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Brenner Hits Three Home Runs; Yale Rallies Past NYIT, 13-10

Ryan Brenner (Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Ryan Brenner (Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

OLD WESTBURY, N.Y. –The Yale baseball team trailed by a score of 10-1 after five innings at the New York Institute of Technology on Sunday, but the Bulldogs stormed back with 12 unanswered tallies to upend the host Bears by a score of 13-10. Sophomore catcher Ryan Brenner had three home runs on the day, and senior first baseman Trygg Larsson-Danforth had a pair of roundtrippers, including a grand slam. Junior third baseman Andy Megee had the go-ahead three-run home run in the eighth inning as junior left-hander Vinny Lally tossed six scoreless innings in relief to facilitate the Yale comeback.

With the victory, the Bulldogs win the three-game series against NYIT, having split a doubleheader with the Bears at Yale Field on Saturday. The Elis now sit at 11-6-1 in 2010, while NYIT falls to 4-9.

“There are a lot of ways to win a baseball game,” said John Stuper, Yale’s Mazzuto Family Head Coach for Baseball. “Yesterday it was pitching, and today our hitting really picked up us. Brenner and Trygg had huge days at the plate, and Megee came through with the biggest hit after some bad at-bats earlier in the game.”

Brenner’s three-home run day at the plate was the first for a Bulldog since Matt Bird ’97 hit three roundtrippers in one game in his freshman season of 1994. After his two-homer and five-RBI day, Larsson-Danforth now leads the Bulldogs with six longballs and 27 runs batted in.

Batting out of the leadoff spot, junior second baseman Gant Elmore was 3-for-4 with two runs scored. Junior designated hitter Trey Rallis and sophomore shortstop Matt Schmidt both drove in runs during the Yale comeback.

Lally (4-0) tossed six scoreless innings in relief to earn the win. The junior southpaw scattered five hits, walked one and struck out seven.

“On a hitter’s day, Vinny was outstanding out of the bullpen,” said Stuper. Freshman left-hander Christopher O’Hare and senior right-hander and captain Joe Castaldi combined to throw the first three innings for Yale.

After the Bears started the scoring via an RBI single by Effrey Valdez, Brenner evened the tally at 1-1 with his first solo shot of the day.

The home team would pull away in the third inning, posting seven runs and sending 13 men to the plate in the frame. Valdez picked up two more RBI with a long home run in the inning. The Bears would score two more runs in the fourth inning to take a commanding 10-1 advantage.

The Bulldogs started their comeback in the top of the fifth inning, as junior rightfielder Andrew Kolmar led off the frame with a single through the left side and moved to second base as Schmidt drew a walk. Elmore then walked to loaded the bases and, two batters later, Rallis worked the third free pass of the frame to push a run home. With the bases still loaded, Larsson-Danforth crushed an 0-2 pitch well beyond the 421’ sign in centerfield to clear the bags and bring the Bulldogs within striking distance, trailing 10-6. Two batters later, Brenner would hit another home run to cut the deficit to three runs at 10-7.

After Lally set the Bears down in order in the fifth, Kolmar again started up the Yale offense, getting hit by a pitch to lead off the top of the sixth inning and promptly moving into scoring position on a passed ball. Schmidt, the next batter, cashed in on the RBI opportunity with a single down the left field line.

The Bulldogs completed their comeback in the top of the fifth inning, led off by a Schmidt walk. Elmore then singled to put runners on the corners for Megee, who jacked his fifth home run of the season to put Yale in the lead, 11-10. Larsson-Danforth and Brenner each added solo homers in the frame to run the score its eventual final of 13-10.

Yale will play one more non-conference game final to Ivy League play, traveling to nearby Quinnipiac for one nine-inning contest on Wednesday, March 31. First pitch from Hamden, Conn. is slated for 3 p.m.

report filed by Drew M. Kingsley, Yale Sports Publicity