Brandeis Baseball drops UAA series to Case Western Reserve
This past week, Brandeis Baseball hosted games between Colby College and Case Western Reserve University but failed to protect their home turf.
Luck has not favored the Brandeis Baseball team this season. Sitting with a record of 5-27, the team has struggled to compete both in conference and out. In their University Athletic Association match-up versus Emory University, the Eagles scored a combined 62 runs in their Saturday, April 8 doubleheader — 31 runs in each game. The margin of difference — 4-31 and 7-31 in game one and two, respectively — were so great that the MLB website ran a story on its account. With 12 first-year players on the roster, the Judges have certainly felt the growing pains this season.
This past week the Judges welcomed Colby College to Waltham for a non-conference match-up on April 19. Unfortunately, the team continued their heartbreak tour and extended their losing streak to 12 games. In the bottom of the first, Brian King ’23 ripped a single and brought in captain Steve Simon ’23 for the early 1-0 lead. However, at the top of the second frame, the Mules responded with four runs of their own. Other than the fourth and ninth inning — three scored in the fourth and five in the ninth — the game was relatively competitive. Reid Latham ’23 got the start on the rubber for the first time this season and took the loss with two innings pitched, six hits, four earned runs, one walk, and one strikeout.
After a disappointing mid-week game, the team was hoping to turn the tides in their UAA weekend vs. the Case Western Reserve University Spartans. Case came into the series with an impressive 18-12 record — 7-5 in conference. Looking to secure an NCAA playoff bid, the Spartan needed to leave Waltham with four wins.
In their first match-up of the weekend, Case showed up and showed out — scoring 27 runs on the road to their dominant victory. Sean Decker-Jacoby ’24 was the Judges’ starting pitcher for the day, giving up 12 hits and 12 runs in the performance. King and Sam Nugent ’23 each notched an RBI in the contest — both in the bottom of the sixth inning. Trying to put the first game behind them, Brandeis geared up for their second game of Friday’s doubleheader. Sad to say, the next game wasn’t too much better than the first. While the Judges were able to keep the Spartans to 13 runs on 15 hits, their offense wasn’t up to snuff — recording two runs on six hits. Catcher Justin Keeler ’25 and outfielder Nugent each recorded a hit in both games. Brandeis’ ace Asher Kaplan ’23 took the mound for game two and also took the loss, falling to 3-4 on his season starts.
Following two difficult results from the previous day, Brandeis was hoping to flip the script on the visiting Spartans. The start of the third game looked promising — after five innings the Spartan held on to a 1-0 lead. With two outs in the top of the sixth, the Spartans went on a scoring rampage to pull away — scoring eight runs on seven hits, including three doubles and a pair of triples. Case tacked on one more run in the seventh to enact the ten-run rule and end the game. Again, the offense couldn’t match Case’s power, only recording two hits through game three.
In their final game of the weekend, the bats came alive for Brandeis. After giving up one run in the top of the first, the Judges responded by scoring two of their own — Drew Michaud ’23 knocked a double to left field, bringing in Mike DiCenso ’24 and Nugent to score. Case took the lead again in the top of the second, putting up three more runs in the frame. But, once again, Brandeis responded — DiCenso and King each got an RBI to level the game at four apiece. In the next inning, Josh Liu ’26 pumped double to score Michaud and restore the Brandeis lead. However, a strong fourth-inning performance put the Spartan back in the driver's seat — 8-5. The rest of the game was a back-and-forth affair, until the bottom of the eight when Brandeis took its final lead of the game at 12-11. Sadly, a four run ninth inning put the Spartans up three heading into the final frame. Even though the team lost 15-12, there were more positives than negatives to their performance. They recorded 15 hits against one of the nation’s best teams. Case may have taken the series 4-0, but Brandeis showed its resilience throughout the whole weekend.
The team will return to action tomorrow, April 26 to host the Tufts University Jumbos in a highly anticipated New England rivalry. With only five games remaining, the Judges will look to end their season on the best note possible. The season has not been a storybook one, but the team has the opportunity to write the ending.