WEST HAVEN, Conn. — With its opponent coming into Yale Field after losing three straight games for a doubleheader that would account for its fourth and fifth straight road games, the Yale University baseball team had a great opportunity to make some noise in the Ivy League standings. Unfortunately for the Bulldogs, Columbia senior pitcher Geoff Whitaker picked an inopportune time to throw his first complete game of the season.
Yale opened up the offense early in Game 1, jumping out to a 5-0 lead before closing out with a 6-3 victory to open the doubleheader on Sunday. Whitaker then shut down the Bulldogs' bats, striking out seven batters while scattering seven hits to lead Columbia to an 8-1 win.
Yale remained at .500 in the Ivy League standings with the split, moving the overall record to 15-12, 4-4 in Ivy play, while Columbia improved to 12-15 overall, 3-5 in Ivy play.
Yale struck early for three runs in the second inning to take control of the opening game, but the outburst came with a cost as senior second baseman Gant Elmore was hit in the face by a pitch with the bases loaded. He drove in the first run of the game, but he suffered facial injuries and had to be taken out of the game. It was not determined by the end of the second game the significance of those injuries, but the Bulldogs played the remaining 14 innings of the doubleheader without one of their leaders.
When play resumed with the bases still loaded, Cam Squires walked in a run and Andy Megee was hit by a pitch to drive in the third run of the inning, giving the Bulldogs three runs without the need for a hit to drive them in.
In the fourth inning, RBI singles from Squires and Megee put Yale ahead 5-0, but Columbia bounced back with a pair of runs in the top of the fifth inning to trim Yale's lead to 5-2.
Trey Rallis scored on a Columbia error in the bottom of the fifth inning to put Yale on top 6-2, but Columbia came back with another run in the top of the sixth inning when Alex Godshall scored on a wild pitch to finish off the scoring.
Christopher O'Hare worked 4⅓ innings and allowed only two runs on 10 hits with three strikeouts to earn the victory and improve to 3-0 on the season.
Whitaker was the story in the second game. He needed 118 pitches to complete the nine-inning effort, which included four hitless innings. He allowed more than two hitters to reach base in only one inning and he worked four 1-2-3 innings in the effort.
Brenner was the only Yale hitter with more than one hit. He finished 2-for-4 with the lone RBI, which came in the sixth inning when he drove in Cale Hanson with an RBI single.
Nick Crucet went 3-for-5 with an RBI and a run scored to power the Lions' offense. Dario Pizzano and Jason Banos each added two hits, an RBI and a run scored.
Yale is scheduled to return to Yale Field to entertain in-state rival Connecticut on Tuesday at 3 p.m.
Report filed by Jon Erickson Jr., Yale Sports Publicity