Big Inning Propels Akron Past Yale, 14-4

Pat Ludwig (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Pat Ludwig (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

LAKELAND, Fla. – Sophomore right-hander Pat Ludwig pitched a gem for the Yale baseball team on Saturday evening against Akron, holding the Zips to just one earned run over the first seven innings of play at Henley Field in Lakeland, Fla. But unfortunately for the Yale hurler, Akron’s Alex Loftin was equally as sharp on the mound, and the Zips offense posted a 10-run eighth inning against the Elis’ bullpen to seal a 14-4 victory.

With the loss, Yale falls to 4-2-1 on the season. The Zips even their record at 6-6.

Ludwig (1-1) scattered six hits over seven innings, surrendering just one earned run and striking out seven batters. The sophomore from Okemos, Mich., who retired the final 12 batters he faced, left the game with Yale trailing 2-1 due in part to an unearned run allowed in the third inning, and ended up taking the hard-luck loss. He hit a batter and did not issue a walk.

Loftin (3-1) threw the first eight innings for the Zips, allowing 10 hits and striking out nine Elis in the winning effort. He allowed two earned runs and walked a batter.

Offensively for Yale, junior third baseman Andy Megee went 4-for-5 with an RBI and a run scored. Senior Stephen Miehls also drove in a run for the Bulldogs with a pinch-hit single in the eighth inning.

Akron’s only earned run off of Ludwig started the scoring in the top of the first inning. After the Yale righty struck out the lead-off hitter, three straight one-out singles resulted in Drew Turocy coming home with the contest’s first run. Later, with the Zips still leading by a score of 1-0, Turocy started the third frame with a single, reached third on an error and came home on a base hit from Kyle Hallett to extend the Akron lead to two runs. Hallett’s single with one out in the third was the sixth and final hit that the Zips would record off of Ludwig.

Yale’s first run would come in the bottom of the fifth inning, as junior second baseman Gant Elmore, who had two hits on the afternoon, ripped a double down the right field line to put himself in scoring position. Elmore would come home soon after, as Megee followed his classmate with an RBI single to right field that ran the score to 2-1 in favor of Akron.

The duel between Ludwig and Loftin continued until the eighth inning, as Yale looked to its bullpen to keep the 2-1 score intact. The Zips capitalized on the pitching change, however, rattling off a 10-run top of the eighth inning that put the game out of reach. Seven of the 10 runs that crossed the plate in the frame were unearned, as Yale’s second error of the day kept the inning alive.

The Bulldogs would get a run back in their half of the eighth, with freshman Josh Scharff drawing a one-out walk to start up the offense. Scharff would move to second base on a Chris Piwinski groundout and then score on Miehls’ RBI single to cut the score to 12-2.

Akron would tack on two more runs in the top of the ninth to quell the remaining threat of a late rally, though Elmore and Megee would each single and score in the bottom of the stanza to round out the final score at 14-4 in favor of the Zips.

Brian Kordal had a home run and five RBI for Akron, all of which came in the eighth inning, and Turocy went 5-for-6 with four runs scored.

Elmore, senior first baseman Trygg Larsson-Danforth and junior designated hitter Andrew Moore each had two hits for the Elis.

Yale returns to Henley Field tomorrow afternoon for a 3:30 p.m. showdown with Army. The Bulldogs are slated to play three more games at the RussMatt Central Florida Invitational before returning to the Northeast for a pair of noon doubleheaders at Hartford on March 19-20. Yale Field sees its first action of 2010 on March 27 for a noon twinbill against the New York Institute of Technology.

report filed by Drew M. Kingsley, Yale Sports Publicity