By Justin Long
April 24, 2007
AMHERST, MA – The Amherst College baseball team let one slip away this afternoon against Brandeis University, as the Lord Jeffs committed five errors in the game and surrendered eight runs in the top of the sixth inning en route to an 11-9 non-conference loss. Amherst falls to 12-10 on the season, while Brandeis improves to 12-13.
Ben Dashefsky wasted no time increasing his hitting streak to 11 games, as the senior tri-captain led off the game with a single up the middle. Classmate and fellow tri-captain Zach Golden followed with a liner to right center that got by a diving Tom Scott (Randolph, NJ), advancing Dashefsky to third and giving Golden a stand-up double.
First-year Ryan Healy kept the no-out rally going with a bloop single to right field, bringing in Dashefsky for the first run of the game. Senior tri-captain Jon Winston recorded the first out with a fly ball to Scott, but it was deep enough to bring Golden home. First-year right-hander Teddy Blank (Waban, MA) got out of the inning with a 5-4-3 double play, as the Jeffs found themselves trailing 2-0 in an early hole.
Sophomore Brendan Powers (Walpole, MA) started a two-out rally in the bottom of the second with a liner up the middle, followed by a single from sophomore Angus Schaller (Leucadia, CA). Junior Josh Card (North Adams, MA) drew a walk to load the bases, but junior left-hander Tyler Robinson got out of the jam by getting first-year Andy Thal (McLean, VA) to line out to a leaping James Likis at third base.
Brandeis put runners on first and second with no outs in the fourth, but Blank drew three quick outs to end the threat. Senior co-captain Jared Banner (Brooklyn, NY) found himself on third base in the bottom half of the frame after reaching on an error, advancing to second on a wild pitch and stealing third, but the Jeffs could not take advantage of the situation, as Robinson drew a pop out and fly out to preserve the 2-0 lead.
The Judges chalked up a third run in the top of the fifth, but the Jeffs played small ball in their half of the frame to climb back into the game. Card and Thal reached on back-to-back bunt singles, followed by a Mark Mazzone (Wilmette, IL) walk to load the bases. Scott tied the game with one swing of the bat on a 3-RBI double, and Junior Neal Allar (Floyds Knobs, IN) gave Amherst a 5-3 lead on the next at-bat with a two-run homer over the fence in right center.
Brandeis cut its deficit to one run in the sixth inning after a hit, walk and Amherst fielding error, and Chuck Sheehan handed the lead back to the Judges by ripping a double down the right field line to plate two, chasing Blank from the game and bringing in junior Chris Edgar (Massapequa, NY) with no outs.
Everything seemed to be going Brandeis' way in the top of the sixth, as the Judges plated eight runs with a combination of bloop hits, timely hitting and sloppy Amherst defense. Robinson cruised through the bottom of the sixth with a 1-2-3 inning, keeping his team's lead at 11-5.
After Mazzone and Scott strung together singles to start the bottom of the seventh, Allar belted his second homer of the game, again showing off his opposite-field power, to cut the Jeffs' deficit to three runs with no outs in the inning. The home run ended Robinson's night, allowing junior Mike Dax to pick up the next three outs and preserve the 11-8 lead.
After sophomore Mike Hinckley (Carlsbad, CA) pitched a 1-2-3 top of the eighth, junior Evan Bruno (Williamsburg, VA) led off the bottom half of the frame with a walk to get things going for Amherst, but Dax once again escaped unharmed.
Hinckley went 1-2-3 in the top of the ninth to keep it a three-run game, but the Jeffs could only get one run back before game's end, as the Judges held on for the 11-9 win. Blank (2-2) allowed 10 hits and five earned runs in five innings of work, adding five strikeouts and just one walk.
Scott and Allar each went 3-for-5 and combined for eight RBIs and five runs scored, while Healy and Dashefsky each went 3-for-5 to lead the Judges. Robinson (5-2) allowed 10 hits in six innings, adding a pair of strikeouts, while Dax earned the first save of his career.
The Lord Jeffs return to action Saturday for a doubleheader with Trinity College. Game one is set to start at noon at Trinity.