March 17, 2012

Pitchers Dominate as Yale Salvages Split to Open Home Slate

Bulldogs Outhit 10-1 by Stony Brook in Game 2 but Eke Out 1-0 Victory

WEST HAVEN, Conn. — The Yale University baseball team celebrated its 85th Opening Day at historic Yale Field on Saturday with a doubleheader against Stony Brook, and the day turned out to be a showcase of pitching talent from both teams.

Both games of the doubleheader turned out to be pitching duels, with Stony Brook taking Game 1 with a 2-1 victory in 11 innings, while Yale was held to just one hit in the second game, but still managed to salvage the split with a 1-0 win.

"You may never see a line score like the one in the second game ever again," Yale coach John Stuper said. "We get out hit 10-1 and win the game. Our pitchers were outstanding today. For them to give up only two runs in 18 innings against a quality team is pretty special."

Yale moves to 4-7-1 with the split, while Stony Brook's record now stands at 9-6. The two teams will close out their four-game set with a doubleheader at Stony Brook on Sunday.

The first game of the day was originally scheduled to last seven innings, but with the game still scoreless after seven innings, extra innings were needed to decide a winner.

Both starting pitchers were superb. Yale's Pat Ludwig and Stony Brook's Brandon McNitt both gave their best efforts of the season to date, with both tallying eight strikeouts while allowing only three hits apiece. McNitt went nine innings, allowing only one double among Yale's three hits, while Ludwig worked 8⅔ innings with two doubles among the Seawolves' three hits.

Stony Brook broke through in the top of the 10th inning when Travis Jankowski belted a one-out double, advanced to third on a groundout and scored when Willie Carmona hit a ball that caromed off of Yale reliever Kevin Fortunato for an infield single.

Fortunato helped his own cause when he led off the bottom of the inning with a double, went to third on a single by Cale Hanson, and scored on Charlie Neil's RBI single. The Bulldogs loaded the bases with no outs when Jacob Hunter reached with a bunt single. However, Stony Brook reliever Joshua Mason got Cam Squires to foul out to third base for the first out. The next batter, Chris Piwinski, flied out to center field with what appeared to be the game-winning sacrifice fly, but pinch runner Green Campbell was nailed at home for the third out with a throw from Jankowski, the center fielder, while trying to score the winning run.

Tanner Nivens belted a one-out double in the top of the 11th inning and scored on an RBI single from Cole Peragine to lift Stony Brook to the victory.

Yale made it interesting in the bottom of the inning, putting two runners on base with one out, but the Bulldogs could not produce the clutch hit to bring home the tying run.

Both teams continued to ride the backs of their pitching staffs in the second game of the twin bill. Yale starer Rob Cerfolio and Stony Brook's Frankie Vanderka may not have been as brilliant as their Game 1 counterparts, but they managed to keep the runners from crossing the plate throughout the majority of the seven-inning game.

Cerfolio worked five scoreless innings, scattering seven hits, including a pair of doubles. Cerfolio put runners on base in each of his five innings, but when they got on base, they didn't go far. Only two of those runners reached third base.

Vanderka held the Bulldogs hitless into the sixth inning, but that is where the Bulldogs finally broke the scoreless tie. Squires drew a one-out walk, and advanced to second on Piwinski's sacrifice bunt. David Toups then came through with the clutch hit, a two-out single to center field that scored Squires with the only run of the game.

Eric Shultz worked the final two innings, striking out a pair of batters, to earn his first win of the season.

Stony Brook collected 10 hits, but Yale's one hit of the game proved to be the only one that it needed.

Report filed by Jon Erickson Jr., Yale Sports Publicity

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