DELAND, Flo. – Led by a strong start from Chris Lanham and an offensive explosion in the fifth inning, Yale defeated Stetson 10-2 for the first game of the three-game series. This brought the Bulldogs to an even 4-4 record and started their first win streak on the year.
As Coach John Stuper said after the game, Chris Lanham "led the way" and was "outstanding". In his second win of the year, he allowed just five hits and one earned run in eight full innings of work, surrendering no extra base hits.
Yale got on the scoreboard early and often in the contest. Nate Adams singled to open the game, and Eric Hsieh knocked him in with a double down the right field line. This continued Hsieh's hit streak, extending it to eight games. He then moved to third on a wild pitch, and scored on a sacrifice fly from Jacob Hunter.
In the second inning, Green Campbell singled to lead off the inning. Richard Slenker got his first of three hits on a single through the right side of the infield, advancing Campbell to third. Robert Baldwin did his job with a sacrifice fly to score Campbell, making the score 3-0.
Adams opened the third with another single. Hunter got on with an infield single, and the two of them moved up a base with a double-steal. Brent Lawson scored Adams on an infield error, extending the lead to 4-0.
Stetson countered in the bottom of the third, as the leadoff batter walked, moved to second on a ground ball, and scored on a single, making the score 4-1.
The fifth inning began auspiciously, as Baldwin smashed the first home run of Yale's season, which also extended his hit streak to six games. Hsieh and Hunter added singles, and Lawson walked to load the bases. Campbell came up clutch with a two-out single to score two runs and make the score 7-1. Cale Hanson snuck down a bunt single to load the bases, and Slenker smacked a double down the right field line to clear the bases and blow open the game. The Bulldogs batted around, and finished the inning at a score of 10-1.
Stetson didn't threaten much the rest of the way. In the bottom of the seventh, the Hatters scored one off an infield error, but it was the only run they could muster. Nate O'Leary finished the job in the ninth, and ended the game at 10-2.
Stuper said the game was "probably our most complete effort of the year." Offense and defense combined in a potent mix, with multi-hit games from five different Elis and only six total hits for Stetson.
But Stuper and the Bulldogs do not underestimate Stetson moving forward in the weekend. Said Stuper of Stetson's 6-13 record, "that's deceiving. They beat [No. 22] Miami this week and I guarantee they will be ready tomorrow."
Yale and Stetson play again Saturday at 3:00 PM EDT.
Report by Skylar Shibayama '16, Yale Sports Publicity