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Lawson, Cerfolio Lift Yale to Split at Princeton

Rob Cerfolio. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Rob Cerfolio. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

Lawson's 5 hits, Cerfolio 8 Scoreless Innings Lead Yale to 9-1 win in Game 2


PRINCETON, N.J. — Freshman third baseman Brent Lawson went 5-for-6 with two RBIs and a run scored, giving junior left-hander Rob Cerfolio all the run support he needed in a gem of a performance that led the Yale University baseball team to a 9-1 win in Game 2 of a doubleheader at Princeton on Saturday.

With the win, Yale (2-14, 1-1) salvaged a split with Princeton (3-17, 0-2) after falling 4-0 in Game 1 of the doubleheader. The Bulldogs snapped an 11-game losing streak in the opening weekend of Ivy League play. With the victory in Game 2, Yale moved into first place in the Ivy League's Red Rolfe Division. The other three teams in the Rolfe Division (Harvard, Dartmouth, Brown) were all swept in their opening Ivy doubleheaders.

Yale outhit Princeton 10-7 in Game 2, and Lawson collected half of those hits. Sophomore first baseman Jacob Hunter added two hits, while sophomore second baseman David Toups and sophomore center fielder Green Campbell both drove in two runs.

But the star of the show was Cerfolio (1-2), who scattered six hits in eight scoreless innings of work. He stuck out four Princeton batters in collecting his first win of the season. With the eight shutout innings, Cerfolio lowered his earned run average to 2.92.

"Rob Cerfolio pitched great and pounded the strike zone with just two walks. He was just outstanding on the mound when we needed it," Yale head coach John Stuper said. "He has pitched a lot of great games in his career and has not always gotten a lot of offensive support. It was nice for us to give him support with nine runs today. Princeton is always very difficult to beat at home."

After tallying only three hits in Game 1, it didn't take long for Yale to jumpstart the offense in Game 2. The Bulldogs scored a pair of runs in the first inning after two-out RBI singles by Lawson and Campbell.

In the third inning, Yale pushed the lead to 5-0 on sacrifice bunts by Campbell and senior captain Chris Piwinski and a sacrifice fly by freshman Tom O'Neill.

The Yale lead grew to 8-0 with three runs in the seventh inning. After loading the bases with no outs, Toups drove in O'Neill with a sacrifice fly, sophomore Eric Hsieh was hit by a pitch to force in sophomore outfielder Charles Cook and an infield single by Lawson pushed home Piwinski.

Toups added an RBI single in the eighth inning to give Yale a 9-0 lead, which was more than enough for Cerfolio, who was on top of his game throughout his eight innings of work. Through his first seven innings, Cerfolio allowed just three Princeton runners to move into scoring position. In the eighth, Princeton loaded the bases with one out after a pair of singles and a walk, but Alec Keller was forced out at home on a fielder's choice for the second out of the inning and Nate Baird popped up to O'Neill to end the threat.

Junior Kevin Fortunato came in to pitch the ninth inning and only gave up a run after loading the bases with two outs. He hit Mike Ford with a pitch to force in Billy Arendt with the Tigers' only run of the game. Steve Harrington belted a long shot to right field, but Cook chased it down for a spectacular catch to end the game, giving Yale it's first win since March 13.

In the opening game, Zak Hermans tossed a three-hit shutout over seven innings to give Princeton a 4-0 win. Hsieh, Hunter and senior Josh Scharff all had a single for Yale.

Keller belted a solo home run to lead off the first inning, while Alex Flink added an RBI single to give Princeton a 2-0 lead after one inning. The Tigers added a run in the second inning after Keller scored on a passed ball. The Tigers' final run of the game came in the fourth inning after Flink snuck an RBI single up the middle with two outs to complete the scoring.

Yale returns to action Sunday afternoon with a pair of games at Cornell, which swept Brown 6-1 and 4-1 in Saturday's doubleheader. Sunday's games begin at 12 p.m.

Report filed by Jon Erickson Jr., Yale Sports Publicity