3 RBI and a run scored. Pappas was also a multiple hitter. Robinson's homer was the only extra base hit of the day.

Brandeis pitchers threw 11 strikeouts today five by Guttierez (5 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 5 K), two by Roberts (2.2 IP, 2 H, 2 K) and four by Maestri (1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 4 K).

Brandeis is back in action tomorrow night at 7 p.m. against Eastern Connecticut State University.