A much-needed victory gave the baseball team a boost of confidence and momentum at a crucial part of the season.
The Bulldogs (10-21, 3-9 Ivy) traveled to Fairfield University (13-24) Wednesday, defeating the Stags 7-6 in a close back-and-forth contest.
With the score tied 6-6 in the ninth inning, first basemen Justin Walters 103 delivered the crucial hit, doubling down the right field line to drive home second baseman Steve Duke 103 for the winning run.
3We actually managed to get a run in a tight spot,2 said Duke, who went 3-4 on the day and stole two bases. 3Justin got a big hit for us there.2
After going ahead 1-0 in the top of the first inning with an RBI single by Chris Elkins 103, Yale fell behind 2-1 with a two-run homer by Fairfield1s Barnett in the bottom of the second. Two innings later, the Stags extended their lead to 4-1 with another two-run shot over the right field wall.
The Elis did not let up, howeverÜthey came back with a vengance. An RBI single by Duke followed by a two-run double by Elkins tied the ballgame at 4-4, and Walters picked up his first of two RBIs to put Yale up 5-4 in the top of the fifth inning.
3I think everybody had either a clutch hit or a clutch play in the field,2 said Elkins, who finished with 3 RBIs. 3With the game going back and forth like that you have to have a bunch of clutch plays, and we did. Everyone got in on it.2
>From there, the two teams traded runs throughout the remainder of the game. Fairfield evened the game at five with a hit through the right side, but the Bulldogs rebounded in the top of the eighth when shortstop Chris Esper 105 hit a single up the center to bring home Randy Leonard 103, who had advanced to second base on a steal.
With the bases loaded in the bottom of the eighth inning and only one out, Fairfield1s Bastitsta hit a sacrifice fly that scored another game-tying run for the Stags. With the chance to go ahead in the game, pinch hitter Mancuso entered the game, but closer Matt McCarthy 102 notched a huge strikeout to end the inning.
That brought up the pivotal ninth inning in which Duke singled to the left, then stole second base, setting up Walters1 decisive double.
3It seemed like Duke was getting on base every two seconds, and with Walters driving them in we did great,2 Elkins said.
McCarthy ensured the team1s success in the bottom of the ninth, not allowing any batters to advance beyond second base and picking up the win.
3McCarthy shut the door for us and we got a much-needed win,2 Duke said.
Several pitchers contributed for the Elis. Starter Nick Grass 105 struck out four in two innings, while relievers Colin Ward-Henninger 105 and Kyle Burnat 105 each allowed no runs in their mound appearances.
3It looked like everyone had a couple extra miles per hour on their ball for some reason,2 Elkins said.
The victory was an important one for the Elis, who were coming off a disappointing four-loss weekend to Harvard and needed to build morale in time for this weekend1s matchup with Dartmouth.
3Our defense was consistent, like it has been all year, and a couple guys came up with big hits,2 Grass said. 3It1s a nice win and should help us gain momentum going into the weekend.2