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Bulldogs Drop Two Extra-Inning Games to Columbia; Sunday's Game Moved to 11 a.m.

Rohan Handa.  (Photo by Steve Musco)
Rohan Handa. (Photo by Steve Musco)

NEW HAVEN, Conn. -- The Bulldogs dropped two extra-inning games to Columbia on Saturday.  Columbia took the first 8-2 in 13 innings and won the nightcap 3-2 in 10.  

Columbia improved to 8-3 in Ivy League play, while Yale fell to 5-6 in conference.  Yale received numerous solid pitching performances from both starters -- Scott Politz and Kumar Nambiar -- and long relief from Rohan Handa and Ben Gibbs.

"Obviously, two really tough losses, Yale head coach John Stuper said.  "We had our chances in both games, but just couldn't stick a hit when we needed it. That's baseball. But my guys battled all day. Politz, Nambiar, Handa, and Gibbs were all outstanding on the mound." 

In game two, the Bulldogs tied the game at 2-2 in the fourth with two runs.  Griffin Dey scored Simon Whiteman on a sac fly and Brian Ronai scored Jake Gehri on a single to center.  

Nambiar tossed the first seven innings and allowed two runs (one earned) with seven strikeouts.  Gibbs took the loss after pitching a scoreless eighth and ninth.   

In game one, Columbia scored six runs in the 13th inning to win 8-2.  

Pierce Blohowiak tied the game in the ninth on safety squeeze bunt to score Jonathan Boulaphinh, who came on as a pinch runner for Cal Christofori.  Christofori led off the inning with a single and Alex Stiegler sacrificed Boulaphinh to second.  Dai Dai Otaka singled to advance Boulaphinh.

The Bulldogs left the bases loaded in the 10th and two on in the 12th.  

Tim DeGraw opened the scoring in the first and singled home Whiteman, who led off with a triple.  DeGraw and Dey both had three hits in the opener.  

Politz went the first eight innings, scattered nine hits and struck out five with one walk.  Handa took the loss, but pitched four scoreless innings before allowing two runners on in the 13th and getting one out.  Bobby Cecere came on in relief and allowed the runners to score. 

"We're dealing with a lot of injuries right now, and that's also part of this game," Stuper added. "Next man up is our mantra. That's why we work so hard at making guys versatile. It's for times like these when we ask them to play multiple positions." 

The two teams will play a single game tomorrow beginning at 11 a.m. The start time was moved up from noon due to the weather forecast. 

Report filed by Ernie Bertothy, Yale Sports Publicity