Dramatic Rally Lifts Yale To Rain-Shortened Win Over UConn

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Yale celebrates a win. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

WEST HAVEN, Conn. — With the Yale baseball team trailing 7-1 in the seventh inning of a rainy baseball game against in-state rival Connecticut, Andrew Kolmar entered the game as a pinch hitter and took full advantage of his opportunity to spark an improbable come-from-behind victory.

Kolmar blasted a three-run home run to get the rally started and drove in another run with a bases-loaded walk in the eighth inning to help lift Yale to a 10-7 victory over UConn in non-conference play at historic Yale Field on Tuesday.

The Bulldogs had the bases loaded with no one out with five runs already in the books in the bottom of the eighth inning when the umpires called the game due to the deteriorating weather conditions. Since Yale was leading in the bottom of the inning in during which the interruption from the umpires occurred, the victory went in favor of the Bulldogs.

Yale improved to 16-12 overall with the win, while UConn, which was ranked in Baseball America's Top 25 poll earlier this season, falls to 17-12-1 with the loss.

The Huskies scored a run in each of the first three innings, followed by a three-run outburst in the fourth inning and then another run in the fifth inning to open up a 7-0 lead.

Yale was held without a hit through the first three innings and only had two hits through the first six innings. But in the seventh, Yale's offense finally came to life. Catcher Ryan Brenner was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning and then scored on an RBI double from Andrew Moore. Jacob Hunter was then hit by a pitch and Kolmar followed with his three-run blast over the left-center field wall to give the Bulldogs the jolt that they desperately needed. Chris Piwinski followed with an infield single with no outs and then scored on a two-out, RBI double from senior captain Andy Megee. By the time the seventh inning had finished, Yale was within striking distance, trailing 7-5.

UConn tried to respond in the top of the eighth inning. With the rain falling heavily, the Huskies started the inning with two groundouts to shortstop but followed with a single from Mike Nemeth and a double from John Andreoli to put runners on second and third. Pinch hitter John Sulzicki failed to drive in the runs when he closed the inning with a pop-up to second base.

After sending nine hitters to the plate in the seventh inning, the Bulldogs picked up where they left off in the eighth. Brenner led off the inning with a double down the left field line. Moore walked and Hunter loaded the bases with a bunt single with no outs. Kolmar drove in his fourth RBI with a walk to cut the deficit to 7-6.

The Bulldogs tied the game at 7-7 when Chris Piwinski hit a slow grounder to shortstop Nick Ahmed, whose throw home to try to get the force-out was wide of the plate, allowing Moore to score the tying run. Cam Squires and Cale Hanson were each hit by a pitch to force in the eighth and ninth Yale runs and Megee drew a bases-loaded walk to force in the 10th run. That's when the umpires halted the game, giving Yale the shortened eight-inning win.

Hunter was the only Bulldog with two hits. He went 2-for-3 with two runs scored. Brenner, Moore, Kolmar and Piwinski each scored two runs, while Megee drove in a pair of runs.

Yale is scheduled to make the short trip to Fairfield to take on Fairfield University tomorrow in preparation for a key four-game showdown with Dartmouth at Yale Field this weekend.

Report filed by Jon Erickson Jr., Yale Sports Publicity