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Yale Opens Ivy Play With Doubleheader Sweep At Cornell

Vinny Lally (Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Vinny Lally (Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

Lally K's 10 To Help Bulldogs Increase Win Streak To Seven

ITHACA, N.Y. — Now that the Yale University baseball team has started Ivy League play, the team's strong play of late could not have come at a better time.

Heading into a weekend that includes a pair of doubleheaders against Cornell and Princeton in the first Ivy League games of the 2011 season, the Bulldogs were riding a five-game winning streak and had all facets of the game working in top form.

That was especially evident on Saturday as Yale traveled to Cornell and came away with a doubleheader sweep at David F. Hoy Field, cruising to a 7-2 win in the first game and holding off a late Cornell rally to pull out a 5-3 win in the nightcap.

The pair of wins lift Yale to a 12-8 overall record, extending the winning streak to seven games and giving the Bulldogs a 2-0 start to the Ivy League season. Cornell falls to 2-16 overall and 0-2 in Ivy play.

Senior starting pitcher Vinny Lally was a big reason for the win in the opener. He tossed his second complete game of the season, improving to 3-0, while he scattered seven hits, allowed two runs (both earned) and struck out 10 Big Red batters.

Josh Scharff provided the punch at the plate for the Bulldogs, where he belted a double and a triple in three at-bats, drove in two runs and scored another. Senior captain went 2-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored, while Ryan Brenner was 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI.

Brandon Lee went 2-for-3 and doubled in two runs in the fourth inning to power Cornell's offense in the opener.

In the second game, Yale scored a pair of runs in both the first and second innings to jump out to a 4-0 early lead. In the first, the Bulldogs took advantage of a pair of RBI singles from Trey Rallis and Jacob Hunter to start the scoring, In the second, Megee doubled in a run and scored on Josh Scharff's RBI single.

But Cornell never faltered and had a chance to win the game in the bottom of the ninth. The Big Red scored a pair of runs in the fourth inning on Brian Billigen belted a two-run home run to trim the deficit to 4-2.

In the fifth inning, Charlie Neil was hit by a pitch, stole second and scored a run in all the way from second base on a wild pitch to put Yale ahead 5-2.

Cornell scored a third run in the ninth inning on an RBI groundout by Phil Mullan. Following a walk to Brenton Peters that put the tying run on base with two outs, Yale relief pitcher Kevin Fortunato was replaced by closer Eric Shultz, who came in and promptly forced Tom D'Alessandro to ground out to end the threat and the game.

Junior pitcher Pat Ludwig worked five innings in earning his first win of the season. He scattered four hits, allowed only one earned run and struck out six batters. Shultz earned his third save of the season.

Rallis powered the offense, going 3-for-4 with an RBI, while Megee and Scharff each added two hits and an RBI.

The Bulldogs belted 22 hits and scored 12 runs in the doubleheader sweep, improving to 10-1 when leading after six innings. The Bulldogs have scored 76 runs in the seven-game winning streak. They have outscored their opponents 76-20 in those victories.

Yale returns to action Sunday with a doubleheader at Princeton.

Report filed by Jon Erickson Jr., Yale Sports Publicity