Columbia Hangs On to Sweep Bulldogs

April 4, 2009

Game 1 Box Score | Game 2 Box Score |  Photo Gallery 

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - The Yale baseball team totaled 15 runs and 18 in an Ivy League doubleheader with Columbia on Saturday at Yale Field in New Haven, but the Lions' offense benefited from a pair of big innings- a seven-run spurt in game one and a four-run outburst in game two- to outlast the Bulldogs by scores of 13-9 and 8-6.

Yale now sits at 6-12 overall and 2-4 in Ivy League play. Columbia moves to 6-19 on the season with a 4-2 mark in the Ancient Eight.

Four Bulldogs smacked three hits on the afternoon, while junior first baseman Trygg Larsson-Danforth and sophomore right fielder Andrew Kolmar each homered for Yale. Larsson-Danforth drove in a total of four RBI on the day.

The Lions raced out to an early lead in game one, posting seven runs in the top of the second inning. Bobby O'Brien singled to lead off the frame, and a pair of walks with a strikeout sandwiched in-between loaded the bases with one out. Nick Cox then roped a single that plated a run and left the bases loaded. John Eisen followed with a groundout that brought another run around to score, and Dale Forthun singled to right field to add two more runs to the board. A Mike Roberts two-run single and an O'Brien RBI base knock accounted for three more runs and made the score 7-0 in favor of the visitors.

In the third frame, Ron Williams plated a pair of runs with a single, and Eisen later came home on a wild pitch that ran the score to 10-0.

The Bulldogs got on the board in the fourth inning, as senior center fielder Stefan Schropp led off with a single to center field. Sophomore second baseman Gant Elmore then doubled to move Schropp to third, and Larsson-Danforth knocked him home two batters later with an RBI groundout.

Columbia extended its lead back to 10 runs in the bottom of the next inning, however, as a Williams double made the score 11-1 Lions.

A lead-off hit once again led to a run for the Bulldogs, as junior designated hitter Chris Sweeney started the Yale fifth inning with a base knock. Freshman right fielder Zach Tobolowsky followed with a single, and senior catcher Davis Stanley made it three straight base hits to begin the frame with a single to right field that brought Sweeney around to score. Tobolowsky later came home on a double play groundout to make the score 11-3.

The Lions answered once again in the next half-inning, as Kevin Roberts hit a two-run double down the left field line to make the score 13-3. Sophomore third baseman Andy Megee was the third consecutive Bulldog to lead off an inning with a hit, as he smacked a ball to the gap in right center field for a double. Megee would trot the rest of the way around the bases, as Larsson-Danforth followed with a towering home run that cleared the center field scoreboard at Yale Field. The 6'6 left-hander's second roundtripper of the season made the score 13-5 heading into the last inning.

Yale mustered a final rally in the bottom of the seventh inning, as a Megee single and a pair of walks loaded the bases for the Bulldogs with one out. A pair of defensive miscues by the Lions kept the inning alive, as Sweeney and Tobolowsky each reached on errors that also created Yale runs. Freshman shortstop Matt Schmidt delivered the big hit of the inning, a two-run double down the left field line that ran the score to 13-9, but that was as close as the contest would get, as Columbia pitcher Joe Scarlata closed the door on a complete-game victory.

Scarlata scattered 10 hits and allowed six earned runs to improve to 2-4 on the season. He struck out two Bulldogs and walked five. Sophomore Vinny Lally pitched the first 1.2 innings for Yale, allowing six earned runs on three hits and five walks to fall to 2-2.

In the nightcap, it was the Lions who got on the board first once again, as Billy Rumpke doubled to right field in the third inning and came home on an Eisen base hit.

The home team jumped into the lead in its half of the third, as freshman catcher Ryan Brenner walked and Kolmar singled to start the frame. A Schmidt groundout moved both runners an additional 90 feet, and Brenner and Kolmar both came around to score on a double to the gap in right center field by Schropp.

The 2-1 edge was short-lived, however, as Anthony Potter and Rumpke each delivered RBI singles in the inning to put the Lions back on top, 3-2. The damage was limited by an outstanding defensive play by Schmidt, fielding a ground ball that got passed Megee at third and turning it into a double play ball.

A two-out rally by the Elis in the fifth inning tied the score once again, as Larsson-Danforth delivered with a single to score Elmore, who had drawn a walk with two down in the frame.

It took just one pitch in the top of the sixth inning for Columbia to get back on top, however, as Williams deposited the first offering of the frame over the left field wall to run the score to 4-3 in favor of the Lions.

The visitors extended their lead in the top of the seventh inning, as Cox was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded, Forthun ripped a two-run double and Cox raced home on a wild pitch to account for four more Columbia runs.

Yale cut the deficit to 8-6 in the bottom of the eighth, as Kolmar smacked a three-run home run that plated freshman left fielder Charlie Neil and Sweeney.

The Bulldogs once again fell short completing the comeback, however, as Pat Lowery tossed a perfect ninth inning to wrap-up the sweep for Columbia with an 8-6 win.

Harrison Slutsky pitched 4.2 innings in relief for the Lions, allowed five hits and three earned runs to even his record at 1-1. Lowery's save was his first of the season.

Junior Joe Castaldi fell to 0-3 with the loss. Castaldi allowed eight hits and six earned runs over the first six innings of the contest. Junior Robert Gruber and freshmen Greg Lyons and Eric Shultz each tossed an inning of relief for Yale.

The Bulldogs return to the diamond tomorrow, as Penn travels to Yale Field for a doubleheader beginning at noon. The Quakers were swept at Brown today to fall to 0-6 in Ivy League action.

report filed by Drew M. Kingsley, Yale Sports Publicity

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