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Yale's Hitting Display Buries Hartford, 23-8

David Toups. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
David Toups. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

Seven-Run Fifth Inning Highlights Yale Victory

WEST HARTFORD, Conn. – Eric Hsieh's 5-for-5 performance at the plate was just one part of the 23-run, 22-hit offensive explosion by the Yale baseball team in its 23-8 trouncing of Hartford on Tuesday afternoon at Fiondella Field.

On a bitter-cold day with vicious winds that more than once caused errors and misplays in the field, the Bulldogs (5-4) beat-up on the Hawks' pitching staff, scoring multiple runs in five innings, including a seven-run fifth.

Junior right-hander Chris Lanham (Houston, Texas) picked up the win on the mound for Yale, throwing seven innings, while scattering six earned runs and 10 hits in his third start of the season.

"His stat line won't show how good he was today, but with the cold temperature and how hard the wind was blowing, he was heroic just for getting it over the plate," said Yale head coach John Stuper.

Lanham received a massive amount of run support, easing the burden on him through his outing. Seven Bulldog batters had multiple hits, including senior Eric Hsieh's second game this season going 5-for-5.

"I'm just trying to stay within myself and I'm seeing the ball well, I guess," said Hsieh of his recent hitting clinics. "I'm just swinging through the ball, not trying to do anything too big."

Hsieh raised his batting average from .448 to .529 on Tuesday, easily the highest on the team. In Hsieh's other two at-bats on Tuesday, he walked and was hit by a pitch.

The Elis received a lot of other hitting support, especially from freshman Tom Ruddy (Sparta, N.J.) and sophomore Andrew Herrera (Allendale, N.J.). Ruddy had a career-day, going 4-for-7 with two RBI and two runs scored, while Herrera went 2-for-5 and recorded a team-high five RBI.

Senior Green Campbell (Shreveport, La.) also had a strong game as the leadoff hitter for the Elis, going 3-for-7 with three RBI and four runs scored. Sophomore Derek Brown (Houston, Texas) and senior captain David Toups (Houston, Texas) contributed two hits each to Yale's offensive display.

"I think we were really disciplined today, swinging at the pitches we should be swinging at," said Hsieh. "Hitting is contagious and once a few guys start doing it, then others felt more comfortable."

Leading 9-3 in the top of the fifth, the Bulldogs broke the game wide-open by scoring seven in the frame. Campbell, White, and Slenker each walked to start the inning, which loaded the bases for an RBI single by Hsieh, followed with an RBI walk by Brown.

In the next at-bat, a fielding error by Hartford first baseman David MacKinnon allowed Toups to reach base and Slenker and Hsieh to score. Three batters later, a two-RBI double by Ruddy down the left field line made it 16-5, giving Lanham more than enough of a cushion on the hill.

The Elis would follow the seven-spot in the fifth with five more runs in the sixth due to a two-RBI double by Herrera and an RBI single by Campbell.

The Bulldogs were putting up runs right from the start of the game, scoring five in the first inning and causing Hartford to change pitchers after Hawks' starter Anthony Rovasio threw only 0.1 innings. A bases-clearing double by Herrera provided three of Yale's five runs, putting them ahead 5-0 before Lanham touched the ball.

After allowing three runs in the first inning, Lanham settled down, allowing only three more runs over the next six innings. Hartford left 10 runners on base, as Lanham provided solid innings of work while the Yale hitters were lighting up the scoreboard.

Senior lefty Nate O'Leary (Manteca, Calif.) and freshman Tyler Duncan (Newport Beach, Calif.) pitched in relief of Lanham, combining for two innings of work out of the bullpen.

Sophomore Harrison White (Laguna Niguel, Calif.) continued his hot streak on Tuesday, going 2-for-3 with an RBI and two runs scored while hitting out of the second spot as the designated hitter.

It is the second game this season that the Yale offense has recorded over 20 hits (23 hits in 22-3 win over Davidson on March 7).

The Bulldogs return to action on Thursday when they travel back to Fiondella Field in Hartford to play UMass-Lowell at the neutral site. First pitch is scheduled for 3:30 p.m.

 

Filed by Steve Lewis, Yale Sports Publicity