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Bulldogs Finish Strong with Senior Day Split

Chris Finneran leaves the field on Senior Day. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Chris Finneran leaves the field on Senior Day. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The Yale baseball team capped a record-breaking season on Saturday, splitting a doubleheader with Ivy League foe Brown. Several players reached individual milestones on the day, and the Yale offense added to its résumé of team records, as the Bulldogs dropped game one to the Bears, 8-3, before taking the second by a score of 14-7 to conclude Senior Day at Yale Field and the 2010 campaign win a victory. Junior Trey Rallis went 5-for-7 with two home runs and five RBI in the doubleheader, while sophomore Matt Schmidt went 6-for-9 in the twinbill.

The Bulldogs, who swept the Bears in Providence yesterday, finish the season at 21-22-1 overall and 8-12 in the Ivy League. Yale wins the season series against Brown for the first time since 2004.

“This was a great way to finish the season,” said Yale's Mazzuto Family Head Coach John Stuper. “We could have decided to mail these games in, but instead we went out and took three of four from a very good baseball team this weekend.”

While the Bears are now 13-30 overall, their non-conference losses include several defeats at the hands of perennial powers LSU, Pepperdine, South Carolina and Troy. Brown, which will conclude its season with a contest against in-state rival Bryant, finishes Ancient Eight play at 10-10.

Yale pounded out 29 hits on the afternoon, bringing its total to a single-season record of 458 hits. The Bulldogs' offense also owns the single-season marks for doubles (118), home runs (45), runs batted in (303) and total bases (735). Defensively, Yale's 45 double plays are also a program record.

Rallis' 5-for-7 day locked up the team high with a .377 batting average. The junior slugger also set a Yale record this season with 20 doubles. Senior first baseman Trygg Larsson-Danforth caps his career with one of the best offensive seasons in Yale history, which dates back to 1865. Larsson-Danforth batted .373 this season and landed among Yale's all-time single-season leaders for doubles (16), home runs (team-high 11), and runs batted in (team-high 44). He also led the Bulldogs in 2010 in total bases (111), slugging percentage (.689), walks (26), runs (39) and stolen bases (12).

Junior third baseman Andy Megee closes out the year with eight home runs and 43 RBI, both of which are good for ninth all-time.

In today's action, senior centerfielder Stephen Miehls joined Schmidt with three RBI each. Miehls got the start in game two and notched a double and triple. Larsson-Danforth, Megee, junior Gant Elmore, junior Andrew Moore, junior Andrew Kolmar and freshman Cam Squires all notched one RBI apiece for the Elis.

Game two was a scheduled “staff game” for the Yale pitching staff, which was working its seventh game in the past five days. Senior right-hander Chris Finneran (2-0) got the start and earned the win as five hurlers contributed to the victory. Finneran allowed two runs on two hits in 2.1 innings in his career finale. Christopher O'Hare, Greg Lyons, Robert Gruber and Eric Shultz closed out the season-ending victory.

Brown would get out to a 2-0 lead in the nightcap, before a two-out, two-run double by Miehls knotted the score in the bottom of the second inning. Schmidt followed with a two-run single that gave the Bulldogs a lead they would not relinquish

An RBI single from Rallis in the third extended the lead to 5-2, and the Bulldogs then put Brown away with six runs in a fourth frame that saw 11 Elis batters come to the plate. Miehls tripled home Moore, who had doubled to lead off the inning, and Schmidt then dropped down a squeeze bunt to score him. Schmidt himself reached on the bunt single, and later scored on another squeeze off the bat of Megee. After a Larsson-Danforth walk, Rallis hit a two-run blast to right field. Later in the inning, Moore's second hit of the day drove home sophomore Charlie Neil to bring the score to 11-2.

Brown would get a few runs back down the stretch, but RBI hits from Larsson-Danforth, Rallis and Schmidt capped an impressive 14-7 victory.

Earlier in the day, sophomore right-hander Pat Ludwig (3-6) took the game one loss. Ludwig allowed six runs on six hits in 2.2 innings and Brown grabbed a 7-0 lead and held off the Bulldogs for an 8-3 win.

Yale's runs came on fifth-inning doubles by Kolmar and Squires, and a sixth-inning solo homer from Rallis.

All six Yale seniors turned in solid performances in their career finales. In addition to Finneran's victory on the hill, a trio of senior relief pitchers worked effective outings. Captain Joe Castaldi pitched 3.2 innings in relief of Ludwig and game one and was then spelled by fellow senior Matthew Smith, who recorded the final two outs of the game. Robert Gruber, who earned a three-inning save yesterday in Providence, pitched another strong 1.2 frames today. At the plate, Miehls was 2-for-5 with three RBI and two runs scored, while Larsson-Danforth had two hits, an RBI, two runs scored and a stolen base.

report filed by Drew M. Kingsley, Yale Sports Publicity