Yale Suffers Pair of Heartbreaking Losses to Holy Cross
Bulldogs Held 1-Run Leads Late in Both Games, but Crusaders Rally to Sweep
WEST HAVEN, Conn. — The Yale University baseball team held one-run leads late in both games of Saturday's doubleheader against Holy Cross, only to see the Crusaders rally late to pull off come-from-behind wins, 5-4 and 7-6, to complete the sweep at Yale Field.
The two losses spoiled Opening Day at Historic Yale Field for the Bulldogs, who fall to 1-11 overall. Holy Cross snapped a three-game losing streak with the wins and improved to 4-13. The Crusaders had lost 10 of their previous 11 games prior to Saturday's sweep.
Saturday's doubleheader was originally scheduled to take place at Holy Cross, but field conditions at Fitton Field in Worcester, Mass., forced the teams to play the games at Yale Field. Holy Cross still served as the home team in Saturday's games. The two teams will complete the four-game series with a second doubleheader at Yale Field on Sunday beginning at 1 p.m.
In the seven-inning opening game, Yale led 3-2 after two innings and 4-3 after the top of the fifth inning, but Holy Cross scored a pair of runs in the bottom of the fifth to pull ahead 5-4. Yale had a chance to tie the game in the top of the seventh after putting runners on second and third with two outs, but the Bulldogs bats could not produce the tying hit.
Yale scored the three runs in the second inning on an RBI single by senior captain Chris Piwinski and bases-loaded walks by sophomores Eric Hsieh and David Toups. The Crusaders responded with two runs in the bottom of the inning on a two-run double by Connor Perry with two outs.
Holy Cross tied the game with a run in the bottom of the fourth inning on an RBI sacrifice fly by Perry. Yale regained the lead with a one-out bases-loaded walk by freshman Tom O'Neill that gave the Bulldogs a 4-3 lead.
But Holy Cross took advantage of a Yale throwing error on what would have been the third of the bottom of the fifth inning and scored a pair of unearned runs to pull ahead 5-4.
In the nightcap, Yale trailed 5-1 after five innings after Holy Cross scored two runs in the fourth inning and three more in the fifth. The Bulldogs stormed back with a four-run rally in the seventh inning to tie the game at 5-5 and took the lead with a run in the eighth inning.
Yale was one out away from securing the victory and appeared to have the win within reach when Holy Cross third baseman Mike Ahmed hit a high pop-up to third, but the ball slipped out of Lawson's glove and fell to the ground, giving Holy Cross new life.
The Crusaders took advantage. Brandon Cipolla singled to push Ahmed to third and Perry followed with an RBI single to drive in Ahmed to tie the game at 6-6. Following a walk by Stephen Wadsworth, Patrick Puentes belted a line-drive single down the right field line to score Cipolla with the winning run, giving Holy Cross a 7-6 win and a sweep of the doubleheader.
The Bulldogs briefly led 1-0 after the first inning thanks to an RBI groundout by Toups. After Holy Cross took the 5-1 lead, Yale's four-run rally came after the first two batters of the inning were retired, but the two-out rally came thanks to an RBI single by sophomore Eric Hsieh, an RBI double by Lawson, and a two-run single by Toups.
Michael Coleman pitched extremely well in 4⅓ innings of relief, allowing just two hits and two unearned runs with three strikeouts, but luck didn't go his way after the error in the ninth inning and he was charged with the loss.
Report filed by Jon Erickson Jr., Yale Sports Publicity