While most of Yale’s batters had trouble figuring out Columbia’s starting pitcher Brian Doveala, Mike Gulker ’03 did not.
Gulker went 3-3, driving in all three Bulldog (11-15, 3-5 Ivy) runs en route to a thrilling 3-2 victory at Yale Field Sunday in the first game of a doubleheader against the Lions (14-16, 5-5). But in the nightcap, Columbia got revenge, clobbering the Elis 16-1.
Saturday, the Bulldogs earned a complete game 8-4 win from Mike Elias ’05 (3-2) in the first of a two game set with the University of Pennsylvania (16-11, 8-3) but lost the second game 7-2.
In game one against the Lions, with the score knotted at two in the bottom of the seventh, Gulker doubled, driving in Alec Smith ’06, who had singled to right in the previous at bat, to win the game.
“He was unbelievable,” Chris Elkins ’03 said. “I can’t say enough about how good he did in the first game.”
Gulker had Doveala’s (4-1) number all day long.
In the bottom of the second, Gulker got the Elis on the board, tripling to right center, driving in Dave Fortenbaugh ’03. Gulker struck again in the fifth, leading off the inning with a solo homerun, his first of the season.
On the mound for the Bulldogs, Josh Sowers ’05 (4-1) out-pitched Doveala, scattering four hits and one run over six innings. Smith (2-1) picked up the win in relief, giving up the tying run in the seventh, which set the stage for Gulker’s heroics.
Game two was a completely different story.
With Yale struggling on defense with a season high six errors, the Lions took advantage.
“We know we can flat out play [defense],” Randy Leonard ’04 said. “We completely just dropped the ball.”
The Bulldogs’ defense will come around eventually, Elias said. When there are errors early in the game, it can lead to a snowball effect, he said.
Columbia jumped all over Eli starter Adam Barrick ’05 (1-1) right from the start, scoring two runs in the top of the first.
After adding another run in the second, Doug Shimokawa ’04 (1-2) took over the mound but could not slow Columbia’s offense. With the score 8-1 after six innings, Columbia put the game out of reach with a four-run seventh.
Lions starter Timothy Hearin (1-4) shut down the Bulldogs offense, pitching eight innings and giving up only one earned run.
Against the Red and Blue Saturday, Elkins and Leonard both homered, their second and third respectively, to power the Bulldogs offense.
The Quakers are in first place in the Ivy League’s Lou Gehrig division, made up of Penn, Princeton, Brown, and Columbia.
“They’re a great team, and we really needed that win,” Leonard said. “It’s a big confidence builder and a big win.”
With RBIs from five different players and strong pitching from Elias, who pitched a complete game, giving up four earned runs in seven innings of work, the Elis knocked off the Quakers.
“The key was I didn’t throw a lot of balls, and therefore I didn’t walk many people,” Elias said. “I [also] got eight runs of run support from our team, which helped a lot.”
Yale jumped to an early lead, scoring four runs in the first two innings. With three runs in the top of the third, Penn got within one, but a three run answer by the Elis in the bottom half of the inning gave Yale breathing room.
C.J. Orrico ’05, batting seventh, hit a 2 RBI single, and Mike Hirschfield ’03, batting eighth, drove in Orrico with a double.
“We hit the heck out of the ball,” Elkins said. “[We] pitched well, played defense well, and that was pretty much it.”
In the second game of the twin bill, the Red and Blue relied on strong pitching from Ben Krantz (4-2) and Nick Italiano on offense for a 7-2 victory.
Krantz went eight innings and gave up one earned run to get the win; Italiano went 3-4 with 3 RBIs and became Penn’s all time hits leader.
Josh Zabar ’06 and Orrico had RBIs; John Hollis ’06 turned in a solid start, going eight innings and giving up five runs, three of them earned.