Judges shutout Wheaton Lyons in season opener
After the weather delays, the Judges baseball team came out strong to hold Wheaton College scoreless for the first game of the new campaign.
The Brandeis Judges Baseball team opened the 2023 season with a game on March 5 hosted at the New England Baseball Complex in Northborough against Wheaton College. Pitchers Christian Tejada ’23 and Marc Maestri M.A. ’23 worked together to hold the Lyons to four hits and scoreless this past Sunday. Pitching was the main difference for the game’s scoreline.
Tejada opened the first five innings recording no runs and five strikes throughout his appearance. Tejada has dealt with injuries throughout his Brandeis career, but the team is happy to have him back in the rotation. At the bottom of the fifth inning, Wheaton had its best opportunity to get ahead with bases loaded and only one out. However, the Judges’ defense held strong with third baseman Brian King ’23 and catcher Justin Keeler ’25 knocking out a 5-2-3 double play to finish out the inning. After Tejada’s third batter in the sixth inning, he was retired for Maestri who finished out the inning and kept Wheaton scoreless. Tejada held the opposing offense down to three hits, five strikeouts, and four walks.
At the bottom of the 6th inning, designated hitter Alex Kim ’26 got a single off the Wheaton pitcher. After feeling the pressure, the Lyons decided to switch out their pitcher to face right fielder Steven Simon ’23, the only batter with a hit at the time. Down 0-2, Simon was able to hit a line drive down the middle to bring in Sam Nugent ’23, for an RBI. The scoring continued into the 7th inning when Keeler walked up to the plate with two Judges on base. Keeler waited until he found his pitch and sent the ball over the fence. Scoring his first career home run, Keeler gave the Judges a 4-0 lead with this three-run bomb. Between last season and this year, Keeler has gone three hits for seven career at-bats. Fans should be on the lookout for Keeler, a potentially major player if he can keep his bat hot.
Kim was able to get his first RBI at the end of the inning, extending the lead to 5-0. The Judges would secure the game from there, staying strong despite the Lyons having runners on base in both the 8th and 9th inning. Maestri secured the win with only one hit, three strikeouts, and no runs in the last innings. This victory marks the Judges’ first win over the Lyons since 2007 and their first shutout over them. Even though it is early in the season, the team should be proud of this well-fought result.
The Judges will travel to Endicott College to face off against the Gulls at 3:30 p.m. on March 7. Stay tuned as the Brandeis Baseball season gets underway. With a mixture of veterans and first-year players, this campaign is set to be an exciting one. The team has a good amount of upperclassman experience at the pitching position. A few graduate students and a large number of seniors makes up a majority of the pitching depth. This past weekend, Tejada and Maestri gave Judges’ fans a taste of what is to come, and the team will hope to continue this early success later into the season. Tune in to Brandeis Athletics or check out our weekly edition to stay up to date with the team’s results.