Emory Defeats Brandeis to win 12th UAA Championship

More news about: Emory

Emory University closed out the 2014 University Athletic Association (UAA) Championships on Sunday with a 4-1 win over Brandeis University in Sanford, Florida to clinch a share of the conference title, the 12th in the program's history.

The win put the Eagles at 6-2 at the UAA Tournament, tying the team for first place with Case Western Reserve University, which earned a share of the conference championship on Saturday.  It was the third UAA Championship in the last four years for Emory.

Freshman starting pitcher Hans Hansen pitched into the ninth inning for the first time during his career, earning the win by scattering nine Brandeis hits and a walk over his eight innings of work, allowing just one run and matching his career-high with six strikeouts.  Hansen improved to 4-1 on the season with the win, and lowered his earned run average to 3.65.

Hansen held the Judges scoreless through the first three innings of the game, before the Judges scored a run on a sacrifice fly in the top of the fourth.  However, Emory evened the contest in the bottom of the frame, when freshman Philip Maldari walked, stole second and scored on a throwing error.

Hansen would not allow another run in the game, retiring nine-straight Brandeis hitters at one point.  Emory would jump out in front for good when junior Wes Peacock hit an RBI double and later scoring a run of his own on another Brandeis error.  Emory added an insurance run in the seventh when sophomore Chris Slivka drove in a run with a base hit, pushing the lead to 4-1.

Brandeis threatened in the bottom of the ninth inning, getting back-to-back hits off Hansen to bring the tying run to the plate.  Emory turned to reliever Robert Gross, who got a fly out, a strike out and a ground out to end the game and secure his first save of the campaign.

Emory hitters walked 10 times during the game, including three from senior Daniel Iturrey.  Peacock finished the day two-for-five, while sophomore Jack Karras went two-for-two with a sacrifice bunt, and Maldari scored two of the team's four runs.

Junior Brett Lake finished the game 0-for-3 with a walk and a hit-by-pitch, ending his hitting streak at 22 games.  The streak was the fourth-longest ever by an Emory player, trailing only former Eagles Bryan Langbord (29 games in 2004), Frank Pfister (25 games in 2007) and Andrew Cohn (23 games in 2008-09).

The win capped off a strong showing at UAA Championships for the Eagles, who led all teams at the tournament with a 2.87 team ERA.  On the base paths, the Eagles stole a tournament-best 29 bases (no other team had more than eight), while limiting opponents to just one stolen base on four attempts.  Lake finished tied for the tournament lead with 12 RBIs, while senior Brandon Hannon led all players with seven stolen bases and was second with 12 runs scored.

Emory now stands at 15-7 overall for the season, while Brandeis dropped to 6-8, including 2-6 at the UAA Championships.  Starting pitcher Elio Fernandez took the loss for the Judges, dropping to 1-2 on the season.

The Eagles will return to action next weekend, opening a three-game series at Chappell Park against DePauw University on Saturday, March 22nd at 2:00 PM.