Bulldogs Win Five Of Last Seven To Finish Season
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – On the final day of the 150th season, the Yale baseball team split a doubleheader with Brown in two hard-fought games at Murray Stadium on Saturday afternoon, wrapping-up the 2015 schedule.
The Bulldogs (15-23, 6-14 Ivy) earned a 4-2 win in the first game, behind a strong pitching performance by sophomore Chasen Ford (Lake Forest, Calif.), but fell, 9-6, in game two despite a furious comeback attempt.
Six Eli batters had multiple hits in the second game, including junior Nate Adams (St. Louis, Mo.), who led Yale with a 3-for-5 game, adding an RBI and two runs scored to his line.
Yale split the four-game series with Brown this weekend, the Bulldogs' second straight Ivy split with a Rolfe Division opponent (Harvard last weekend).
"Overall, we had a pretty good weekend. We won five of our last seven games, so hopefully that points toward brighter things next year," said head coach John Stuper.
Six dominant innings on the mound for Chasen Ford, coupled with multi-hit games by Eric Hsieh and Alex Boos, helped the Bulldogs earn a 4-2 victory in the first game of Saturday's doubleheader with the Bears.
A solo home run by sophomore Richard Slenker (Pound Ridge, N.Y.) highlighted the Eli offense in the early game, sailing over the left-center field fence in the second inning off Brown starter, Reid Anderson. It was Slenker's second homer of the season.
Hsieh (Laguna Niguel, Calif.) was 2-for-4, while Boos (Indianapolis, Ind.) went 2-for-2 with a double and one RBI. With the win, the Bulldogs had won five of their previous six games, the best six-game stretch of the season.
"The main thing was that I was pounding with the fastball and I got ahead of a lot of batters," said Ford, who turned in his second straight solid outing for the Bulldogs. "I tried to keep the ball low in the zone and mix-in a few good change-ups and keep the hitters off-balance."
Ford allowed just two runs on six hits, while striking out six and walking only one in six innings of work. Between the third and fifth innings, Ford retired nine straight batters, maintaining the Yale lead.
"He pitched really well. In the fourth and fifth innings, he locked in and stayed low in the zone. He executed his pitches on both sides of the plate," said Boos, who caught for Ford. "The hitters weren't able to get their timing down. He was always getting ahead of batters and threw all his pitches for strikes."
Freshman Mason Kukowski (Katy, Texas) pitched a scoreless seventh in relief of Ford, picking up his fourth save of the season.
In addition to Slenker's home run, the Bulldogs also had three other extra-base hits, with doubles by Boos, sophomore Derek Brown (Houston, Texas), and sophomore Harrison White (Laguna Niguel, Calif.), to aid the offensive attack.
The Bulldogs struck first, as Slenker launched his shot as the lead-off hitter in the second inning, making it 1-0 Yale. In the next at-bat, Brown hit a double to right-center, and was knocked-in two batters later when Boos smacked a single up the middle.
"I've been working on my approach at the plate and was just trying to see a fastball early in the count and get my timing down," said Boos, who recorded his third multi-hit game of the season. "I just tried to hit it hard somewhere, keep it simple."
Yale tacked on two more in the fifth when Boos led-off the inning with a double, and later scored on a throwing error by Anderson. Two batters later, White hit an RBI double down the right field line, plating junior Nate Adams (St. Louis, Mo.) and making it 4-0.
The Bears received RBI hits from Marc Sredojevic and Dan Kerr in the sixth inning off Ford, the only offense they mustered off the Bulldog sophomore.
Ahead 4-2, Kukowski ran into some trouble in the final inning, as the Bears had runners on first and third with two outs. Yale's relief specialist responded, striking out Brown's Noah Shulman to end the game.
"Mason has been lights-out all year. He struggled early-on with his command and throwing his fastball, but he threw a couple sliders to keep the hitters off-balance. His slider was really working today," said Boos.
Despite an inspired comeback attempt in Saturday's second game, Brown's five-run lead after four innings was too much to overcome, as the Bulldogs ultimately fell, 9-6, in the season finale at Murray Stadium.
Yale had the tying run at the plate in the ninth inning with two outs, but a deep fly-out by Hsieh to left ended the game. Brown starter Austin French picked up the win, while Dave St. Lawrence got the save.
Six Bulldog hitters recorded multi-hit games in Yale's 15-hit attack, including Adams' 3-for-5 performance. Hsieh was 2-for-6 with an RBI and two runs scored, while Slenker and Toups were each 2-for-5 with an RBI.
Yale starter Eric Brodkowitz (Potomac, Md.) surrendered six earned runs (eight total) on nine hits with four strikeouts in 3.2 innings of work. Brodkowitz picked up the loss, falling to 3-3 on the season.
Freshman pitcher Drew Scott (Henrico, Va.) provided 4.1 strong innings in relief of Brodkowitz, allowing just one run on four hits, keeping the Bulldogs in the game.
"Eric struggled a little bit, but Drew picked him up and did a great job under pressure," said Stuper. "We're going to have some more depth next year with some incoming arms, and those two are going to be an important part of our staff."
Junior outfielder Brent Lawson (Newport Beach, Calif.) went 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored for the Bulldogs in his 10th start of the season.
The Bulldogs scored twice in the first inning, with help from three errors by Brown. Slenker's RBI double scored Adams, the first run of the game. Hsieh later scored when Boos hit a groundball to short, which was muffed by Brown's Brian Ginsberg.
Trailing 2-0 in the first inning, Brown responded with three runs of its own in the bottom half off Brodkowitz. A two-run home run by Will Marcal gave the Bears a 3-2 lead.
Brown scored twice more in the second, when Ginsberg hit an RBI double, later scoring on a passed ball, making it 5-2.
An RBI double by Lawson in the third scored Boos, cutting the Brown lead to 5-3. Lawson, Hsieh and Slenker each hit a double for the Bulldogs in game two.
Brodkowtiz surrendered a three-run home run to Brown' Jake Levine in the fourth inning, making it 8-3 and cutting the freshman's outing short. Scott finished the inning, as the Bulldogs trailed by five.
In the next three innings, Scott held the Bears scoreless, keeping the Elis in the game and giving his team a chance to chip-away at the lead. RBI hits by Hsieh and Toups in the sixth inning narrowed the deficit to 8-5.
An RBI fielder's choice by Adams in the seventh inning cut the lead to just 8-6, putting Yale within two runs of a once five-run deficit.
"The second game showed what Nate Adams can do. He wreaks havoc on the base path. He had a couple hits, he can go from first to third…he was a main contributor," said Stuper.
A solo home run by Brown's Noah Shulman in the eighth inning, the only run allowed by Scott, pushed the lead to 9-6.
The Bears used their senior closer, Dave St. Lawrence, in the ninth inning. White and Adams both reached base on singles, setting the stage for Hsieh with two outs and two runners on. However, the senior flied out to deep left, ending the game.
"There are a lot of positives. We didn't quit, even when we were down 8-3. We just couldn't deliver the big hit in this game," said Stuper.
Stuper also addressed his senior players after the game. "They have been a great group of seven kids who lived and died Yale baseball. I'm going to miss all seven of them."
Filed by Steve Lewis, Yale Sports Publicity