Hartford Edges Yale in Extra Innings, 7-6
April 23, 2009
WEST HARTFORD, Conn. - The Yale baseball team got solid pitching performances from two freshmen right-handers, Greg Lyons and Pat Ludwig, but a trio of defensive miscues proved to be the deciding factor as the Bulldogs fell at the University of Hartford on Thursday afternoon in 12 innings by a score of 7-6. Sophomore right fielder Andrew Kolmar and freshman second baseman Zach Tobolowsky both hit home runs for Yale in defeat.
With the loss, Yale falls to 12-21 on the season. The Hawks improved to 9-21 after the victory.
Lyons pitched 5.2 innings in his first collegiate start, scattering six hits and allowing two earned runs. The outing was the longest of his college career. Ludwig was the hard-luck loser for Yale, allowing no hits and no earned runs over the final 2.1 frames. He walked two batters, one of which scored the winning run on an error, and recorded a strikeout.
Including his round tripper, Tobolowsky went 3-for-5 from the lead-off spot to lead the Yale offense. Sophomore shortstop Gant Elmore and junior first baseman Trygg Larsson-Danforth each went 2-for-5 with an RBI for the Bulldogs.
After Lyons posted zeroes in the first three frames, the Bulldogs came through with a run for their freshman hurler in the top of the fourth inning. Sophomore center fielder Andy Megee set the table with a one-out triple down the right field line, and Larsson-Danforth followed with a double that brought him home with the game's first run.
Yale tacked on two more runs of support in the top of the fifth inning to extend the lead to 3-0. Freshman catcher Ryan Brenner was hit by a pitch to reach first with one out and came all the way around to score on a double down the right field line by Elmore. Elmore then crossed the plate on a two-out single by senior third baseman Stefan Schropp.
The Elis got on the board for the third straight inning in the sixth frame, as Kolmar connected on a two-run home run that easily cleared the 400' center field wall at the Hartford Baseball Field to run the score to 5-0. Kolmar's fourth round tripper of the season knocked in junior designated hitter Chris Sweeney, who had reached on a single earlier in the inning.
Hartford broke up the shutout in its half of the sixth inning courtesy of a Matt Walker sacrifice fly and a Drew Sgro RBI base hit. Junior right-hander Joe Castaldi came on to finish off the inning and preserve the three-run lead at 5-2.
Tobolowsky wasted no time getting one of those runs back for the Bulldogs, as he led off the top of the seventh inning with a solo shot to right field. His fifth home run of the season pushed the score to 6-2 in favor of the Elis.
The Hawks cut into the Yale lead in their half of the seventh inning, trimming the margin all the way down to a single run, 6-5. Mike Amendola delivered the big blow in the inning with a two-run double and scored the third run himself via a stolen base and a wild pitch.
Hartford tied the score without the benefit of a hit in the bottom of the ninth inning, as Andrew Siano reached on a one-out error, moved to second on a groundout and scored the equalizing run on another Yale defensive miscue. Senior right-hander Brandon Josselyn was on the hill for the frame, tossing a perfect inning aside from the two errors behind him.
The 6-6 deadlock held up until the 12th inning, as Yale got two hitless frames from Ludwig. In the bottom of the 12th, Andy Drexel drew a one-out walk for the Hawks, and came all the way around to score the winning run on an error, as Schropp's throw to first on a Ben Sobocinski dribbler sailed wide.
Ludwig fell to 0-1 with the loss. Andrew Smith allowed just one baserunner in two hitless innings of relief for Hartford to improve to 1-0.
"Our defense has been solid all season," said John Stuper, the Mazzuto Family Head Coach for Baseball at Yale, "but today we botched a few routine plays that cost us the game."
The Bulldogs will look to finish strong this weekend, as Brown visits Yale Field on Saturday for Senior Day. The season will conclude the following day in Providence against the Bears. Both doubleheaders are slated for a noon start.
report filed by Drew M. Kingsley, Yale Sports Publicity