The Yale baseball team saw its season come to a close in an 8–1 defeat to No. 1 National Seed Oregon State on Sunday night. Despite some early potential from the Bulldogs (34–18, 16–4 Ivy), a disastrous third inning doomed the Elis for the rest of game by creating a differential that the Beavers (52–4, 27–3 Pac–12) would never relinquish in the final of the Corvallis regional.
The Bulldogs jumped out to an early 1–0 advantage off an RBI double from left fielder Alex Stiegler ’20, but finished the frame by stranding runners on the corners after Oregon State pitcher Drew Rasmussen recorded two strikeouts to get out of the inning. The Beavers reasserted themselves with an RBI groundout to make it 1–1 from designated hitter Trevor Larnach off of starting left hander Thomas Espig ’20.
Yale got its leadoff hitter on in the third inning but ultimately failed to capitalize, leaving runners on second and third and failing to put pressure on the home squad early on. In the bottom half of the third, Oregon State put its first two batters on base off of a pair of bunt hits. The Bulldogs’ conference-leading defense then proceeded to commit two consecutive throwing miscues on routine tosses to first base, failing to close out the inning but more importantly conceding two runs from the scoring errors.
A three-run home run by third baseman Michael Gretler, belted over the left field wall, extended the Beaver’s lead to 6–1 and effectively sealed Yale’s fate with six innings left to play as all five runs came unearned for Oregon State. Following the moon shot, head coach John Stuper substituted reliever Tyler Sapsford ’20, who earned a save earlier in the day versus Holy Cross, into the game for Espig.
The series of errors proved too much for the Bulldogs to overcome against the No. 1 pitching staff in college baseball; the Beavers used a combination of pitchers to hold Yale scoreless for the remainder of the game, surrendering just one run to the Elis in 18 combined innings of work this weekend. An RBI single from left fielder Steven Kwan and another scoring error on a passed ball in the fifth inning tacked on an additional two runs for the Beavers who would go on to win the contest 8–1.
Despite the loss, the Bulldogs still finished with the most wins in program history and won multiple games in a single NCAA tournament for the first time since 1948. Oregon State will host a super-regional against Cal-State Fullerton next weekend in Corvallis.
The full box score from the regional final can be found here.