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Yale Falls to Columbia in Ivy League Twinbill

Jacob Hunter. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Jacob Hunter. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

Cerfolio Brings Shutout into 7th Inning of Game 1; Hsieh Reaches Base in Ninth Consecutive Game and goes 3-for-4 in Game 2

WEST HAVEN Conn.— The Yale baseball team (5-17,2-4 Ivy League) dropped a doubleheader at Yale Field Saturday, falling to Columbia (11-15,4-2 Ivy League) 2-1 in Game 1 and 5-2 in Game 2.

Yale lefthander Rob Cerfolio had the Columbia hitters under control and held the Lions scoreless until the seventh and final inning of Game 1. Cerfolio (1-3) had another solid outing on the mound, scattering five hits in 6 1/3 innings while allowing only one earned run. The game took a dramatic turn for the Lions with one out in the seventh inning as pinch hitter Joey Falcone homered into the right field picnic porch to tie the game at one. After this dramatic turn of events Columbia's Mike Fischer made it to second base on a throwing error by the Yale third baseman and scored what proved to be the winning run on leadoff batter Eric Williams' double to left-centerfield.

Junior righthanded reliever Cale Hanson replaced Cerfolio and retired two of Columbia's top hitters, Nick Crucet and Alex Black, to keep Yale in striking distance. In the bottom of the seventh inning the Bulldogs' rally was not to be as Black moved to the mound, struck out the side and earned the save.

Yale took a 1-0 lead in the third inning. Freshman right fielder Nate Adams started the frame with a walk. He was moved to second by freshman shortstop Tom O'Neill on a sacrifice bunt. Captain Chris Piwinski singled to right field to give Bulldogs a 1-0 advantage. A double play ended the Yale threat.

In the bottom of the fifth Yale looked to get on the board. Adams started the inning with a walk. O'Neill followed with a fantastic bunt that he pushed past the Columbia pitcher, setting up first and second with no one out.  Piwinski then sacrificed the runners to second and third. After sophomore left fielder Eric Hsieh walked, loading the bases, junior first baseman Jacob Hunter hit into a fielder's choice and Adams was thrown out at home. Columbia would survive the inning with no runs given up.

Adams and his speed returned to the lineup for the first time since March 15th and he went 1-for 1 with two bases on balls in Game 1. Hsieh reached base in his eighth consecutive game with a base hit and a walk. Other Bulldogs that had base hits included O'Neill, Piwinski and freshman third baseman Brent Lawson.  Piwinski's base hit increased his hitting streak to four games.

In the second game of the doubleheader Hsieh continued his streak and reached base in his ninth consecutive game, finishing 3-for-4. Yale junior starter Michael Coleman surrendered single runs in the first three innings. Coleman falls to 1-4 on the season after scattering nine hits, walking one, and allowing  four runs (three earned).

In the second inning Piwinski threw out Crucet attempting to steal second.  Piwinski has thrown out a runner attempting to steal in three of Yale's last five games and has been solid defensively behind the plate.

Columbia took a 4-0 lead in the seventh inning before Yale cut into the deficit.  Freshman pinch hitter Chris Moates singled in two runs with two outs off reliever Mike Weisman . Both runs were charged to starter and winning pitcher Joey Donino. Hsieh scored after singling to left field and Cerfolio scored after pinch running for senior Josh Scharff (walk). The Bulldogs could not cut the deficit any further than 4-2 as Donino held them scoreless in the eighth and ninth inning and picked up a save.

Freshman righthander Chris Lanham had a strong relief outing for the Bulldogs, pitching 2 2/3 innings striking out three and allowing one earned run. Sophomore center fielder Green Campbell added a base hit for Yale.

The Bulldogs are back in action on Sunday when they host Ivy League foe Penn in a cross-division doubleheader. The first pitch is scheduled for noon.

Filed by Matt Yale, Yale Sports Publicity