The Yale baseball team split another double-header Tuesday, this time against Cornell.
Traveling to Ithaca, N.Y., for the rescheduled games initially planned for Sunday, the Elis were able to defeat the Big Red in the first game 3-2 but lost the second 4-2.
“Cornell is a good team — there are no free games in our league. The two pitchers they threw out today did a good job throwing strikes,” captain and outfielder Stefan Schropp ’09 said. “Not walking, not hitting guys, and playing solid defense behind — it will give you a chance to win.”
Brandon Josselyn’s ’09 pitching anchored the Bulldogs in their first game win against Cornell. The senior faced 31 batters, struck out five and only allowed seven hits in seven innings.
“I establish the fastball and base everything else off it,” Josselyn said. “They got seven hits and only had a couple that they hit really well. Overall, there were some things we need to learn from.”
The first run of the game came in the second when first baseman Trygg Larsson-Danforth ’10 tripled to center field. Utility player Charlie Neil ’12 singled through the right side, and Danforth scored. The inning ended with Neil being picked off at first by the pitcher.
Cornell tried to rebound in the second, and filled the bases with two outs. All were left on base, however, as Cornell’s Brian Billigen flied out to shortstop Matt Schmidt ’12 and no harm was done. In the third inning, however, the Big Red got their first run off a series of single-base hits.
Yale’s best offensive inning was the fourth. The team put two runs on the board with a single by third baseman Andy Megee ’11 and base on balls by Danforth. The two advanced on a wild pitch, and Megee went home on a sacrifice fly by Neil. Designated hitter Chris Sweeney ’10 earned the second RBI with a single that sent Danforth home.
Cornell scored their final run in the second, but was ultimately unable to best the Bulldogs’ tough defense and the game ended 3-2.
According to Schropp, catcher Ryan Brenner ’12 truly anchored the defense throughout the double-header.
“He did a tremendous job at short,” Schropp said. “I think he deserves a lot of credit with the way he’s stepped up with a bunch of key plays and a crucial double play.”
Cornell set the tone early on in the second game with a two run inning in the second. The Big Red added another run in the second, and Pat Ludwig ’12 was called up from the bullpen to replace pitcher Chris Finneran ’10 with one out to go and quickly struck-out Mickey Brodsksy for the last out of the inning.
Yale’s momentum failed to carry into the offense, and despite a double by Brenner in the third, the Elis failed to add any points to the board. In the fourth, Cornell scored their fourth, and final, run of the game.
Play was even until the top of the seventh inning when the Bulldogs attempted to rally back from a 4-0 deficit. Cornell replaced pitcher Tony Bertucci with Taylor Wood, and Andrew Moore ’11 immediately doubled to right center. Brenner followed with a double down the left field line for the RBI, and Schmidt walked. The two runners advanced to scoring position, and Schropp grounded out to third, sending Brenner home. The rally ended when Megee grounded out to short, ending the game in a 4-2 Bulldog loss.
Yale pitcher Robert Gruber replaced Ludwig for the final two innings of play, and did not allow any runs.
“I think our pitching was really, really great. It basically shut the door,” Brenner said. “[Ludwig] and Gruber were great throughout the end of the second game.”
Like all Ivy baseball teams, Cornell and Yale are fairly evenly matched and today’s split reflects that fact, Schropp said. On a better day, Yale could have gone home with two wins, or Cornell could have just as easily swept, he added.
“Cornell didn’t make an error in two games and they pitched well,” Schropp said. “Either game could have gone either way.”
The Bulldogs face Quinnipiac University today at 3:30 p.m. at Yale Field.