March 16, 2009
TOWSON, Md. - After an impromptu four-day layoff due to inclement weather in Richmond, the Yale baseball team finally resumed its spring trip on Monday afternoon at John B. Schuerholz Park in Towson, Md. The Eli bats continued to hit, to the tune of 13 on the day, but the pitching staff struggled as the host Towson Tigers rolled past Yale, 13-6, in game one of a three-game series.
The Bulldogs were led offensively by sophomore right fielder Andrew Kolmar, who smacked his first home run of the season, as five Elis racked up two hits on the day. However, Towson leadoff man Gary Helmick hit for the cycle to lead a Tigers' offense that pounded 17 hits, including 10 for extra bases. Yale fell to 2-4 with the loss, while Towson improved to 10-7.
Towson benefited from an unearned run to the open the scoring in the bottom of the first inning. Helmick led off the frame with a base-hit and, after an Elis' fielding error extended the inning, crossed the plate on a balk. Consecutive doubles to start the bottom of the third put the Tigers on the board again and, after Yale senior starter Brandon Josselyn retired the next two batters, a single by catcher Jason Stifler plated the home team's third run of the contest.
The Yale offense was not without it chances, as the Bulldogs left runners in scoring position in three of the first four stanzas. Towson starter Ben Winter was far from dominant in the early innings, but was the beneficiary of two inning-ending double plays.
The Elis finally got through to Winter in the fifth inning, as sophomore shortstop Gant Elmore started a two-out rally with a double down the right field line. After Elmore advanced to third on a wild pitch and senior center fielder Stefan Schropp drew a walk, junior first baseman Trygg Larsson-Danforth roped a single to give Yale its first run. The Elis then knotted the score at 3-3 courtesy of a triple by sophomore third baseman Andy Megee that plated Schropp and Larsson-Danforth.
The deadlock was short-lived, however, as the Tigers answered with four runs in their half of the fifth to close the book on Josselyn. Third baseman Steve Yarsinsky led off with a walk then scored on a double by the next batter, first baseman Matt Collins. An RBI double by Stifler and a two-run home run by left fielder Aaron Gabrielian ended the Yale hurler's day with none down in the fifth. Sophomore Will Stratton came on in relief and surrendered two runs on a roundtripper by Helmick before retiring the side with Towson holding a six-run lead, 9-3.
The Bulldogs got two back in the next half inning, courtesy of a home run by sophomore right fielder Andrew Kolmar. Senior catcher Davis Stanley doubled prior to the Kolmar blast, and the Elis went to the bottom half of the sixth inning trailing 9-5.
Yale put another dent in the Towson lead in the seventh frame, as Megee reached on an error and stole second to put himself in scoring position with no outs. A single after a tough at-bat by freshman left fielder Charlie Neil moved Megee to third, and the Elis' third baseman then crossed the plate on a double-play ball to make the score 9-6.
The Tigers put the Bulldogs away in their half of seventh, plating three runs on a Yarsinsky base hit and a Stifler two-run shot. Towson added another in the eighth, courtesy of a single from right fielder Austin Harclerode to run the score to its eventual final of 13-6.
Josselyn tossed four innings for the Bulldogs, surrendering 10 hits and six earned runs to fall to 1-2. Winter scattered nine hits and three earned runs over five innings to notch the win in his first career decision.
The Elis and Tigers will play two more games at Schuerholz Park to wrap up the series tomorrow and Wednesday. First pitch for both contests is scheduled for 2:30 p.m.
report filed by Drew M. Kingsley, Yale Sports Publicity