Bulldogs Homer Six Times, Sweep Harvard

Simon Whiteman. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Simon Whiteman. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

The Bulldogs continue to find new ways to win games.  Today's doubleheader sweep at Harvard is proof. 

Yale (18-13, 9-1 Ivy League) maintained their two-game edge over Dartmouth in the Red Rolfe Division standings with a tight, 4-2 win in game one and an offensive explosion, 21-13 win in the nightcap in Cambridge, Mass.

"We showed we can win two kinds of games today," Yale head coach John Stuper said. "A tight pitching duel and a slugfest. Scott [Politz] was awesome again. Made big pitches. We played well behind him and got some key hits."

Politz started the opener and won his league-leading seventh game of the season.  Politz retired 11 of 12 batters after Josh Ellis hit a home run for Harvard to lead off the third, and closed out the game by striking out the side in the seventh. 

Tim DeGraw went 3 for 4 in game one with a run scored and an RBI, and Harrison White blasted a two-run homer to dead center in the second.  DeGraw tripled home Andrew Herrera in the fifth, and Simon Whiteman singled home DeGraw.  

The 21-run performance in game two was the largest output for the Bulldogs since a 23-8 win at Hartford on March 17, 2015.  Yale's 21 hits in game two was a season high.

Yale slammed five homers -- Whiteman and Alex Stiegler had two each, and Benny Wanger had one. Kumiar Nambiar (2-1) came on in relief and kept Harvard in check to earn the win.  

"Being a former pitcher, I'm not a big fan of slugfests," Stuper said.  "The wind was really blowing out and we took advantage.  The key is not walking people."

Trailing 8-7 in the fourth, Wanger and Stiegler went back with homers.  Wanger had a two-run shot and Stiegler had a solo blast to give Yale a 10-8 lead. 

Yale scored in each of the next four innings -- including six in the seventh thanks in part to Whiteman's second homer of the game.

The first five batters -- DeGraw, Whiteman, Richard Slenker, Wanger and Stiegler -- in the starting lineup for Yale went 12 for 25 with 15 runs scored and 14 RBI.

Nambiar got the final two outs of the second, pitched through the seventh and allowed three runs over 5 2/3 innings with the wind blowing out.

"Kumar did a great job holding them down after we gave back a 7-1 lead," Stuper said. "Tough to pitch in those conditions, but he gave us a chance to get ahead again and eventually put the game away." 

The Bulldogs and Crimson will play another doubleheader tomorrow beginning at noon.

Report filed by Ernie Bertothy, Yale Sports Publicity