Senior Captain Goes 4-for-5 to Lift Yale to Game 2 Win
WEST HAVEN, Conn. — The Yale University baseball team put together two of the best wins of the season on Senior Day to help send off the team's three seniors with a doubleheader sweep of Brown with a 4-3 win in eight innings in Game 1 and a 9-3 win in Game 2 on Friday at Yale Field.
With the victories, Yale improves to 11-25 overall and 8-10 in Ivy League play. Brown falls to 5-30 overall and 3-15 in Ivy League play.
Between the two games, Yale paid tribute to its seniors, including team captain Chris Piwinski, outfielder Cam Squires and designated hitter Josh Scharff, as well as team manager and bullpen catcher Zach Kafoglis. The three senior players would all play a big part in the victories in the final homestand of their Yale careers.
In Game 1, Yale jumped out to a 2-0 lead thanks to an RBI single by sophomore right fielder Joe Lubanski and a wild pitch that allowed Lubanski to score the second run with two outs.
Brown tied the game in the top of the fifth inning on a two-run single by right fielder Will Marcal, and the score stayed that way through the end of the regulation seven innings. That's when the fireworks began.
With the game in extra innings, Brown struck first with a run in the top of the eighth inning. Second baseman Tim McKeithan led off with a double and Marcal was intentionally walked. Yale junior pitcher Cale Hanson then relieved Chris Moates and retired Brown catcher Wes Van Boom on a sacrifice bunt that pushed both runners into scoring position. First baseman Cody Slaughter then followed with a sacrifice fly that pushed home McKeithan with the go-ahead run, giving Brown a 3-2 lead. Hanson then retired third baseman Nate Kukowski on a grounder to shortstop for the final out of the inning to end the Brown threat.
Yale did not give up after Brown took the lead. Sophomore left fielder Eric Hsieh led off with an infield single and advanced to second on a single by junior first baseman Jacob Hunter. Freshman outfielder Nate Adams entered the game as a pinch hitter and loaded the bases with an infield single. With one out, sophomore second baseman David Toups tied the game with a fielder's choice that pushed home Hsieh with the tying run.
Now with two outs, Lubanski was down to his final strike when he flared an 0-2 pitch down the left field line. The ball landed on the foul line, kicking up chalk and pushing in Hunter with the winning run.
Junior starting pitcher Rob Cerfolio threw seven strong innings in the no-decision, striking out three Brown batters while allowing seven hits and just two runs. Hanson's (1-2) one inning of work was enough to earn his first win of the season.
In Game 1, Squires was the only senior to pick up a hit in his 1-for-3 outing, but Scharff went 0-for-2 with a walk. Lubanski went 2-for-4 with two RBIs and a run scored, while Hunter and Lawson both went 2-for-4 with a run scored to lead the Bulldogs in the opening victory.
In Game 2, Piwinski came through for the Bulldogs in a big way, going 4-for-5 with an RBI and a run scored in his final home game, lifting the Bulldogs to the sweep in a game that was never in doubt.
Yale used a four-run third inning to open up a 6-1 lead, and it never looked back, adding single runs in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings to secure the 9-3 lead.
Junior right-hander Michael Coleman (3-4) pitched a complete game, his first of the season, striking out four Brown batters. He scattered 10 hits while allowing only two earned runs.
All three seniors picked up hits in the win. Scharff went 2-for-5 with a run scored, while Squires went 1-for-3 with an RBI ground-rule double in the second inning.
Aside from Piwinski's big game, Hsieh also came up big for the Bulldogs, going 3-for-4 with a double and two runs scored. Toups went 2-for-4 with a double, two RBIs and two runs scored, while Lawson went 1-for-3 with two RBIs.
The two teams will meet again on Saturday, this time in Providence as Yale will visit Brown for a doubleheader to close out the 2013 season, with the first pitch scheduled for 1 p.m.
Report filed by Jon Erickson Jr., Yale Sports Publicity