Pitching Powers Bulldogs in Split at Harvard

April 12, 2009

Game 1 Box Score
Game 2 Box Score

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - Senior right-hander Brandon Josselyn continued to assert himself as one of the premiere pitchers in the Ivy League on Sunday, hurling a six-hit, seven-inning complete game as the Yale baseball team took game one of a doubleheader at Harvard by a score of 4-2. Junior right-hander Joe Castaldi also surrendered just six hits in the nine-inning night cap, but host Crimson salvaged a split with the Bulldogs with a 4-2 win.

With the split, the Bulldogs move to 10-14 on the season and 5-5 in the Ivy League. Harvard now sits at 8-21 overall and 6-4 in league play.

"I was very happy with our pitching," said John Stuper, the Mazzuto Family Head Coach for Baseball. "Both of our starters deserved to win today."

Offensively, however, the Bulldogs stranded 14 runners and struck out nine times in the game two loss.

"Our situational hitting needs to improve," said Stuper. "We can't leave runners in scoring position and expect to win games."

Senior captain Stefan Schropp had four hits on the day, including a 3-for-3 performance in game one. Freshman left fielder Charlie Neil went 2-for-4 in each end of the twin bill to match Schropp's team-best four hits.

While Josselyn cruised in the early stages of game one, the Bulldogs posted a trio of runs for their senior hurler in the fourth inning. Schropp started the frame with a single and was sacrificed into scoring position by a Gant Elmore bunt. Sophomore third baseman Andy Megee then smacked his team-leading ninth double of the season to bring the Yale captain around to score the game's first run. Megee then took third on a passed ball and crossed the plate on a groundout by junior first baseman Trygg Larsson-Danforth. Three consecutive two-out singles accounted for the final Elis' run of the inning, as Neil ripped a base hit to right center, moved to third on a single from junior designated hitter Chris Sweeney, and came home on an infield base knock off of the bat of freshman right fielder Zach Tobolowsky.

The Crimson would cut the deficit in the fifth inning, as a Josselyn hit a batter with a pitch and then allowed a double to put two men in scoring position with one out. A sacrifice fly from Matt Rogers plated the first Harvard run, and a single by Harry Douglas ran the score to 3-2.

Yale would take one of those runs back in the next half-inning, however, as Neil started the frame with a base hit. Sweeney then walked and Tobolowsky hit his second infield single of the game to load the bases with none out. Crimson starter Jonah Klees got the next two batters out and was replaced by Daniel Berardo, who walked Schropp to force Neil across the plate with the Elis' fourth run of the game.

Josselyn went the distance for Yale, pitching scoreless sixth and seventh frames to improve to 4-2 on the season. He scattered six hit, allowed two earned runs, struck out six and did not walk a batter. Klees fell to 2-1 after allowing nine hits and four earned runs in 5.2 innings of work for the Cantabs.

In the night cap, it was the Crimson who started the scoring in the fourth inning. Douglas hit a one-out double to begin the rally, and Tom Stack-Babich was then hit by a pitch. The pair then executed a double steal with two outs to move into scoring position. A Dan Zailskas base hit scored Douglas and put runners on the corners. Stack-Babich later came home on an error as the Bulldogs attempted to nab Zailskas swiping second base.

Yale scored a run in the top of the sixth frame, as Larsson-Danforth led off with a single. He then took second on a passed ball, and a Neil single moved him to third. The 6'6 first baseman would cross the plate on an RBI groundout from Sweeney that made the score 2-1 in favor of the home team.

The Bulldogs made it a tie ball-game in the top of the seventh, started off by a double from freshman shortstop Matt Schmidt. After a walk to Schropp, Elmore laid down his second sacrifice bunt of the afternoon to put the runners on second and third with one out. The Crimson decided to issue an intentional walk to Megee, and Larsson-Danforth then grounded out with the bases loaded to plate Schmidt from third base and deadlock the score at 2-2.

Harvard struck back in its half of the seventh inning, led off by a Zailskas single. He was then moved to second on a sacrifice bunt and scored the eventual game-winning run on a double courtesy of Sean O'Hara. The Crimson added another run in the eighth inning on a Stack-Babich sacrifice fly to bring the score to its final of 4-2.

Castaldi took the hard-luck loss for Yale to fall to 0-4. He allowed six hits and just two earned runs over seven innings of work. The junior struck out four Harvard hitters and did not issue a walk.

Will Keuper got the win in relief for Harvard, recording the final two outs of the top of the seventh inning to improve to 1-3. Zailskas pitched a scoreless ninth to notch his first save of the season.

The Bulldogs and Crimson will wrap-up the season series on Tuesday with another doubleheader. First pitch from Cambridge, Mass. is scheduled for 1 p.m.

report filed by Drew M. Kingsley, Yale Sports Publicity

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