With a collaborative effort and heavy winds at Bobcat Field, the baseball team was able to offset 13 Quinnipiac runs with an explosion of its own.
The Bulldogs (9-15-1, 2-1 Ivy) put 19 runs on the scoreboard to defeat the in-state rival Bobcats (5-11), 19-13. The win comes in the team’s final away game to conclude 25 consecutive games — yes, 25 games — away from New Haven to start the 2008 season.
“A lot of us are happy that we’re going to be playing at home,” captain Steve Gilman ’08 explained. “But it’s also the fun of college baseball, going out on the road to see different places.”
The win not only saw the typical offensive standouts — Ryan Lavarnway ’09 and Josh Cox ’08 — step up, but a total of seven players had at least two hits on the day.
The offensive eruption was led by back-up catcher Davis Stanley’s ’09 best collegiate game. The Lexington, Kent. native had four hits to go with five RBI and hit his first two career homeruns.
“It was by far my best offensive game [at Yale],” Stanley said. “The past couple games I’ve been seeing the ball well and it all came together today.”
The onslaught of runs began right off the bat for the Elis. Cox led the game off with Yale’s first of 19 hits — a bloop single — to extend his hit streak to 11. He scored two batters later when Lavarnway belted his twelfth homerun of the season to give Yale a 2-0 lead.
Lavarnway went on to go three for four with four RBI and five runs scored — falling just a triple short of the cycle.
But by the end of the second, Yale starter Joe Castaldi ’10 — the game’s winning pitcher — squandered six runs and the lead.
Castaldi lasted two innings, letting up those six runs on five hits and two walks. He struck out one.
The Bulldog bats responded with a six spot of their own in the top of the third. Shortstop Gant Elmore ’11 led the inning off with a wind-aided double. Cox then hit his second single. One Bobcat error, four Bulldog hits, a walk and a double-play ball later, Yale had an 8-6 lead.
Quinnipiac starter Eric Weber was chased out of the game in the midst of the onslaught. Weber pitched 2.2 innings and allowed eight runs on nine hits. He did not issue a walk and struck out one.
The Elis put four more on the scoreboard with a Trigg Larsson-Danforth ’10 two-RBI single and a Stanley two-run homerun to make the score 12-6 in their favor.
From there on, the closest the Bobcats could cut the lead to was five. The Bulldogs added two runs in the top half of the sixth, two in the seventh and three more in the ninth.
Although pitching may be a cause of concern as Yale allowed thirteen runs of their own on eleven hits, the damage was primarily off just three of the eight players who pitched.
According to players on the team, head coach John Stuper went into the game with a plan that had the starter, Castaldi, pitching two innings with the seven remaining innings divided among seven different relievers, no matter what the result.
In addition, two runs in the ninth were unearned. Five of the seven bullpen arms combined to pitch five innings and allowed no earned runs and just four hits.
“We obviously don’t want to give up thirteen runs,” pitcher Vinny Lally ’11 emphasized. “But the runs were scattered and our coach wanted our pitchers to get some work in.”
With the victory, Yale has only lost once in its past five contests — 6-5 Columbia. The Bulldogs now have their eyes set on finally opening their home schedule this weekend. A 12-game homestand begins Saturday with a doubleheader against Princeton (10-12, 2-2) beginning at noon.