Fortunato Belts Second Homer of Season in Opening Game
NEW HAVEN, Conn. — Sophomore shortstop Cale Hanson reached base just once in both games of Saturday's doubleheader against Princeton, but it was just enough to extend his consecutive games streak of reaching base to 25 games. However, it was not enough to prevent the Yale University baseball team from dropping both games of the doubleheader, 6-3 and 2-1, to Princeton on Saturday at Yale Field.
With the losses, Yale falls to 6-20-1 overall, 0-6 in Ivy League play. Princeton improved to .500 overall at 11-11 and 5-1 in Ivy League play.
Hanson went a combined 1-for-8 in the two games, notching a single in his final at-bat in Game 1 and reaching on a walk in his third of five plate appearances in Game 2.
Yale outhit Princeton in both games, 11-8 in the seven-inning opener and 7-6 in the nine-inning nightcap, but Princeton managed to capitalize on a pair of clutch opportunities to pull out the wins in both games.
In Game 1, the two teams exchanged a run apiece in the second inning, with Mishu putting Princeton on the board with a one-out RBI single and Yale tying the game in the bottom of the inning on Kevin Fortunato's second home run of the season, a solo shot to deep left-center field with one out that tied the game at 1-1.
Princeton took a 2-1 lead in the top of the third on an RBI single by Matt Bowman and held that lead until Yale struck in the bottom of the fourth inning when Fortunato scored on what appeared to be an inning-ending double play, but Bowman, the shortstop, threw the ball away on the play, allowing Fortunato to score from second base.
The game remained tied at 2-2 until Princeton struck for four big runs in the top of the seventh inning. A leadoff walk, a single, and a hit batter loaded the bases for the Tigers. The next batter was hit by Yale starter Christopher O'Hare to drive in the first run of the rally. After Eric Shultz replaced O'Hare, Bowman smacked a two-run single to right field. An RBI sacrifice flyout by starting pitcher Mike Ford ended the rally and gave Princeton a 6-2 lead.
The Bulldogs tried to stage a rally of their own in the bottom of the seventh, with Charlie Neil driving in Ryan Brenner with a two-out RBI single to cut the deficit to 6-3. Fortunato then reached on a two-base error that put runners on second and third. Representing the tying run, Jacob Hunter lined out on an 0-1 pitch to end the game.
Ford scattered 11 hits, giving up two earned runs with three strikeouts to earn the complete-game victory.
In Game 2, Princeton used back-to-back RBI singles with two outs to plate both of its runs in the game. Nate Baird and Alex Flink each singled to drive in a run to give the Tigers an early 2-0 lead that they would not relinquish.
Yale scored its run in the fifth inning on an RBI sacrifice fly out by Brenner that scored Piwinski to cut the deficit to 2-1.
Becker faced 13 batters, striking out seven of them and walking only one in four no-hit innings of work.
Becker's gem gave the Bulldogs several chances to plate the tying run, but they could not capitalize.
The good news for the Bulldogs is several hitters appeared to break out of slumps against the Tigers. Five Bulldogs ended up with multiple hits over the course of the two games. Brenner went 4-for-6 over the two games with an RBI and a run scored to lead Yale. Freshman David Toups went 4-for-8 on the afternoon. Piwinski was 3-for-6 with a triple and a run scored. Fortunato went 3-for-8 with a home run, an RBI, and two runs scored, while Joe Lubanski went 2-for-6.
The Bulldogs return to Yale Field Sunday afternoon for a pair of games against Cornell beginning at 12 p.m.
Report filed by Jon Erickson Jr., Yale Sports Publicity