May. 1, 2005
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - Sophomore designated hitter Justin Ankney homered in each game, but the Yale baseball team could not keep up with the powerful offense of Brown, falling 8-4 and 12-5 Sunday afternoon at Yale Field in the final games of the 2005 season. Seniors C.J. Orrico, Josh Sowers and Colin Ward-Henninger were honored between games, their last appearances for the Bulldogs.
Ankney had five hits, four in the second game, and went deep from both sides of the plate in one day for the second time in four days. He accomplished the feat in a single game Thursday against Hartford. The Bulldogs finished the season 23-17, their best overall record since 1993, and 10-10 in Ivy League play.
Brown (22-18, 14-6 Ivy) came back from a 4-2 deficit with a four-run sixth inning to take the first game and totaled 18 hits in Game 2 to stay alive in the race for the Red Rolfe Division title. Harvard clinched a share of the crown by rallying late to beat Dartmouth 9-8 and 11-10 in the first two games of that four-game series. Cornell split with Princeton to claim the Lou Gehrig Division crown.
Yale leadoff man Zac Bradley gave Yale a 1-0 lead with an opposite-field homer over the right center fence on the second pitch he saw from Brown starter Bryan Tews. The Bears tied the game on two hits and two Eli errors in the second, leaving runners on second and third with nobody out. Sowers got out of the jam with two straight strikeouts and a lineout to Matt Stone at third.
Another longball gave Yale a 3-1 edge in the third. Eric Rasmussen led off by lining a single up the middle. After Chris Esper bunted him to second, Ankney homered to right, his third roundtripper in four days. In the fourth, John Janco and Stone smoked consecutive line drives the other way to make it 4-1.
After getting one run back in the fifth, the Bears scored four on five hits in the sixth to go up 6-4. Devin Thomas led off with a double on the leftfield line. After two singles, including a run-scoring hit to left by Conor Reardon, Jeff Nichols delivered the big blow, a double to right that gave the Bears a 5-4 lead. Paul Christian added a single for another run, and Brown tallied two insurance runs in the seventh on a pinch hit by Erik Larson.
Brown's win ended a six-start win streak for Sowers (6-1). He struck out six and finished the season with a 2.10 ERA with 63 strikeouts and 11 walks in 60 innings. Adam Barrick came in to close the sixth inning, getting the only batter he faced to ground into a double play for the second straight game.
Bear lefty Ethan Burton (1-1) retired one batter to end the fifth inning. He combined with Ethan Silverstein and Chris Davidson to hold the Elis hitless in the final 2.1 innings. Christian and Nichols had two hits apiece for Brown.
Orrico had two hits in his last game as a Bulldog, and fellow senior Ward-Henninger struck out two in an inning of work. Esper had a pair of hits to go a with Ankney's big game, but the game belonged to the Brown bats, led by Matt Kutler with four hits and Nichols with three.
The Bears scored a run in the first on a double by Kutler and a single by Danny Hughes. They added three more in the third on three straight hits by Bobby Wiginton, Christian and Kutler and back-to-back sacrifice flies by Hughes and Devin Thomas.
Yale cut the deficit to 4-2 with a pair of runs in the bottom of the third. Ankney led off with a single and hustled around to third on an error by the rightfielder. He came in on a Janco groundout. Stone then reached on an error, moved to second on a Josh Zabar walk and scored on a single ripped through the middle by Orrico.
Brown got both runs back in the fourth and added another in the fifth. Chris Contrino had the biggest in the fourth, a run-scoring double to left center. He later scored on a Christian single. Thomas made it 7-2 with a blast high over the rightfield fence.
The Bulldogs notched four hits in the fifth, but got only one run to show for it, as Janco boomed a double to left center and scored on a Zabar single to center. The Bears added two runs in the seventh and three in the eighth before Ankney hit his second homer of the day in the ninth, this one from the right side over the leftfield fence. Marc Sawyer followed Ankney with a single and scored the final run of the season on a Jake Doyle double to right center.
Jon Hollis (4-2) gave up five earned runs in six innings for Yale, and Matt Fealey pitched a perfect ninth. Jeff Dietz (4-0) scattered nine hits in 5.1 innings for the Bears, allowing three runs, one earned.
report by Casey Hart, Yale Sports Publicity