After a hot start to the season over spring break, the baseball team continued its momentum by winning two of the three games against the New York Institute of Technology this weekend.
The Elis (10–6–1) fell in the first of a home doubleheader against the Bears (4-9) 3–2, but came back in the second match to win 4–0. On Sunday the Bulldogs travelled to NYIT’s home field and came from nine runs down to pull out the come-from-behind victory, 13–10.
“We feel pretty good coming out two out of three after losing the first one,” Trygg Larsson-Danforth ’10 said. “[NYIT is] a tough team, pretty similar to what we’ll be facing in the Ivy League.”
In the first game of the double header on Saturday, the Bears were the first to get on the scoreboard. After Brook Hart ’11 walked NYIT infielder Ryan Campbell, Effrey Valdez doubled to left center, driving Campbell home for the first run of the game.
After three scoreless innings, the Elis finally managed to get in a run at the top of the fifth. After a fielding error by the Bears put Matt Schmidt ’12 on first base, Gant Elmore ’11 hit a single to left field. And after another Bears error at second base, Schmidt was able to run home for the Elis’ first score.
Both teams exchanged runs in the seventh inning to send the game to an extra inning tied 2-2. At the top of the eighth, with Valdez on third base, Greg Gilroy hit the ball to left field, which was dropped by the Eli defense giving Valdez the run home to put NYIT up by one.
The Bulldogs were unable to score at the bottom of the eighth and NYIT pulled out the victory 3–2.
“The first loss was a tough one because we forced extra innings and we hadn’t been hitting the ball all day,” captain Joe Castaldi ’10 said. “We had great pitching from Brook, we just couldn’t put any runs together.”
Through 6.1 innings, Hart put in a two run, eight hit performance to lead the Bulldogs’ pitching staff.
In the second half of the doubleheader, the Elis were able to come back strong due in part to a seven inning shutout performance from pitcher Pat Ludwig ’12.
At the bottom of the first inning, with Elmore on second base, Trey Rallis ’11 hit a double down right field, sending Elmore home for the RBI. Both teams remained scoreless until the bottom of the sixth in which the Yale offense was able to put in three runs.
At the top of the seventh, Ludwig kept the NYIT offense in check to finish his first shutout performance of his career and the victory for the Bulldogs.
“He threw an unbelievable game,” Castaldi said. “He came in and really set the tone and we needed a really strong pitching performance. And when you get a pitching performance like that, you just need to put together a few runs and you get the win.”
But despite the victory, it seemed as though the Elis were about to fall hard on NYIT turf the next day. Through the first two innings, the game was tied 1–1, but at the bottom of the third, the Bears put in a seven run performance to put their team up 8–1.
And as if that was not enough, NYIT drove in another two runs at the bottom of the fourth for a seemingly insurmountable 10–1 lead.
But the Elis would go on a hitting streak of their own. The Bulldogs answered in the fifth with a six run performance including a grand slam by Larsson-Danforth and another home run from Ryan Brenner ’12. In the sixth inning, Andrew Kolmar ’11 scored after a Schmidt singled down the left field line to put the Elis within two, down 10–8.
In the eighth inning, the Bulldog offense continued its onslaught with five runs, including home runs from Trygg Larsson-Danforth ’10 and Ryan Brenner ’12, putting the Elis up 13–10. Brenner’s home run, his third, would be the last score of the game, giving Yale the nine-point comeback victory.
Vinny Lally ’11 had a five-hit shutout performance through six innings to lead the Elis to the victory.
“My job is to keep it close,” Lally said. “And with the guys swinging bats, they’ve proved we’re never out of it in any game — we can always come back.”
The Elis will play next at Quinnipiac on Wednesday before starting Ivy League competition at Columbia the following week on April 3.