March 17, 2007
CLEARWATER, Fla.--The Yale baseball team's Florida trip got off to a rocky start at Jack Russell Stadium on Saturday. The Bulldogs (5-6) dropped a pair of games, 11-3 to Miami (Ohio) (7-7) and 9-7 to Northern Iowa (9-8).
Yale fell behind 4-0 after two innings against Miami. The Bulldogs loaded the bases with one out in the top of the fourth, but Miami starter Connor Graham struck out Trygg Larsson-Danforth and Trey Rallis to end the threat. The RedHawks increased their lead to 8-0 with four runs in the bottom of the fourth.
The Bulldogs cut their deficit to 8-3 with three runs in the top of the sixth. Marc Sawyer walked to start the inning, then Ryan Lavarnway and Charles Bush belted back-to-back singles. After Graham struck out the next two Yale hitters, Rallis drew a walk to bring home Sawyer. The next batter was Josh Cox, who belted a two-run single. The Miami bullpen yielded just two hits over the final three innings to put away the victory.
Brian Irving (0-2) started for the Bulldogs and took the loss. Chris Finneran was effective in 4.2 innings of relief. Cox was the only Yale player with multiple hits, going 2-for-5. Miami's Chris Nadeau went 2-for-4 with three RBIs and three runs scored. Eric Darlage and Brandon Hillier each went 3-for-5 for the RedHawks. Graham (2-1) struck out seven in five innings to earn the win.
In game two, Northern Iowa took a 3-1 lead into the bottom of the fourth before the Bulldogs put up three runs to take the lead. Sawyer singled to leadoff the inning, then came across on Bush's single. Bush stole home with Cox at the plate to tie the game. Cox gave Yale the lead when he smacked an RBI double to right.
Steve Gilman walked the leadoff man in the top of the fifth, but quickly got the next two hitters. After Duane Embury singled, Gilman threw a wild pitch while intentionally walking Brett Featherston, bringing home the tying run. Eric Hoffman then hit a high popup to short that would have ended the inning, but Rallis lost it in the sun and the go-ahead run scored. Travis Hendrix walked, then Jordan Kraayenbrink belted a two-run single up the middle to give the Panthers a 7-4 edge.
Yale came up in the bottom of the ninth trailing 9-5. P.J. Gorynski roped a leadoff single before the next two batters flied to left. Lavarnway kept the Bulldogs alive with a single, then Bush walked to load the bases. With the game on the line, Head Coach John Stuper called on Pedro Obregon to pinch hit against left-hander Taylor Sinclair. Northern Iowa countered by bringing in righty Bryan Westphal, so Obregon was called back and the left-handed hitting Larsson-Danforth came to the plate. The freshman delivered with a double to right that brought home two runs. The comeback effort ended one batter later when pinch hitter Cody Slape flied to right to end the game.
Gilman (1-1) took the hard-luck loss after tossing six solid innings. Cox, Sawyer and Lavarnway all went 3-for-5 in the game, and Sawyer crossed home three times. Embury was 4-for-5 with two runs for the Panthers. Adam McDermott (2-1) got Northern Iowa out of the fourth inning to earn the victory.
The Bulldogs are back in action Sunday at 2:30 p.m., when they meet Illinois at IMG Academy in Bradenton.
Report filed by Joe Clifford, Yale Sports Publicity