BASEBALL | Yale stumbles on the road

Trygg Larsson-Danforth ’10 makes contact with the ball against NYIT.
Trygg Larsson-Danforth ’10 makes contact with the ball against NYIT. Photo by R.J. Rico.

For the baseball team on Sunday night, it was a long bus ride back to New Haven from Philadelphia.

The Bulldogs (11–10–1, 0–4 Ivy) were winless over the weekend, losing two close games at Columbia on Saturday 5–3 and 5–4 before falling to Penn 5–2 and 12–4 on Sunday.

Yale was limited to a .212 team batting average over the four games after having hit .327 heading into the road trip.

“Columbia was simply better,” head coach John Stuper said in a press release Saturday. “They executed better than we did, and they deserved to win both games.”

In Saturday’s first game — which was scheduled for seven innings — the Bulldogs found themselves down 3–0 in the second inning, but Yale rallies in the third and seventh pushed the game into extra innings — where the Lions (11–12, 3–1) promptly won off a two-run, walk-off home run in the eighth.

Brook Hart ’11 pitched all seven and one-third innings for the Bulldogs, but gave up five earned runs and was handed his first loss of the season after having two wins. His ERA rose from to 3.45 on the year.

The Lions jumped out to a 2–0 lead in the first inning after a two-run home run from centerfielder Nick Cox. A solo homer by shortstop Alex Ferrera made it 3–0 Columbia heading into the third.

Third baseman Alex Megee ’11 quickly narrowed the lead to one after a double down the left field line scored the runners on first and second base.

From there, both teams’ offenses were quiet until the seventh inning. After catcher Ryan Brenner ’12 led off the inning with a walk, pinch hitter Charlie Neil ’12 doubled Brenner in two pitches later to tie the game 3–3.

A walk-off, two-run homer from designated hitter Alexander Aurrichio won the game for the Lions, spoiling the Bulldog comeback.

“On that last batter I thought I threw a good pitch,” Hart said of the walk-off home run. “It’s just one of those times when you tip your hat to the batter.”

The second game of the day saw the teams play another hotly contested game.

Once again, it was the Lions who had the early 2–0 lead in the second inning. Both of the runs were unearned, as a fielding error by pitcher Vinny Lally ’11 kept the first inning alive for the Lions, allowing Jon Eisen to score from third base on a groundout RBI. In the second frame, it was a dropped fly ball by centerfielder Andrew Kolmar ’11 that put the Lions in position to pull off a squeeze play for the second run of the game.

Just as he had done in the previous game, Megee was at the center of a third inning rally as his three-run home run gave the Bulldogs the 3–2 lead. It was the sixth home run this season for Megee, who is tied for the team lead with first baseman Trygg Larsson-Danforth ’10.

The two teams each added a run to their tally before the Lions tied it up 4–4 with the bases loaded in the fifth inning off a fielder’s choice double play by Yale.

A sacrifice fly in the seventh inning was all Columbia needed, as it was able to hang on to the 5–4 win.

Lally threw 141 pitches in seven innings, earning his first loss of the season.

“It was a very disappointing weekend,” Lally said. “We came in hoping to get 3 if not four wins.”

On Sunday at Penn, it was the Bulldogs who took the early 2–0 lead in the first game of the doubleheader, but the Eli hitters did not get another hit for the rest of the game. The Quakers (12–10, 3–1) were able to tie it in the third inning, eventually winning the seven-inning contest 5–2.

Pitcher Pat Ludwig ’12 took the loss after allowing five earned runs in six innings of work.

The Bulldogs jumped out to another 2–0 lead later in the afternoon when right fielder Neil hit a two-run home run in the second inning. Penn responded in three of the next four innings, though, scoring two in the third, one in the fourth, and two in the fifth.

In the final game of the weekend series, the Quakers were losing 4–3 but scored five runs in the seventh inning en route to a 12–4 victory.

Pitcher Greg Lyons ’12, who had come in for Christopher O’Hare ’13 in the fifth inning and held the Quakers hitless in his first two innings, unraveled in the seventh inning. He allowed three singles and two doubles in the first two-thirds of the inning before being replaced by Alex Young ’11.

Young allowed four runs in the eighth, as Penn ran away with the game.

This four-game slide is the longest losing streak for the baseball team since the Elis dropped five consecutive games last April.

“It was a pretty discouraging weekend,” Hart said. “At the same time, though, we were right there in all those games.

Although we aren’t happy with the results we know we have the ability to play really good games with the teams in our league.”

The Bulldogs will hope to rebound on Tuesday when welcome Sacred Heart for a doubleheader starting at 3:30 p.m.

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