April 16, 2008

Strong Pitching Leads Bulldogs to Sweep of Stags

April 16, 2008

Game One Box Score | Game Two Box Score  |  Photo Gallery 

NEW HAVEN, Conn.--As the old baseball adage goes, good pitching beats good hitting. The Yale baseball team (17-18-1) didn't get good pitching on Wednesday, it got great pitching. All nine Yale hurlers recorded at least one strikeout and Fairfield (10-22) was held scoreless in all but one inning, as the Bulldogs swept a doubleheader at Yale Field. The Bulldogs recorded their first shutout of the season in game one, posting a 3-0 victory, then notched an 8-2 win in the nightcap.

Yale took control from the start in game one, as Brandon Josselyn retired the Stags in order in the top of the first. In the bottom half of the inning, Yale's offense took care of the scoring when Josh Cox walked, stole second, moved to third on P.J. Gorynski's single, and scored on Stefan Schropp's RBI double.

That run was all the Yale pitching staff needed. Josselyn (2-5) gave up two hits and struck out one in the second, then gave way to Robert Gruber. Gruber yielded three hits and a walk while striking out two in two innings.

The Bulldogs added a pair of unearned runs in the bottom of the fourth. With runners on first and second and two out, Dan Soltman sent a grounder towards second that should've ended the inning. However, Fairfield second baseman Albie DeSimone misplayed it and both runners scored on the error.

Matthew Smith and Vinny Lally each pitched an inning of scoreless relief before Steve Gilman finished off the shutout with a 1-2-3 seventh for his fourth save of the year. The Bulldogs had six hits, with Schropp and Gant Elmore each going 2-for-3 at the plate.

Ryan Calabrese (1-6) started for Fairfield and took the loss. He gave up one run and three hits and walked one. Dan Gallagher gave up two unearned runs and three hits with one strikeout in two innings, while Rick Piccirillo pitched a 1-2-3 sixth for the Stags. Six different Stags each had one hit.

Yale's pitching may have been even better in game two. Joe Castaldi got the start and faced the minimum over three innings. The only base runner he allowed was Mike Bourdon, who walked with one out in the third. Bourdon was then thrown out stealing as Adam Chilelli struck out to end the inning. Castaldi (1-0) struck out six.

Will Stratton followed and struck out the first batter he faced before yielding consecutive singles to Matt Tiagwad and Tucker Nathans. After Jason Rago was hit by a pitch to load the bases, David Dudish reached on an error, allowing two runs to score. Stratton got out of the inning when Mike Weiner grounded into a double play, then recorded two strikeouts in the fifth.

Chris Walsh and John Henry Davis each pitched a scoreless inning. Walsh struck out two and walked one, while Davis surrendered two hits and recorded one strikeout.

The Bulldogs scored in every inning except the sixth. Gorynski got Yale on the board when he scored on a Doyle sacrifice fly in the bottom of the first. Andy Megee singled leading off the bottom of the second, then came around on Elmore's triple. The Bulldogs batted around in the third, plating three more runs. The big knock was Chris Sweeney's two-run single, while Elmore added a sacrifice fly. Gorynski belted a solo home run to right leading off the bottom of the fourth. Schropp then walked and later scored on back-to-back singles by Doyle and Sweeney. Yale's final run came in the fifth when Cox tripled to the gap in right center, then scored on Schropp's infield single.

The first six hitters in the Yale lineup all had at least one hit and scored at least one run. Schropp went 3-for-3 with a run scored and an RBI, while Sweeney was 2-for-4 with a run and three RBIs. Megee, Cox and Gorynski all went 2-for-4 at the plate, and Gorynski scored three times. Elmore was 1-for-3 with two RBIs.

Starter Kevin Fico (0-6) gave up five runs and eight hits while walking one in 2.1 innings. Scott Gussaroff followed and lasted 2.2 innings. Gussaroff yielded three runs and five hits while striking out one and walking two. Offensively, Fairfield had just four hits in game two, two in the fourth and two in the seventh.

Yale's pitchers gave up just 10 hits and struck out 18 in the two games, while Fairfield pitching surrendered 19 hits and only struck out three.

Yale jumps back into Ivy League competition this weekend with a crucial four-game set at Dartmouth (18-11, 10-2 Ivy). The Bulldogs enter the series 2.5 games behind the Rolfe Division-leading Big Green.

Report filed by Joe Clifford, Yale Sports Publicity

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