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Bulldogs Complete Weekend Sweep Behind Nambiar's Gem, Timely Hits

Kumar Nambiar. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Kumar Nambiar. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

The Bulldogs used late-game heroics and a Kumar Nambiar gem to take both games Sunday from Penn and complete a three-game series sweep in Philadelphia.

Yale won game one 9-7 and took the second 8-0 behind Nambiar's complete-game, three-hit shutout.  With the wins, the Bulldogs kept pace in the Ivy League standings and improved to 8-7 in the conference. 

"My guys just will not go away," Yale head coach John Stuper said. "There's a lot of pride in our locker room. They played hard for 27 innings and beat a very good team."

Penn entered the week among the nation's best teams in batting average, and Nambiar went the distance without allowing a run on the Quakers' home field.  His final line was three hits, three walks and five strikeouts.

"Penn is in the top 10 in the nation in batting average," Stuper added. "For Kumar to shut them out on their home field, while only giving up three hits, is absolutely incredible." 

Mason LaPlante went 4 for 5 in game two with three RBI and added a two-run single in the sixth to give Yale a 3-0 lead.  LaPlante had six hits in the doubleheader.

"It was nice to get Mason back from his concussion, after missing the Columbia series," Stuper said. "What a weekend he had on both sides of the ball. We are a better team with him in the lineup."

Yale (14-21) tacked on one in the eighth on a LaPlante single and four in the ninth.  Jake Gehri launched his seventh homer of the season, a solo shot in the final inning.  

The run support was more than enough for Nambiar, who retired 10 in a row before a two-out walk in the ninth.

"Kumar's performance is in the top five pitching performances in my 27 years at Yale."

In game one, Simon Whiteman doubled home Pierce Blohowiak to score the go-ahead run in the eighth.  Tim DeGraw singled home Whiteman for an insurance run and Rohan Handa tossed a perfect ninth for his second save of the season. 

Ben Gibbs (3-1) came on in relief of Alex Stiegler to pick up his third win of the season. 

LaPlante went 2 for 5 with three runs in the opener, and Gehri had two hits and four RBI.  Whiteman, DeGraw and Blohowiak all had two hits each.  Griffin Dey reached base five times. 

The Bulldogs return to action on Wednesday at Sacred Heart.

Report filed by Ernie Bertothy, Yale Sports Publicity