April 26, 2009
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - The Yale baseball team traveled to Brown on Sunday afternoon to wrap-up the 2009 season against the host Bears. Despite a 4-for-9 showing from senior Stefan Schropp, which included a home run in his final collegiate at-bat, the Bulldogs were outslugged by the home team by scores of 17-10 and 11-3.
Yale closes out the 2009 season at 13-24 overall and 7-13 in Ivy League play. Brown wraps up league play with a 15-5 mark in the Ancient Eight, good for second place in the Red Rolfe Division behind Dartmouth, and will enter a final three-game series with Bryant at 22-18-1.
"Our pitching never gave us a chance today," said John Stuper, the Mazzuto Family Head Coach for Baseball. "We couldn't throw strikes, and that put a lot of runners on base for a very good hitting team." Bulldog pitching issued 16 free passes and hit two batters over the course of the twin bill.
Aside from Schropp's big day, which also included a triple and three total RBI, the Bulldogs got three hits apiece from freshman Zach Tobolowsky and sophomore Andy Megee. Junior Trygg Larsson-Danforth swatted his team-best seventh home run of the 2009 season. Tobolowsky had two runs batted in for the day, as did freshman Ryan Brenner and sophomore Harry Koulos.
In game one, Brown got on the board in the bottom of the first with a three-run home run by second baseman Matt Nuzzo. The Bears would tack on eight more runs in the bottom of the second inning to build a commanding 11-0 lead just two frames deep in the seven inning contest.
Four more Brown runs would cross the plate in the third inning before the Bulldogs finally got through to Bears' starter Conor Burke in the top of the fourth frame. Larsson-Danforth blasted a solo shot with one out to put Yale on the board, 15-1. Freshman Charlie Neil then drew a walk and moved to third on a double by junior Chris Sweeney. Sophomore Gant Elmore then smoked a groundball to the shortstop to plate Neil. Brenner drove in two more Eli runs in the inning with a double to left field to run the score to 15-4.
Brown grabbed one of those runs back in its half of the fourth inning and added another in the sixth to extend its lead to 17-4 entering the seventh and final frame. Yale would not go quietly however, as Tobolowsky led off the inning with a single. Megee followed with a base hit of his own, and Larsson-Danforth drew a walk to load the bases with none out. Koulos cashed in on the RBI opportunity with a two-run double that cut the score to 17-6. After Elmore walked to load the bases again, junior Stephen Miehls drove in a run with a hot shot to third base that resulted in a fielder's choice. An error by the third baseman kept the inning alive and loaded the bases once again, and Schropp laced a single to plate two more runs. Tobolowsky, who led off the inning, then picked up his second hit of the seventh frame with an RBI double to bring the score to 17-10. However, the Bulldogs would get no closer as Andrew Backowski came on and tallied to final out of the six-run inning to end game one.
Burke pitched the first six innings for Brown, allowing seven hits and two earned runs to improve to 4-2. Junior Joe Castaldi got the start for Yale and took the loss, falling to 0-5 on the season.
In game two, Brown picked up where it left off with three runs in the bottom of the first inning. Once again, the Bears built a comfortable lead at 11-0 after the first four innings.
Senior right-hander Chris Walsh came on for the Bulldogs at that point, with none down and two home in the fourth inning, and shut down the Bears for the remainder of the game. Walsh saved his best performance for last with five innings of three-hit ball to hold Brown at 11 runs.
"It was great to see Walsh pitch so well in his last game," said Stuper. "The younger pitchers can really learn a lot from an outing like that. His performance makes me think I should have used him more this season."
Yale would plate single runs in each of the last three innings. After Schropp tripled with one out in the seventh inning, Tobolowsky hit a deep flyball to right field that allowed him to trot home and break up the shutout. In the eighth frame, it was Neil would smacked a one-out three-bagger and later raced home on a wild pitch.
Despite the deficit, Yale's third and final run of the contest was certainly a memorable one. With one down and the bases empty in the ninth, Schropp came to the plate for the final time in a Yale uniform. The captain of the 2009 Bulldogs delivered with a towering shot over the wall in right field, allowing him to trot around the bases one more time before the final out was recorded with Brown taking the victory, 11-3.
"There were a lot of positives this season," said Stuper. "Zach Tobolowsky hit over .300 as freshman, Trygg emerged into one of the best run producers in the Ivy League and our young pitching really came around. I am very excited to see how good we can get with another year of experience under our belts."
report filed by Drew M. Kingsley, Yale Sports Publicity