April 27, 2010

Holy Cross Outslugs Bulldogs, 11-9, in Non-Conference Clash

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Since scoring just nine runs in a four-game skid at Dartmouth two weeks ago, the Yale baseball team has come alive at the plate. The Bulldogs came into Tuesday's non-conference finale against Holy Cross having scored 37 runs in their last three contests. Yale continued to produce offensively against the Crusaders, tallying nine runs in the nine-inning contest, but the visitors matched the Bulldogs swing-for-swing in the midweek game en route to an 11-9 victory. Freshman centerfielder Cam Squires went 3-for-5 with an RBI out of the lead-off spot for the Bulldogs, while senior first baseman Trygg Larsson-Danforth extended his hitting streak to 17 games with two RBI singles.

With the loss, Yale falls to 17-20-1. The Crusaders move to 22-19 on the season.

With his pair of RBI hits, Larsson-Danforth has driven in 39 runs in 38 games. Junior third baseman Andy Megee added a three-run triple, which broke a 2-2 tie in the bottom of the second inning. Sophomore outfielder Charlie Neil had two hits, including a home run, while Squires and junior second baseman Gant Elmore chipped in with an RBI apiece.

The contest was a “staff game” for both teams, as 13 different pitchers took the mound at Yale Field. Megee (0-2) pitched the last two innings for Yale and took the loss, surrendering two runs on two hits. Despite blowing the save in the bottom of the eighth inning, Ryan George (2-2) closed out the contest to earn the win for Holy Cross. Senior right-hander Joe Castaldi and junior left-hander Brook Hart, who each worked one inning, were the only two of the eight Bulldogs' pitchers used that did not surrender an earned run.

Holy Cross got on the board first in the game, as Matt Perry hit a towering two-run home run over the scoreboard in dead centerfield in the top of the first inning. Yale would take one run back in its first at-bat, as a Squires bunt single jump started the offense. The speedy centerfielder moved to second base on an Elmore groundout and then scored when a screaming groundball off the bat of Larsson-Danforth that hopped clear over Crusaders' shortstop Alex Maldonado to cut the deficit to 2-1.

After freshman Avery Lanman tossed a 1-2-3 second inning, the Bulldogs took their first lead of the day with a four-run second inning. It took just one pitch for Yale to knot the score, as Neil sent a first-pitch fastball from Matt Croglio over the wall in left field for a solo home run. Three batters later, sophomore right fielder Zach Tobolowsky started a two-out rally with a walk. Squires followed with a single up the middle, and Elmore then loaded the bases by reaching on a Perry fielding error. That error sent Croglio to the locker room, and left-hander John Pedrotty was greeted rudely by Megee with bases-clearing triple. The trio of unearned runs gave Yale the lead at 5-2.

Holy Cross responded with four runs of their own in the top of the third inning, as four different Crusaders notched RBI hits in the frame. The visitors then took a 7-5 lead in the next inning as John Sills picked up his second RBI of the day with a run scoring groundout.

The Elis closed the gap in their next at-bat courtesy of three straight singles. Tobolowsky started the streak, followed by Squires, and then capped by a run-scoring base-hit off the bat of Elmore that ran the score to 7-6. The tying run came in the next inning, as junior designated hitter Trey Rallis led off with a double. He then moved to third on a Neil groundout and later raced home on a wild pitch uncorked by Holy Cross right-hander Josh Hauser.

The 7-7 stalemate was short-lived, as the Crusaders manufactured a run in each of the next two innings to claim a 9-7 edge. Yale would tie the score one final time in the bottom of the eighth inning off of Holy Cross closer Ryan George. Freshman pinch-hitter Josh Scharff led off the frame with a ground-rule double to right field and was replaced at second base by senior Stephen Miehls. Miehls would take third on a wild pitch and then came home to score on a sacrifice fly by Squires. With the bases now cleared, Elmore resumed the rally by drawing a walk, and then stole second. With two outs in the inning, Larsson-Danforth singled to right field to pick up the game-tying RBI. The Bulldogs failed to break the 9-9 deadlock, as George pitched out of a bases-loaded jam to end the inning.

The Crusaders snapped the tie in their next at-bat, as Nick Ciardiello hit a one-out double to right field to plate Steven Tkowski with the go-ahead run. Holy Cross tacked on another run in the frame, and George pitched a perfect ninth to seal the 11-9 victory.

The Bulldogs will have less than 24 hours to bounce back, as Harvard returns to Yale Field tomorrow to wrap-up the season series. First pitch of the Wednesday twinbill is scheduled for 2 p.m.

report filed by Drew M. Kingsley, Yale Sports Publicity