BASEBALL | Bulldogs swept in Ivy opener

Yale’s bats went out like a lamb in the opening weekend of Ivy League play with four straight losses this weekend.

Yale fell to Columbia University 3–1 and 3–0 on Saturday and to the University of Pennsylvania 4–1 and 8–1 on Sunday.

“[It was] one of those things where we didn’t start off like we wanted,” pitcher Rob Cerfolio ’14 said. “[But] you can’t let four games dictate how you play all year.”

Yale (6–17–1, 0–4 Ivy) surrendered three runs in each game against the Lions (9–14, 3–1 Ivy), but managed to score just once all day on a sacrifice fly by first baseman Kevin Fortunato ’14 as the Elis attempted to come back in the top of the seventh and final frame. Fortunato’s fly brought in outfielder Charlie Neil ’12, who had led off the inning with a triple, but that was all for the rally.

Pitcher Chris O’Hare ’13 took the loss to fall to 1–3 despite striking out four over seven strong innings. He and the Bulldogs were hurt by a call reversal that helped the Lions score three runs in the bottom of the third.

Cerfolio said that the home plate umpire overruled the first base umpire’s ruling that the batter was out by saying that the first baseman’s foot came off the bag after Columbia’s coach argued the call.

“It was a tough call for them,” Cerfolio said. “But I don’t think that they should have overruled it.”

With one out, Columbia catcher Mike Fischer was originally called out at first on a grounder to third baseman Chris Piwinski ’13, but he was then awarded an infield single. Fischer’s hit turned out to be the first of four straight for the Lions until O’Hare induced an inning-ending double play to staunch the bleeding.

Cerfolio was solid on the mound for the Elis in the second half of Saturday’s twin bill, but Columbia’s David Speer and Harrison Slutsky shut out the Bulldogs in the nine-inning loss.

Cerfolio scattered three runs over seven innings, but the Columbia duo combined to strike out 12 Elis for the victory.

“Robby Cerfolio pitched one hell of a game,” designated hitter Josh Scharff ’13 said in an email, “Battling every inning and never getting phased.”

Yale fared no better on Sunday at Penn (10–9, 2–0 Ivy), when the Bulldogs scored just two runs in the doubleheader.

Starter Pat Ludwig ’12 allowed just one earned run over six innings, but an error by shortstop Cale Hanson ’14 led to three unearned runs in the bottom of the first inning. Back at bat, Hanson drew a walk with two outs in the top of the second inning, but both he and second baseman David Toups ’15 were left stranded after Toups’ double moved both runners into scoring position.

The Elis had another scoring chance in the top of the seventh, when Robert Baldwin ’15 hit a pinch-hit double in place of Fortunato, and outfielder Joe Lubanski ’15 singled and went to second on an error by the center fielder to put runners at second and third.

But Piwinski grounded out to short, ending the threat and the game.

Yale left five runners on base for the game and scored its lone run on a home run to center by Lubanski.

“Joe [Lubanski] went up to the plate and didn’t hold anything back,” Ludwig said. “I’m sure it was quite a moment hitting his first collegiate home run in his home town.”

The Quakers stormed out to an 8–0 lead after three innings in second half of the doubleheader thanks to 10 hits and two errors by Yale.

Yale will take a break from the Ivy League to host Sacred Heart University (9–16, 7–5 Northeast Conference) on Tuesday for a doubleheader at Yale Field starting at 3:30 p.m.

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