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Yale Earns 7-3 Win Over Wesleyan in Historic Matchup

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

Bulldogs Riding Three-Game Winning Streak

WEST HAVEN, Conn. – In the 2015 edition of a rivalry that dates back to 1865, the Yale baseball team beat Wesleyan, 7-3, on Tuesday afternoon behind the pitching of freshman Drew Scott and the 11-hit assault of the Bulldogs.

In the 150th anniversary season of the 1865 game between Yale and Wesleyan, the first game ever played by each program, it was the Elis (13-21, 4-12 Ivy) who repeated the result of that September day, 150 years ago.

"I thought about it a lot, it's pretty significant and very historic," said senior captain David Toups (Houston, Texas) after the win. "It's the great tradition that is Yale baseball."

Toups joked, "It's nice to pick-up the win. I know the first game they played, Yale scored thirty-something runs, unfortunately we couldn't do that again, but it's nice to get the win." Yale beat Wesleyan in 1865 by the score of 39-13.

Scott (Henrico, Va.) had the answer for a tough Wesleyan lineup, which came to Yale Field with a combined .303 batting average this season in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC).

Yale's freshman righty picked up his first win of the season after going seven strong innings against the Cardinals, allowing just three runs and five hits, while striking out three. Scott also had run support, as the Bulldogs posted five runs in the first inning off Wesleyan starter, Wilson Flower.

"It's a lot easier to pitch when you're up, you can just go at hitters," said Scott. "At the point when we were up by five, they can't hit a five-run home run, so you're more relaxed."

Four Eli batters had multiple hits in the game, including Toups, who went 2-for-3 with two doubles and two RBI. Senior Eric Hsieh (Laguna Niguel, Calif.) continued his All-American caliber season going 3-for-4 with two runs and two stolen bases.

Junior Nate Adams (St. Louis, Mo.) and sophomore Harrison White (Laguna Niguel, Calif.) each had two hits in the game, while sophomore Richard Slenker (Pound Ridge, N.Y.) had an RBI double in the victory.

With the win, Yale matched a season-long three-game winning streak, which it last achieved in the first week of the season against George Mason, Towson and Rhode Island.

The Bulldogs jumped out on Flower early, putting up five runs on five hits in the first inning. Yale started the game with four straight hits, as the first seven batters reached base. White's RBI single down the left field line scored Adams, the first run of the game.

Senior Green Campbell (Shreveport, La.) and White both scored on a fielding error by Wesleyan second baseman, Andrew Yin, as senior Robert Baldwin (Austin, Texas) reached base on the play. Toups added an RBI double in the next at-bat as part of the offensive explosion.

That was all the run support Scott needed, as the freshman allowed only two base runners in the first four innings, both by way of a walk. It wasn't until an RBI groundout by Nick Miceli in the fifth inning scored Wesleyan's first run.

Scott retired the Cardinals in order in three different innings, while limiting Wesleyan's scoring chances. The Cardinals left only four runners on base throughout the game, as the offense posted just five hits and earned three walks off Yale pitchers.

"I felt pretty good. My pitches were working and the defense played really well, without an error today," said Scott. "I was just throwing to get contact and the batters were making the outs."

Back-to-back RBI doubles by Toups and Slenker in the bottom of the fifth inning pushed Yale's lead to 7-1, giving Scott even more breathing room.

Wesleyan tacked on two more runs in the seventh off Scott, but only narrowed the Bulldog lead to 7-3 and would not get closer.

Freshman relief specialist Mason Kukowski (Katy, Texas) pitched two dominant innings out of the bullpen, sealing the victory for the Elis. Kukowski had two strikeouts and faced the minimum six batters in his two innings on the hill.

Yale returns to action on Friday for a doubleheader with Brown, beginning at 1 p.m. It will be Senior Day for seven players on the Bulldog roster, as they play their final games at Yale Field. On Saturday, the Bulldogs will travel to play Brown in a doubleheader, which will wrap-up the 2015 season.

 

Filed by Steve Lewis, Yale Sports Publicity