Bulldogs Break Team Home Run Record in Doubleheader Sweep at Brown

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Charlie Neil. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The Yale baseball team hit five home runs on Friday- bringing its season total to a program-record 43 roundtrippers- en route to sweeping Ivy League foe Brown by scores of 15-9 and 9-3. Sophomore Charlie Neil and junior Andrew Kolmar each had five RBI in the doubleheader; Neil's long home run was the record-breaking shot, while Kolmar hit his second grand slam of the season. Senior Trygg Larsson-Danforth, junior Andy Megee and freshman Cam Squires also went yard for the Elis. Junior left-handers Brook Hart and Vinny Lally got the wins on the mound, while senior right-hander Robert Gruber earned a save in game one.

With the sweep, Yale moves to 20-21-1 overall and 7-11 in Ivy League play. The Bulldogs had not taken both ends of the annual twinbill in Providence since the 1997 season. The Bears dropped to 12-29 on the season with a 9-9 mark against Ancient Eight competition and were officially eliminated from Red Rolfe Division Championship contention. Dartmouth (11-5) will repeat as division champions unless they are swept in a four-game set by Harvard (8-8) starting tomorrow.

“I'm very proud of how we played today,” said Mazzuto Family Head Coach John Stuper. “We're out of the [Ivy League] race, but we haven't stopped giving it our all. We swept a very good team in the toughest visitors' park in the league. This is the kind of production and attitude that will lead to success going into next season.”

The 2010 Bulldogs add a program-record 43 home runs to their 106 doubles, 688 total bases and 42 double plays turned, all of which are the most in a single-season in Yale baseball history, which dates back to 1865. Yale needs just six hits in its final two games to top the mark of 434 set by the 2008 team.

Larsson-Danforth's home run was his 11th of the season, which moves him up to fourth place on Yale's single season list. Ryan Lavarnway hit a team-record 14 home runs in 2007. Yale's 6'6” lefty slugger is also tied for eighth on the single-season lists for doubles (15) and runs batted in (43).

Junior designated hitter Trey Rallis, already the single-season leader in doubles, hit his 19th two-bagger as a part of a 4-for-8, four RBI afternoon on Friday. Rallis is batting .545 (18-for-33) in the Bulldogs' last eight games to raise his season average to .359.

On the mound, Hart was the benefactor of an early 10-0 lead in game one en route to earning his third win of the season. Gruber maintained his 0.00 ERA in Ivy League competition with three scoreless innings to pick up his first career save.

Lally earned his Ivy League-leading seventh win of the season with an eight-inning gem in the nightcap. The junior southpaw threw 133 pitches, scattering 10 hits and three earned runs. In his last two starts, Lally has allowed just four earned runs in 15.0 innings of work.

“For Vinny to pitch that well in a hitters' park with the wind blowing out all day is outstanding,” said Stuper.

Yale wasted no time getting on the board in game one, as Squires sent the first pitch from Brown right-hander Kevin Carlow over the wall in left field for a lead-off home run. Two batters later, Larsson-Danforth took a 2-2 pitch over the scoreboard in right field to put the Bulldogs on top, 2-0.

After Hart tossed two scoreless frames, the Bulldogs posted eight tallies in the top of the third inning to grab a comfortable 10-0 edge. Schmidt drew a walk to lead off the frame, and Squires followed by dropping a sacrifice bunt and reaching on a fielding error by Carlow. Elmore then walked to load the bases, but Carlow got the next two batters to nearly get out of the jam. The next batter was Rallis, who came through with a two-out single to score two. Neil beat out an infield hit to drive another run, and Brenner singled to reload the bases. Kolmar then cleared the bases with authority, hitting his second grand slam of the season to put Yale on top, 9-0. Schmidt then continued the inning by reaching base for the second time with a double, and Squires capped the two-out rally with an RBI single through the left side of the infield.

The Bears took four back in their half of the third frame, highlighted by a three-run homer from Pete Greskoff, but Yale got one back in its next at-bat. Neil picked up the RBI on a sacrifice fly that scored Larsson-Danforth, who had doubled and moved to third on a Rallis single. Yale added two more in the next frame, courtesy of a two-run shot by Megee.

Brown posted five runs in the bottom of the fifth inning, as roundtrippers by Greskoff, Ryan Zrenda and Mike DiBiase closed the book on Hart. Senior right-hander Robert Gruber came on in relief and ended the threat, with Yale now holding a 13-9 advantage.

The Bulldogs would fight back with a pair of runs in their next at-bat. Schmidt starting the scoring with a two-out double to score Rallis, and Squires beat out a seemingly routine groundball to the shortstop that allowed Brenner to come home.

The 15-9 tally proved to be the final, as Gruber hurled a perfect sixth and scoreless seventh to close out the victory.

Hart (3-3) allowed nine earned runs and eight hits over four innings to earn the win. He struck out three batters and walked three. Gruber fired three scoreless frames of relief, allowing one hit and walking two, to record his first save of the season.

Carlow (4-3) allowed 11 runs, though just three were earned, and nine hits in 3.2 frames to take the loss. He walked four batters, struck out four and threw a wild pitch.

Yale jumped on the Bears in the first inning again in game two, as Squires set the table with a walk. Two batters later, Megee doubled to the gap in left centerfield and the speedy leadoff hitter came all the way around to score the game's first run. Larsson-Danforth and Rallis followed with back-to-back singles, with Rallis' base-knock bringing Megee home. After Neil drew a walk to load the bases, Brenner was hit by a pitch to push another tally across and give the Bulldogs a quick 3-0 lead.

After a sacrifice fly off the bat of Cody Slaughter put Brown on the board in the bottom of the second inning, both Lally and Brown starter Will Weidig traded zeroes until the top of the fifth frame. After an error and a pair of walks loaded the bases for Yale in that inning, a Neil sacrifice fly and back-to-back singles by Brenner and Kolmar extended the Bulldogs' lead to 6-1.

Brown would inch closer in the bottom of the seventh on an RBI double from Chris Tanabe, but Lally was able to battle back induce a Josh Feit fly-out to close out the seventh inning.

The Bulldogs took that run back for the junior southpaw in the top of the eighth inning, as Megee doubled with one out and then came home on a two-out two-bagger from Rallis. Neil followed with the record-breaking home run- a two-run shot that ran the score to 9-2.

The Bears got on the board again in the eighth off of Lally, but the southpaw got out of the jam again, inducing a 4-6-3 double play to quell the threat with Yale still leading comfortably, 9-3. That tally would prove to be the final, as sophomore right-hander Eric Shultz tossed a hitless ninth to finish off the road sweep.

Lally (7-2) registered the victory, while Weidig (3-4) allowed six runs (three earned) on six hits and eight walks in six innings to take the loss.

The Bulldogs and Bears will wrap-up their respective seasons tomorrow afternoon at Yale Field. First pitch of the twinbill is slated for 1 p.m. Yale will honor its six-member class of 2010: Gruber, Larsson-Danforth, Chris Finneran, Stephen Miehls, Matthew Smith and captain Joe Castaldi.

report filed by Drew M. Kingsley, Yale Sports Publicity