Yale Completes Four-Game Sweep In 84th Opening Day At Yale Field
WEST HAVEN, Conn. — The Yale University baseball team saw some fight out of in-state rival Hartford on Sunday in the opening game of the doubleheader, but the Bulldogs showed some resiliency in the opener and the bats came through in a big way in both games in the 84th Opening Day at historic Yale Field.
After compiling only five total hits in Saturday's doubleheader against Yale, Hartford came through with big hit after big hit in the early innings of the opening game on Sunday. The Hawks led 6-0 and 12-5 before the Bulldogs came roaring back. However, Yale outscored Hartford 9-2 in the fifth and sixth innings to push the game into extra innings. The offense fell silent for both teams over the next 4½ innings, but Matt Schmidt came through with the winning run, driving in Andy Megee with a sacrifice fly to center field in the 11th inning to lift Yale to a 15-14 win over Hartford.
The stunning loss, combined with the strong pitching performance of Yale's Brook Hart, took the steam out of the Hawks in the second game. Yale jumped out to a 5-0 lead after three innings and used a 12-run burst in the sixth inning to put the game out of reach in a 17-1 victory to cap off the doubleheader sweep.
The four wins over Hartford this weekend lifted Yale above the .500 mark for the first time this season. Yale improved to 9-8 with the four-game sweep. Hartford dropped to 1-15-1.
Trailing 6-0 in the third inning, Yale bounced back with a five-run rally in the bottom of the third. Josh Scharff doubled in three runs and scored on an RBI double by Trey Rallis. Rallis advanced to third on a wild pitch and then scored on an RBI bunt single by Ryan Brenner that cut the Bulldogs' deficit to 6-5.
Hartford responded right away with a six-run rally in the top of the fourth fueled by a three-run home run by Simon Kudernatsch, an RBI double by Jason Freethey and a two-run single by Ryan Lukach that gave the Hawks a 12-5 lead.
Yale tied the game at 12 in the bottom of the fifth inning behind an RBI single by Rallis, an outfield error that led to two more runs, a wild pitch that scored Brenner, a two-run home run by Andrew Moore, and an RBI single by Scharff.
Both teams scored a pair of runs in the sixth inning to keep the score tied at 14-14, setting the stage for Schmidt's heroics in the 11th inning.
Moore led the Bulldogs' offense in the opener, going 4-for-6 with two home runs, four RBIs and three runs scored. Brenner and Gant Elmore each had three hits, while Rallis and Scharff added two hits apiece.
Freshman Cale Hanson came out of center field to pitch the final 3⅓ innings of scoreless relief to earn the victory. He faced 10 batters, allowing two hits and striking out two.
In the second game, Hanson picked up the Bulldogs again, only this time he did it with his bat. He went 3-for-4 with a grand slam in the sixth inning and six total RBIs. He also scored two runs. Schmidt and Jacob Hunter each added three hits, with Schmidt driving in three runs and scoring three more runs. Elmore and Charlie Neil each added two hits and two runs scored.
Brook Hart earned the complete-game victory. He scattered seven hits, striking out six and allowing only one run, which came in the seventh inning.
Yale returns to Yale Field on Wednesday to face in-state rival Quinnipiac at 3:30 p.m.
Report filed by Jon Erickson Jr., Yale Sports Publicity