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Baldwin Impresses in Return as Bulldogs Swept by Penn

Richard Slenker (photo by Alexandra Schmeling '16)
Richard Slenker (photo by Alexandra Schmeling '16)

Yale Drops Two To Penn On Saturday

WEST HAVEN, Conn. – The Yale baseball team proved unable to find a consistent offensive rhythm in Saturday afternoon's doubleheader against Penn, getting swept by the Quakers, 8-1 and 17-5, in two games played at Yale Field.

The Bulldogs (8-11, 2-4 Ivy) hosted their first Ivy League opponent of the season and were met with the powerful bats of the Quakers, who recorded 25 runs and 30 hits in both games combined.

It was not for a lack of opportunities, however, as the Elis stranded 19 base runners on Saturday, which included leaving the bases loaded on several occasions. Yale had 17 hits in the two games, but had trouble finding the hits when runners were in scoring position.

Junior pitchers Chris Lanham (Houston, Texas) and Chris Moates (Smithville, Ga.) did enough in their starts to keep Yale in the game, but Penn's offense was too persistent on the afternoon.

The return of senior catcher Robert Baldwin (Austin, Texas) provided a shining light for the Bulldogs, who had been without their four-year All-Ivy player since March 10th. Baldwin went 3-for-3 with two RBI and two runs scored in game two, his first start since a 13-3 loss at Duke.

Game 1

Senior captain David Toups (Houston, Texas) delivered an RBI double, Yale's only offense, in the fifth inning of game one's 8-1 loss to Penn, as Lanham went five innings on the mound for the Elis and picked up the loss.

The Bulldogs stranded 12 base runners in the game, which included leaving the bases loaded in the second and sixth innings. Yale was unable to produce a run in either inning to help Lanham, who allowed four earned runs (seven total) and nine hits in his outing.

Lanham (2-3) struck-out four and walked only one over five innings, but allowed a third-inning grand slam, which allowed Penn to jump out to a 4-0 lead, and the Quakers never looked back.

Senior Green Campbell (Shreveport, La.) was 2-for-4 with one run for the Bulldogs, while freshman Tom Ruddy (Sparta, N.J.) also contributed two hits. Toups was 1-for-3 with his RBI double.

Trailing 4-0 in the top of the fifth, Lanham had two outs and forced a groundball to third, which was fielded by sophomore Richard Slenker (Pound Ridge, N.Y.) before committing a throwing error, keeping the inning alive for the Quakers.

In the next two at-bats, Penn would get an RBI triple from Matt McKinnon and an RBI double by Jeff McGarry, producing three runs in the process and taking a 7-0 advantage, with all runs charged as unearned to Lanham.

Two innings previously, Lanham surrendered two singles and a walk to begin the third, which would set the stage for the game-changing grand slam by Penn's Matt Greskoff.

The Bulldogs loaded the bases in the sixth inning, down 8-1, with one out after a walk by sophomore Andrew Herrera (Allendale, N.J.) and singles by Ruddy and Campbell. Pinch-hitting for sophomore Harrison White (Laguna Niguel, Calif.), Baldwin fouled out to third base, followed by Slenker grounding back to the pitcher, ending the threat.

In the second inning, the Bulldogs loaded the bases with no outs, which was followed by Herrera, Ruddy, and junior Tom O'Neill (Baltimore, Md.) being retired in order without a run to show for it.

Game 2

In his first start in nearly a month, Baldwin put on a stellar hitting performance, going 3-for-3 with two RBI and two runs scored in Yale's 17-5 loss to Penn in game two.

Baldwin crushed two doubles, one to right center and one to left center, while adding an RBI single to his hitting clinic, but the Quakers offense proved to be too much to overcome. Penn had 20 hits in the game and utilized a seven-run, six-hit eighth inning to take total control.

Moates (1-2) went six innings for the Elis, allowing seven earned runs and nine hits while striking out five in his outing. The junior posted four scoreless innings, allowing six of the seven runs in the fourth and fifth innings combined.

Baldwin got the start at first base and hit out of the five-spot for the Bulldogs in his return from a minor knee injury. The Yale senior hadn't played since the Elis took on Duke back on March 10th in Durham, N.C.

Senior Eric Hsieh (Laguna Niguel, Calif.), the team leader in batting average, went 2-for-4 with two runs scored, as part of a 3-for-5 day on Saturday. Freshman catcher Alex Boos (Indianapolis, Ind.) went 2-for-4 in his best hitting performance of the season, chipping in with an RBI single in sixth inning.

The Bulldogs jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the second inning, when Hsieh singled and Baldwin knocked him in by pounding a double to the right-center field gap. A sacrifice fly later in the inning by freshman Mikey Sliepka (Houston, Texas) put the Elis ahead by two.

The Quakers answered back in the fourth, getting a two-out RBI double by Jonah Campbell, nodding-up the score, 2-2. Baldwin led-off the bottom half with a double, but was left on base. Yale stranded seven runners in game two.

Penn's four-run fifth inning off of Moates, which included a solo home run by Matt McKinnon and a three-run shot by Mitch Montaldo, pushed the Quakers ahead, 6-2.

It was Yale's turn to respond, as the Bulldogs pieced together a three-run, three-hit sixth inning, cutting the lead to 6-5. RBI singles by Baldwin and Boos, as well as a sacrifice fly by junior Nate Adams (St. Louis, Mo.), narrowed the Penn lead.

Down 6-5, the Bulldogs had a chance to take the lead in the sixth, when Campbell came to the plate with two outs and runners on second and third, but the senior struck-out to end the inning.

Montaldo led-off the seventh inning with another home run, this time a solo shot, off Moates to stretch the lead to 7-5. From there, the Quakers scored 10 more runs in the final three innings off senior Nate O'Leary (Manteca, Calif.), freshman Tyler Duncan (Newport Beach, Calif.), and Hsieh to add onto the final score.

Montaldo finished the game going 3-for-6 with five RBI, while McKninnon was 2-for-6 with four RBI for the Quakers.

Slenker, Toups, and junior Brent Lawson (Newport Beach, Calif.) each added a hit for the Bulldogs in the loss.

Yale returns to the diamond on Easter Sunday to host Columbia in an Ivy League doubleheader at Yale Field. First pitch against the Lions is scheduled for 12 p.m. and can be followed on live stats or the audio stream provided by Yale All-Access on the Ivy League Digital Network.

 

Filed by Steve Lewis, Yale Sports Publicity