March 17, 2009
TOWSON, Md. - "Great pitching, solid fielding and timely hitting". That is the stated expectation of John Stuper, Mazzuto Family Head Coach for Baseball, for his 2009 Yale Bulldogs. On Tuesday afternoon at Towson, the Elis delivered in all three departments for their head coach. Sophomore Vinny Lally allowed just four hits in five innings of work to earn the win, and four different Bulldogs drove in runs as Yale rolled past the host Towson Tigers by a score of 8-2.
"Once again, it all came down to the guy on the mound. Vinny was great today against a good hitting team in a hitters' park," said Stuper.
Lally struck out five batters and walked four in the contest to improve to 1-1. He surrendered just two runs, both of them earned, to headline a combined pitching performance that held Towson, which pounded out 17 hits in a 13- win yesterday, to just six hits on the afternoon. Junior Robert Gruber gave up two hits in three innings of relief work, and freshman Eric Shultz closed the door with a hitless ninth.
Yale, now 3-4 on the young season, was led offensively by sophomore third baseman Andy Megee, who batted 4-for-5 with two runs scored and two stolen bases, falling a home run shy of hitting for the cycle. Junior first baseman Trygg Larsson-Danforth and freshman catcher Ryan Brenner each hit two-run homers for Yale, and sophomore designated hitter Andrew Moore had a two-run double and a stolen base.
"Our guys came through with several clutch hits," said Stuper. "Andrew Moore's double was the biggest hit of the day."
After each team went down in order in the first inning, the Tigers broke the scoreless deadlock in the next frame. First baseman Matt Collins led off with a double and advanced to third on a groundout. Second baseman Chris Wychock then knocked him in with a squeeze attempt that turned into a base hit. The Elis clamped down to get out of the frame without further damage, as Lally induced a lazy fly out and Brenner gunned down Wychock attempting to steal second to retire the side.
The Elis got through to Towson starter Tyler Austin for a pair of runs in the top of the fourth inning. Megee led off with a double to left field, and Brenner followed with a two-run shot down the left field line to give Yale a 2-1 lead.
The Tigers evened the score in the fifth inning, though they were still unable to make solid contact against Lally. Shortstop Gary Hemlick drew a leadoff walk and stole second to put himself in scoring position. After a fly out moved Helmick to third, a pop-up by first baseman Steve Yarsinsky found daylight between three hard-charging Elis to plate Helmick and knot the score at 2-2.
The deadlock was short-lived, however, as the Bulldogs responded in the top of the sixth frame with two more runs to take a 4-2 lead. Larsson-Danforth started the rally with a leadoff walk. Megee singled, and he and Larsson-Danforth both moved 90 feet on a wild pitch. Larsson-Danforth was erased at the plate on a Brenner groundout, but heads-up baserunning by Megee and Brenner kept Yale in striking distance. Moore cashed in on the RBI opportunity with a double to right field that plated Megee and Brenner.
Gruber came on in relief of Lally and hurled three scoreless innings, inducing inning-ending double plays in all three frames, to bring the contest into the ninth with the score still at 4-2 in favor of the Bulldogs. Yale extended its lead in the final frame, tacking four runs onto its lead. Freshman shortstop Matt Schmidt started things off with a walk and was bunted over to second base by freshman left fielder Charlie Neil. After sophomore second baseman Gant Elmore drew a walk, senior captain Stefan Schropp laced a single to right field that brought Schmidt around to score and moved Elmore to third. After Elmore scored the Bulldogs' sixth run on a wild pitch by Towson hurler Charlie Cononie, Larsson-Danforth drilled a round tripper that cleared the 424' sign in centerfield by at least 30 feet to bring the Yale lead to 8-2.
Shultz closed the door on the Tigers, tossing a hitless bottom of the ninth to preserve the 8-2 victory.
"This was a big win. What we need now is consistency," said Stuper. "We have the ability, but we need to play up to our potential every day."
The Elis and Tigers will wrap up the series at Schuerholz Park tomorrow at 2:30 p.m.
report filed by Drew M. Kingsley, Yale Sports Publicity