Extra innings were not friendly to the baseball team this weekend.
Opening their Ivy League season with doubleheaders at Cornell University (8-9, 2-2 Ivy) and Princeton University (10-15, 3-1) April 5 and 6, the Elis (9-13, 1-3) won one of four, dropping two heartbreakers in extra innings.
After winning the first game 4-3 in Ithaca, N.Y., Saturday, Big Red catcher Paul Hudson ended Yale’s hopes of a 2-0 Ivy start.
With two outs in the bottom of the ninth, reliever Alec Smith ’06 (1-1) was on the mound with a 3-2 lead. Cornell’s Dan Parant drove Hudson home with an RBI single to tie the game and send it to extra innings.
Yale did not quit after relinquishing the lead. Outfielder Chris Elkins ’03 crossed the plate to give the Elis a 4-3 lead heading into the bottom of the 10th.
But Yale could not finish the Big Red. With two outs and men on second and third, Hudson hit Smith’s delivery to center field, scoring both baserunners to give Cornell the win.
Yale could not capitalize on starter John Hollis’ ’06 (0-2) dominant pitching performance. For seven innings, Hollis shut down the Big Red offense, giving up only three hits, one unearned run, and striking out seven.
Smith took the loss for the Elis, going 2.1 innings and giving up three runs, two of them earned.
Josh Zabar ’06 went 2-3 in the game with two runs scored while Mike Gulker ’05 and Darren Beasley ’03 each chipped in RBIs.
The Elis held their lead in the early game, winning 4-3. Dave Fortenbaugh ’03 led the way, going 3-3 with 2 RBIs.
Josh Sowers ’05 (4-1) picked up his team-leading fourth win of the season, going 5.1 innings and giving up three runs. Smith pitched 1.2 perfect innings in relief to pick up his third save of the season.
Sunday, the Elis dropped another extremely close game in extra innings.
With the score knotted at four in the bottom of the 11th and one out, a double and an intentional walk put two men on for Tiger left-fielder Eric Fitzgerald, who hit a walkoff homerun on a John Janco ’06 (1-3) delivery to win the game 7-4.
The Bulldogs jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the third inning when Beasley and Elkins scored. In the fourth inning, an RBI single from C.J. Orrico ’05 gave Yale a 3-1 lead, but in the bottom of the inning, Princeton scored three runs to take the lead.
The score remained 4-3 until the bottom of the seventh, when Elkins, Fortenbaugh, and Zabar all singled. Elkins came around to score on Zabar’s base hit, but Fortenbaugh was thrown out at home. Zabar advanced to second on the throw. After two walks, with two outs and the bases loaded, Tigers pitcher Thomas Pauly got out of the jam, striking Beasley out.
The score remained tied until the bottom of the 11th, when Fitzgerald’s heroics ended the game.
The day’s second game was not nearly as close.
Princeton jumped all over Yale’s pitching staff, scoring 16 runs off four different Bulldog pitchers to win 16-6.
The Tigers scored 11 of their runs in the sixth, seventh, and eighth innings. Princeton’s Ryan Eldrige had a game-high four RBI.
For Yale, Eric Rasmussen ’06 stepped up offensively, going 2-3 with an RBI and two runs scored. Elkins continued his strong play, going 2-5 with an RBI and one run.
The Elis struggled on defense, committing three errors in the game. Doug Shimokawa ’04 (1-2) took the loss, giving up five runs, only two earned, in 1.1 innings of relief work.
After five consecutive games on the road, Yale hosts Iona College (9-10) Wednesday afternoon in a nonconference matchup at Yale Field.