Yale Scores Three in Ninth to Beat IPFW

March 10, 2005

Box Score

BRADENTON, Fla. - Sophomore second baseman Justin Ankney was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded and two out in the bottom of the ninth inning to score C.J. Orrico to complete a comeback from three runs down for the second time in the game to defeat IPFW 9-8 at Academy Park. The win was Yale's first of the season and halted a five-game IPFW win streak.

The Bulldogs (1-3) trailed 8-5 before rallying in the final two innings. In the eighth, Ankney singled his fourth hit of the game through the right side to score Zac Bradley, who reached on a one-out bunt single before the Elis scored three more in the ninth for the walk-off win.

Matt Stone got things started with a one-out walk, and pinch hitter Mike Gulker and catcher Eric Rasmussen drew walks to bring up Orrico, who had already hit a two-run homer in the game. Orrico fell behind 0-2, but then smashed a single to centerfield, tying the game with his 12th and 13th RBI in just four games.

The Mastodons (6-4) got the second out on a play at home to stop an attempted safety squeeze by the Bulldogs. After a balk moved Orrico from second to third and Chris Esper from first to second, IPFW intentionally walked Bradley to get to Ankney.

"Needless to say, that was a great win," said Yale head coach John Stuper. "I was very proud of the way we battled in that last inning. We hit very well, found other ways to get on base and never gave up."

Orrico drove in four runs and scored twice on three hits. Ankney scored three runs and knocked in three, one on a homer to lead off the fifth inning. Marc Sawyer was 3-for-4 with a double. The Elis notched 16 hits and have reached double digits every game. They are averaging nine runs per game.

Mike Elias (1-0) came on in the top of the ninth to get three outs on seven pitches, keeping the deficit manageable and eventually picking up the win. Jon Hollis provided a solid start, allowing three earned runs on five hits in five and two thirds innings. Keegan Laycock suffered the loss for IPFW.

Both teams got on the board in the first inning. A Tyler Fowler bloop single scored Zach Walton to put the Mastodons up 1-0, but Yale answered when Ankney singled, advanced to third on Sawyer's double and scored on a wild pitch.

IPFW built its first three-run lead with three runs in the third. Ryan Keena singled to score Dustin Fremion, and Fowler came in to score on the Bulldogs' only error of the day. Keena later scored from third when Yale tried to catch Caleb Smith stealing second.

Consecutive singles by Ankney, Sawyer and John Janco to start the Yale third made the score 4-2, and Ankney's solo blast to start the fifth made it 4-3. Sean Kirk singled to bring home Smith in the top of the sixth to push the Mastodon lead back to two.

Rasmussen was hit by a pitch to lead off the bottom of the frame, setting the stage for Orrico's tying shot over the rightfield fence. It looked like Yale might take the lead as three of the next four Bulldogs reached to load the bases, but a strikeout and a popup left the game tied.

In the IPFW seventh, Keena homered to left for two and Brandon Armstrong tripled to plate another run to make it 8-5. Fremion led off the eighth with a single, but Colin Ward-Henninger came on to record a strikeout, and Rasmussen threw out two runners trying to steal.

Six pitchers saw action for the Bulldogs. Hollis recorded six of the team's nine strikeouts, four in the first two innings.

IPFW starter Trevor Carpenter surrendered two runs on six hits in three innings.

report by Casey Hart, Yale Sports Publicity

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