April 18, 2007
NEW HAVEN, Conn.--Yale got its best team pitching performances of the season and Ryan Lavarnway homered twice, as the Bulldogs (11-22) split a doubleheader with Fairfield (9-18) Wednesday afternoon at Yale Field. Fairfield won the first game, 7-2, before Yale posted a 3-0 victory in the nightcap. Yale hurlers struck out 21 Stags in the two games, and five pitchers combined for a four-hitter in game two.
Fairfield jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning of game one. Albie DeSimone and Dave Jermine roped back-to-back singles leading off the game, and DeSimone scored on Matt Tiagwad's base hit. Peter Allen grounded into a double play, but Jermine came across on the play to make it 2-0.
The Bulldogs got one back in the bottom of the second. Pedro Obregon reached on an error leading off the inning, but was thrown out trying to steal third. Dan Soltman walked and Cody Slape singled to set up Stefan Schropp, one of the Bulldogs' starting pitchers who was making his first career start in right field. Schropp came through in his first career at-bat, lacing a single up the middle for his first career RBI.
The Stags increased their lead to 4-1 with a pair of runs in the top of the third. The first two batters singled, and moved up to second and third on Jermine's sacrifice bunt. Tiagwad followed with an RBI single, then another run scored on Allen's groundout.
In the bottom of the third, Lavarnway absolutely crushed an Ed Kamitzky offering, belting a solo home run at least 440 feet over the manual scoreboard in center field. Lavarnway's ninth shot of the year puts him in very elite company as one of only a handful of Bulldogs to clear the center field scoreboard. The most recent Yale player to do it was Dan Thompson in 1995. Only a few players cleared the scoreboard in the 10-year history of the Double-A New Haven Ravens.
Fairfield put the game away with three runs in the top of the seventh. Jermine doubled, moved to third on a groundout, and scored on Brian Rudolph's single. Allen, who was intentionally walked, and Rudolph came across on Mike Weiner's two-run double that made it 7-2.
Steve Gilman (2-4) started for Yale and gave up four runs and six hits in three innings. Gilman struck out three and walked one. Brandon Josselyn was very effective in three innings of relief. He yielded just two hits and didn't give up a run while striking out six before giving way to Joe Castaldi in the seventh.
Lavarnway was 3-for-3 in game one, and Slape went 2-for-3. Schropp's single was the only other Yale hit. Marc Sawyer saw his 11-game hitting streak end with an 0-for-3 afternoon.
The Stags smacked 11 hits in game one. DeSimone went 3-for-4 with two runs scored, and Jermine was 2-for-2 with two runs. Tiagwad was 2-for-4 with two RBIs, while Weiner went 1-for-4 and drove in two.
Kamintzky gave up two runs and four hits while striking out two and walking one in three innings of work. Michael Colucci (1-0) picked up the victory after surrendering just one hit in three scoreless innings. Mike Fournier gave up a hit in the bottom of the seventh.
Head coach John Stuper juggled his lineup for game two, moving Sawyer to the leadoff spot and putting Lavarnway in the two hole. The move paid immediate dividends, as Sawyer doubled down the left field line on the first pitch of the bottom of the first. Lavarnway crushed the first pitch he saw over the wall in right-center field. Yale added another run in the bottom of the second when Soltman doubled over the first baseman's head and came across on Sawyer's RBI single.
From there, Yale pitching took over. Chris Wietlispach (1-4) got the start and earned his first win of the season. Wietlispach faced the minimum in two innings, striking out two. John Henry Davis followed with a hitless third. Brett Rosenthal surrendered the first Fairfield hit in the fourth, but struck out two Stags in the inning. Chris Walsh yielded two hits and struck out two in the fifth. Brian Irving pitched the final two innings for his third save. Irving gave up a hit and struck out four, including three in a row.
Fairfield starter Doug Ciallella (1-2) gave up three runs and five hits while striking out four and walking one in three innings. The Fairfield bullpen was just as effective as the Bulldogs' relievers. Kevin Fico and Dan Urbanovich combined to allow just one hit in three innings, a leadoff single by Chris Sweeney in the fourth.
Stuper also juggled his defensive lineup, switching Justin Ankney and Soltman at the middle infield spots. That move paid off as well; Yale committed just one error in the doubleheader. In game two, the Bulldogs went errorless for just the fourth time all season, and the first time since March 24. Yale improved to 4-0 in those contests.
The Bulldogs resume Ivy League action this weekend, when Rolfe Division rival Dartmouth visits Yale Field for a four-game set. Yale enters the series 3-7 in conference play, one game ahead of the Big Green. The doubleheaders on Saturday and Sunday each begin at 12 p.m.
Report filed by Joe Clifford, Yale Sports Publicity