Bulldogs Honor 5 Seniors during Senior Day Celebration on Saturday
NEW HAVEN, Conn. — The 2012 season will come to a close this weekend with a four-game series against Brown, but before the final doubleheader is played on Saturday, the Bulldogs will honor their five seniors during Senior Day festivities on Saturday.
Yale will visit Brown on Friday for a doubleheader in Providence that begins at 1 p.m. The two teams will meet again for a second doubleheader on Saturday at historic Yale Field, which will close the books on the 85th season in its history.
Saturday will be the final time that the five seniors on the roster will put on a Yale uniform. The Bulldogs will honor their captain and four-year catcher, Ryan Brenner, along with outfielder and four-year starter Charlie Neil and pitchers Pat Ludwig, Greg Lyons and Eric Shultz.
Heading into the weekend, Brenner has appeared in 141 games in his Yale career with 135 starts. He holds a .238 career average, with his highest average coming during his junior season in which he hit .313. He has compiled a total of 125 hits, 32 doubles, one triple, seven home runs, 64 RBIs and 84 runs scored. He hit a career-best five home runs as a sophomore, including three in one game. This spring, he is second on the team in hitting (.283) and on-base percentage (.370) and is third in slugging (.331). He leads the team in runs scored with 22. He is among the top five players on the team in 14 different categories.
Neil, a four-year starter and letter winner in both baseball and soccer, heads into the weekend having appeared in 151 games with 140 starts in the Yale outfield. He holds a .256 career batting average. An All-Ivy League Second Team selection as a sophomore, Neil produced his best season that year, compiling career-high numbers in batting average (.343), hits (36), doubles (11), home runs (4), RBIs (20) and runs scored (30). He has compiled a total of 125 hits, 25 doubles, five triples, six home runs, 66 RBIs and 76 runs scored.
Ludwig will make his final appearance this weekend, which will be the 39th appearance and 28th start of his Yale career. Ludwig has lowered his earned run average in each of his four seasons, saving his best season for his last at Yale. Despite is 0-5 record, Ludwig is one of the best pitchers in the Ivy League this season, leading the league in strikeouts (56) and strikeouts looking (22). He is also second in opposing batting average (.237) and innings pitched (56.1), third in ERA (2.56) and fourth in earned runs allowed (16). Ludwig currently holds an 8-15 overall career record with six complete games, 179.2 innings pitched, and an overall ERA of 4.66. He has posted career-lows this season in ERA, opposing batting average, runs (25) and earned runs allowed, doubles (7) and home runs (2) allowed and a career-high mark in strikeouts.
In his four seasons at Yale, Shultz has been the ironman out of the bullpen, appearing in at least 19 games in three of his four seasons, including a career-high 21 games this season. He is Yale's leader in wins this season, holding a 4-2 record with one save and a 3.06 ERA. This spring, he has posted career-best marks in wins, strikeouts (26), and innings pitched (35.1). He holds a career record of 8-7 with eight saves, an ERA of 4.29 in 100.2 innings pitched, and 71 strikeouts.
Lyons, a right-handed specialist out of the bullpen, has made 43 appearances with two starts in his four seasons at Yale. He holds a 1-4 record overall with three saves and a career ERA of 6.87. In five appearances this season, he has held opposing batters to a .208 average. His best season overall came as a sophomore when he posted career-high marks in innings pitched (29.1), strikeouts (24) and batters faces (138).
The five senior Bulldogs will get one last chance to shine against a Brown team that is one of the better hitting teams in the Ivy League, but the Bears also carry the highest ERA (8.40) of any team in the Ivy League into the weekend series with the Bulldogs.
Brown has five players hitting better than .300 and nine players hitting .280 or higher. The Bears' leading hitter is Nate Kukowski, who is hitting .357 in just eight games this season. Their leading regulars are John Sheridan, who is hitting .340 in 24 starts, and Cody Slaughter, who is hitting .333 and is leading the team in home runs (5), RBIs (30) and slugging percentage (.535). However, their leading pitcher is Taylor Wright, who has a team-best ERA of 4.54 in 16 appearances. The leading starter is Heath Mayo, who is 2-2 with an ERA of 4.84 in eight starts.
Report filed by Jon Erickson Jr., Yale Sports Publicity