WALTHAM, Mass. – The Brandeis University baseball team rallied for three runs over the final two inning without the benefit of a hit, and won the game on a walk-off passed ball, as the Judges edged visiting Bridgewater State University, 4-3, on Wednesday night at Stein Diamond.
The Judges improve to 16-19 on the season, while the visiting Bears fall to 13-20.
Brandeis got on the board with an unearned run in the bottom of the third inning. Junior Victor Oppenheimer (West Hills, Calif.) reached on an error with two outs, moved to second on a walk to sophomore Mike Khoury (East Bridgewater, Mass.) and scored on an RBI single off the bat of sophomore Isaac Fossas (Dudley, Mass.).
Junior Lewis Robinson (New Britain, Conn.) belted a three-run homer in the top of the fifth inning stake the Bears to a 3-1 lead. Junior Alexander Pappas (Lakeville, Mass.) led off the frame with a single to right and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt. One out later, Brandeis elected to intentionally walk BSU senior Kevin Bresciani (Hopedale, Mass.) with first base open. Robinson made the Judges pay as he blasted his second home run of the season over the left field fence.
The BSU lead held until the bottom of the eighth inning when the Judges loaded the bases with two outs on three walks. Sophomore Alex Parrott (Nashua, N.H.) walked to force in a run and classmate Domenick Raphael (Brooklyn, N.Y.) was hit by a pitch to knot the score at 3-3.
In the bottom of the ninth, Khoury walked and Fossas was hit by a pitch to put runners at first and second with nobody out. Sophomore Dan Frey (Ipswich, Mass.) loaded the bases on a sacrifice bunt as the Bears tried to get the lead runner at third. Khoury then raced home from third on a passed ball to win the game for the Judges.
Three Brandeis pitchers combined to strike out 11 batters on the evening. Sophomore Albert Guttierez (Miami, Fla.) worked the first five innings for the Judges as he gave up three runs on five hits with three walks and five strikeouts. Freshman Cam Roberts (Leominster, Mass.) did not give up a run over 2 2/3 innings of relief. Roberts allowed just a pair of hits and fanned two. Fellow rookie Marc Maestri (Katonah, N.Y.) picked up his first collegiate win as he recorded the last four outs of the game, all strikeouts.
Junior lefthander Alex McGrath (Bridgewater, Mass.) pitched very well for Bridgewater State, but did not factor in the decision. McGrath allowed just one unearned run on four hits over seven innings with three walks and four strikeouts.
The BSU bullpen, however, faced ten batters and seven of them reached via walk (5) or hit by pitch (2).
Brandeis got two hits from sophomore Tommy Sand (South Windsor, Conn.), but only two other hits the rest of the game, from Oppenheimer and Fossas. The Judges did draw eight walks and got hit by three pitches.
Robinson was the big hitter on the day for Bridgewater State, finishing 2-for-4 at the plate with the three-run dinger. Pappas also recorded multiple hits for the Bears as he singled twice in four at bats and score a run. Robinson's homer was the only extra base hit of the day for either team.
Both teams are back in action on Thursday. Brandeis entertains Eastern Connecticut State University at 7:00 PM, while Bridgewater State travels to North Adams, Mass. for a five o'clock MASCAC game with the Trailblazers.