Cerfolio Strikes Out Seven in Florida Trip Finale
BABSON, Fla. — For the second straight game, the Yale University baseball team used a ninth inning rally to produce a game-winning opportunity only to see the comeback fall just short, this time in a 6-5 loss to Navy in the final game of the RussMatt Invitational at Webber International University Saturday morning.
The Bulldogs (1-7) took a 2-1 lead after four innings, but Navy raced ahead with a five-run seventh inning that gave the Midshipmen (7-11) a 6-2 lead. The Bulldogs scored three runs with no outs in the bottom of the ninth inning, but three consecutive groundball outs ended Yale's chances.
"We are getting better and starting to define roles," said Yale head coach John Stuper. "It's tough to look at a 1-7 record, but I truly believe better things are ahead. They never quit today and darn near pulled it out."
The two teams both plated runs in the fourth inning, with Navy striking first in the top of the frame with a RBI single by Brandon Beans that drove in Robert Currie, giving the Midshipmen a short-lived 1-0 lead.
The Bulldogs responded in the bottom of the inning, scoring a pair of unearned runs on a single by Josh Scharff that gave Yale a 2-1 lead.
Yale maintained the lead until the top of the seventh when Navy broke through with a five-run outburst that resulted from a two-run double with one out by Dave Wiedeman and a three-run double with two outs by Greg Dupell.
Trailing 6-2 after Navy's seventh-inning outburst, Yale rallied in the ninth inning, starting with a lead-off double by Jacob Hunter. Joe Lubanski singled to drive in Hunter. Cam Squires followed with a single, and he and Lubanski then advanced 90 feet on a wild pitch. Green Campbell followed with a two-run single that scored Squires and Lubanski and cut Yale's deficit to 6-5 with no outs. Campbell went to second on Brent Lawson's sacrifice bunt and a grounder to the shortstop by Chris Piwinski pushed Campbell to third. That was as close to tying the game as Yale could get as Campbell was stranded at third base after Eric Hsieh grounded out to third base to end the Yale rally and the game.
Yale outhit Navy 8-7, but the Bulldogs' opportunities were limited thanks to the pitching of Navy's Ben Nelson. He struck out 13 Yale batters and allowed only one earned run in eight innings of work to lead the Midshipmen.
Scharff went 2-for-3 with two RBIs to lead the Bulldogs, while Campbell went 1-for-4 with two RBIs. Yale starter Rob Cerfolio (0-2) struck out seven Navy batters in seven innings of work.
Yale will fly home later today before hitting the road again next week to play a pair of game at Virginia and two more in a doubleheader at Holy Cross before opening the home portion of the schedule at Historic Yale Field on Sunday, March 24, with another twin bill against Holy Cross.
Report filed by Jon Erickson Jr., Yale Sports Publicity