Yale Settles For Split At Navy

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Brook Hart. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — The Yale University baseball team returned to the road for a four-game series at the U.S. Naval Academy, and while the bats found their mark on Saturday, the results from the first doubleheader of the weekend were mixed.

Yale pounded out a total of 18 hits in the two games at Max Bishop Stadium on Saturday, but had to settle for a split with Navy, winning the first game 1-0 in seven innings and falling to Navy in the second game, 15-7.

Senior left-hander Brook Hart was the star of the show in the opening game, holding Navy's bats to just three hits, while striking out five and walking only one in the seven-inning complete-game shutout.

Navy's senior pitcher Sam Long also tossed a complete game over seven innings, but he surrendered what turned out to be the game-winning run in the sixth inning when Ryan Brenner singled home Charlie Neil with two outs to give Yale a 1-0 lead.

Hart allowed only one baserunner over the final two innings to lock down the victory. Navy had a chance in the seventh inning to tie the game. Taylor Cato's one-out single put the tying run on base, but Jeff Bland lined out Hart, who completed an unassisted double play to end the game and give the Bulldogs the victory.

In the first game, Brenner, Andrew Moore and Andy Megee all had two hits to lead the Bulldogs. Cato had two of Navy's three hits.

The second game of the doubleheader turned out to be a far cry from the opener. The pitchers' duel that developed in the opener did not repeat itself in the second game. A total of nine pitchers were used in a game that produced 22 runs and 23 hits.

Yale jumped out to a brief 4-3 lead thanks to a three-run fifth inning behind an RBI ground-rule double from freshman center fielder Cale Hanson that scored sophomore catcher Chris Piwinski. Senior second baseman Gant Elmore's bunt single drove in Yale's second run of the inning. Senior captain Andy Megee capped off the scoring with an RBI sacrifice fly that scored Hanson.

Leading 6-4 after five innings, Navy broke the game open with an eight-run seventh inning. The Midshipmen scored the eight runs on just four hits, but a pair of run-scoring doubles from Bland and Dave Milanes fueled the offensive burst that also included an RBI single from Craig Veech, and a two-run single from Cato.

Junior right-hander Pat Ludwig started and took the loss. He struck out five batters in six innings, but he scattered six hits and surrendered the first six Navy runs.

Hanson had three hits and scored three runs to lead the Yale offense. Sophomore designated hitter Josh Scharff and junior shortstop Matt Schmidt added two hits apiece.

The Bulldogs' stay in Annapolis will extend through Sunday when they meet the Midshipmen for a second doubleheader.

Report filed by Jon Erickson Jr., Yale Sports Publicity