Ford And Brodkowitz Earn Wins On The Mound
PRINCETON, N.J. – Following a doubleheader sweep at Cornell on Sunday, the Yale baseball team responded on Monday, pulling out two wins against Princeton on a mostly cloudy afternoon at Clarke Field.
The Bulldogs (8-8, 2-2 Ivy) received stellar pitching performances from sophomore Chasen Ford (Lake Forest, Calif.) and freshman Eric Brodkowitz (Potomac, Md.) on their way to 2-1 and 8-3 victories over the Tigers.
"I couldn't be more proud of these guys, especially those two pitchers. I mean, a sophomore and a freshman, with our backs against the wall, they both pitched great," said head coach John Stuper. "They are both talented, this doesn't surprise me at all. They pounded the zone and gave us a chance to win."
Timely hitting also proved important for the Elis today, especially in game one. "We got some big hits today, ran the bases well, and just had an overall great effort today. I'm pleased with my bunch right now," added Stuper.
A brilliant pitching performance by Chasen Ford and clutch hitting from David Toups and Green Campbell helped the Bulldogs fight past the Tigers, 2-1, in a game that proved to be a pitching duel between the two starters.
Campbell's clutch two-out, RBI double in the seventh inning scored junior Tom O'Neill (Baltimore, Md.) from second base, giving Yale its first lead of the game. Behind Ford's strong six innings of work, the Elis would hang on, as freshman Mason Kukowski (Katy, Texas) picked up the save.
In his best outing of the season, Ford (Lake Forest, Calif.) pitched six innings, allowing only one earned run and four hits, while striking out a season-high eight batters. Between the third and sixth innings, Ford retired 10 straight hitters. The sophomore righty picked up his second win in 2015.
Toups went 1-for-3 at the plate, including the game-tying RBI single in the sixth inning, which scored Slenker from second base. Before that run, the Bulldogs had trailed 1-0 since the first inning.
Slenker chipped in going 2-for-3 at the dish with a run scored, while sophomore catcher Andrew Herrera (Allendale, N.J.) smacked a double in the win.
The Tigers struck first, with an RBI single by clean-up hitter, Peter Owens, to take a 1-0 lead in the first inning.
"To be honest, when they got the first one, I was thinking, here we go again," said Ford. "We had to win this game. It was as much of a must-win as you can have early in the Ivy season."
Ford would settle down tremendously in the following innings. As Princeton starter Keelan Smithers kept the Bulldogs scoreless, Ford kept Yale in the game.
Over his next five innings of work, Ford struck-out seven batters, while striking out the side in the fourth. He allowed only two hits in that stretch. "I just tried to focus on myself and what I had to do to keep us in the game," said Ford.
It wasn't until the sixth inning that Yale scored on Smithers. Slenker led-off with a single and moved to second on a groundball to second by Hsieh. Toups would then take a 1-1 pitch to right field, easily scoring Slenker to tie the game.
Adams and Herrera were both retired to start the seventh inning for Yale. With two outs, O'Neill was hit by a pitch and stole second a few pitches later, setting the stage for Campbell. The senior's double to left-center broke the tie.
"I've said it so many times this year; with our offense, as long as you give them a chance, we're going to come out on top," said Ford.
Kukowski converted his second save of the season, retiring the final two batters with runners on first and third, to end the ballgame.
Smithers (1-4) went 6.2 innings for the Tigers, allowing two earned runs on seven hits with five strike outs in the losing effort. The Princeton lefty was outdueled by Ford on Monday.
Much like the first game, pitching proved to be a stronghold for the Bulldogs until the offense broke the game open. In only his second collegiate start, Brodkowitz threw a complete game, allowing three runs with six strikeouts in Yale's 8-3 victory in game two.
The Bulldogs used a five-run eighth inning to pull ahead of the Tigers, giving Brodkowitz (1-1) enough offensive support to hold down Princeton.
Yale's freshman pitcher earned his first college win, throwing nine masterful innings against the Tigers. Brodkowitz allowed only two earned runs and walked one batter, limiting Princeton's number of base runners. The righty faced four or fewer batters in seven of the nine innings, showing complete command in the game.
Campbell and Toups continued their big days at the plate, as Campbell went 3-for-6 with an RBI and two runs scored, while the team captain was 2-for-5 with two RBI.
"I was just pounding the zone and trusted my fielders behind me. They made some great plays," said Brodkowitz. "Those five runs in the eighth really emphasized for me to pound the zone and get ahead."
Princeton would score first in the third inning on a sacrifice fly, taking a 1-0 lead. The Bulldogs answered back in the fifth, after back-to-back doubles by Campbell and White set up a sac fly by Slenker and an RBI single by Hsieh, making the score 2-1.
An RBI single by O'Neill in the sixth gave Brodkowitz an insurance run, pushing the Eli lead to 3-1. The Tigers added a run in the seventh, cutting the lead to 3-2.
In the five-run eighth, the Bulldogs would get singles from Adams, Campbell, White and Toups, while also being aided when Princeton's second baseman committed a throwing error, which plated two runs. Toups added an RBI single in the inning.
Brodkowitz held down the Tigers in the eighth and ninth, throwing the first complete game of the season for the Bulldogs.
"These are huge wins today for us. These are big wins for our confidence and for the sake of having a productive weekend," said Brodkowitz.
Yale's scheduled game with Sacred Heart on Tuesday at 3 p.m. has been cancelled. Follow yalebulldogs.com for further updates, as there might be a game added this week.
Filed by Steve Lewis, Yale Sports Publicity