In a nonconference doubleheader against Fairfield, the Yale baseball team emerged as both the beneficiary and victim of a one-run, low-scoring game, as neither team totaled more than four hits in either contest.
The Bulldogs (7–18–1, 2–2 Ivy) dropped a 2–1 decision to the Stags (9–16, 1–2 MAAC) in the first game on Wednesday afternoon before squeaking out a victory by the same score in the nightcap.
“It was huge for us getting that second win today,” captain and pitcher Chris Moates ’16 said. ”The energy was great in the clubhouse and it gives us some strong momentum going into a big Ivy League weekend.”
During the early contest, the Stags scored two unearned runs in the opening inning off Yale starter Benny Wanger ’19, and those two runs proved to be all the difference.
Following a walk to Fairfield leadoff hitter Tim Zeng, a single from center fielder Drew Arciuolo and a passed ball that advanced both runners, Zeng and Arciuolo scored with two outs on a double from catcher Kevin Radziewicz.
Wanger lasted three innings, giving up two hits, four walks and zero earned runs, and the freshman was tagged with the loss.
Third baseman Richard Slenker ’17, who finished 2–3, doubled to left field in the bottom of the third to drive home center fielder Tim DeGraw ’19. The Elis could not score again, however, despite leaving at least one runner left on base for each of the next three innings.
In the Bulldogs’ best chance to tie the game, first baseman Griffin Dey ’19 doubled to right-center with one out in the bottom of the sixth, but he was ultimately stranded at third base after a ground-out and fly-out. The Elis went down in order in the bottom of the seventh inning, sealing the 2–1 loss.
“It was a tough day to swing the bat, I think,” Slenker said. “The weather was tough, but we had our chances and couldn’t capitalize.”
Following the break, Moates, who had thrown just one inning previously all season, spun three perfect innings — nine batters up, nine batters down — to start the late game of the twin bill. The captain was one of five hurlers to throw a pitch for either team before the game’s first run was scored in the top of the sixth.
After a scoreless 1.1 innings from pitcher Tyler Duncan ’18, lefty Kumar Nambiar ’19 began the sixth with a shaky start. Two walks and a hit batter resulted in a bases-loaded situation for the Stags, who capitalized with a sacrifice fly to left field.
With two outs and men on first and second, righty Drew Scott ’18 entered the game for Nambiar and, after walking his first batter, avoided disaster with a strike out to end the inning.
After getting out of the jam with just one run given up, the Elis carried the traction into the bottom half of the inning. Shortstop Tom O’Neill ’16 doubled and moved to third after second baseman Simon Whiteman ’19 singled to left, and O’Neill later scored thanks to an RBI sacrifice bunt from White.
Two batters later, Whiteman scored the eventual winning run on an error from Fairfield second baseman Brendan Tracy.
“I think it definitely speaks to our resilience to not only be able to come up with a couple of runs in response to Fairfield’s run in the top of the sixth, but also to be able to manufacture them the way we did,” White said. “A lot of guys contributed to that inning for us.”
To close out the seventh inning, Drew recorded two strikeouts in what was effectively a 1–2–3 final frame. The second strikeout would have been the third out, but a wild pitch on the play allowed Fairfield left fielder Tyler Gambardella to reach first. Before the Stags’ fourth batter could finish his at bat, Gambardella was caught stealing to end the game.
Drew was awarded the win on the mound after 1.1 innings of hitless and scoreless pitching. In total, the Eli pitchers allowed just one earned run in 14 innings on the day, producing a team ERA of 0.64.
“Our pitching hasn’t been super consistent throughout the year, so it was very encouraging to have two strong pitching outings,” Moates said. “We had some guys really step up, like Drew Scott coming in and securing that win in the second game.”
The Bulldogs return to Ivy League action this weekend with doubleheaders against Princeton and Cornell.