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Bulldogs Split Doubleheader in Wild Fashion on Opening Day

Richard Slenker. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Richard Slenker. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

Yale Finishes Strong In High-Scoring Day

DAVIDSON, N.C. – On the opening day of the 150th season in the history of the Yale baseball program, there was not a shortage of offense, to say the least.

The Bulldogs split a doubleheader with Richmond and Davidson in two games played on Wilson Field, losing to the Spiders, 30-2, in the first game and handling the Wildcats, 22-3, in the second.

In two games played on the campus of Davidson College, the winning teams combined for 52 runs in an offensive explosion.

The highlights of the day were the strong pitching efforts by Bulldog starters Chris Lanham and Chris Moates, as well as the offensive onslaught in game two, which saw five Elis record multi-hit games as part of a 24-hit performance by the Yale offense.

"Never in my career as a player or a coach have I experienced a day like today. There simply are no words to describe how poorly we played in every aspect of the game against Richmond. We were historically bad," said Yale head coach John Stuper.

Stuper added, "That being said, I'm not sure I've ever been prouder of a team. They play that poorly and are beaten that badly, and bounce back and play a great game. It shows character. This is a funny game sometimes."

Game 1

The opening game of the season was a rough one for the Bulldogs, as the Elis showed some rust playing on a diamond not covered in snow for the first time in months, resulting in a 30-2 loss to Richmond.

Entering the game, the Spiders (6-4) had already played nine games, whereas the Bulldogs (0-1) last played in a regular season game back on May 4th of 2014 against Dartmouth.

Ace right-hander Chris Lanham (Houston, Texas) started the game for the Elis and threw 89 pitches in 4.2 innings on the mound, striking out five Richmond batters out of 24 faced.

Lanham, a Second-Team All-Ivy selection in 2014, was responsible for only two earned runs on Saturday, but the Spiders posted seven runs while he was in the game due to a costly error in the field during the fifth inning.

Senior catcher Robert Baldwin (Austin, Texas) picked up where he left off last season, hitting an RBI double to centerfield in the bottom half of the sixth, scoring two and providing Yale's only offense of the game.

Senior centerfielder Green Campbell (Shreveport, La.), junior second baseman Nate Adams (St. Louis, Mo.) and senior first baseman Eric Hsieh (Laguna Niguel, Calif.) each contributed one hit in the loss.

In the first four innings of the game, Lanham proved why he was tied for the most wins (seven) in the Ivy League a year ago. The junior hurler struck out five batters and allowed only one run on four hits.

After allowing a run and retiring two batters in the top of the fifth, a fielding error by junior outfielder Brent Lawson (Newport Beach, Calif.) opened the way for a 10-run inning by the Spiders, with only one earned run being charged to Lanham.

A three-run home run by Richmond's Kurtis Brown, followed with a double by Tyler Beckwith, was enough to pull Lanham. The Bulldogs used seven pitchers in the game, including three first-year players, allowing head coach John Stuper to get an initial look at his new arms.

Game 2

It seemed it would only take the Bulldogs one game to shake-off the apparent opening day rust, as the Elis disposed of Davidson in convincing fashion, 22-3, avenging the day's earlier blowout.

The Elis utilized a 14-run sixth inning and a six-run ninth to run over the Wildcats on their home field. Three Bulldog hitters had four hits in the game, including sophomore infielder Richard Slenker (Pound Ridge, N.Y.), Hsieh, and sophomore outfielder Harrison White (Laguna Niguel, Calif.).

Slenker was 4-of-7 at the plate with three RBI, while Hsieh was 4-of-6 with two RBI. Baldwin contributed three RBI of his own, knocking in five runners combined on Saturday.

Campbell was 2-for-2 at the plate with two RBI, two walks, and four runs scored. White, Campbell's fellow outfielder, was 4-for-5 at the dish with one RBI and two runs scored.

Junior righty Chris Moates (Smithville, Ga.), named Honorable Mention All-Ivy in 2014, threw a gem in his first start of the season. Moates threw six innings for the Bulldogs, allowing only two runs and scattering five hits. In his first start since the 2013 season, Moates struck out six and walked only two, picking up the win.

The Bulldogs had a 2-1 lead heading into the top half of the sixth before the offense erupted for 14 runs, highlighted by a two-RBI double by Campbell and an RBI single by White. The inning provided 10 hits for Yale and three errors for the Wildcats.

Yale would tack-on six more runs in the ninth, including an RBI single by Slenker.

Freshman Eric Brodkowitz (Potomac, Md.) pitched two strong innings in relief of Moates, throwing two scoreless innings with two strikeouts in his first collegiate appearance. Hsieh closed out the win for the Bulldogs in the ninth.

Sophomore infielder Derek Brown (Houston, Texas) also had a nice game for the Elis, going 2-for-7 with one RBI and two runs scored in the win.

The Bulldogs will have a rematch with the Wildcats on Sunday afternoon at 3:30 p.m. on Wilson Field. Live stats for the game can be found HERE. A live stream will also be available on the Atlantic 10 Network.

 

Filed by Steve Lewis, Yale Sports Publicity