Slugfest Goes to Davidson, 14-8

March 11, 2009

Box Score

DAVIDSON, N.C. - The Yale baseball team got multi-hit games from four different players at Wilson Field on Tuesday, including home runs by freshman second baseman Zach Tobolowsky and junior first baseman Chris Sweeney, but the Davidson College offense hit four round trippers and benefited from clutch pitching out of the bullpen to take a 14-8 victory from the Elis in game one of a two-game series.

Tobolowsky's three-run home run marked his fourth of the season. He has gone yard in three straight games. Sweeney's dinger was his first of 2009. Senior catcher Davis Stanley also had a solid day at the plate, hitting 3-for-3 with three runs batted in.

"We're very close to being very good," said John Stuper, the Mazzuto Family Head Coach for Baseball at Yale. "We need to pitch better, and we need to stop giving away outs, but all of the pieces are right there."

The Yale offense, which scored 17 runs in yesterday's win at Maryland-Baltimore County, kept on rolling in the top of the first inning, as sophomore shortstop Gant Elmore drew a one-out walk and later trotted home on Sweeney's two-run home run to right field. Davidson starter Andy Bass pitched out of the inning to keep his squad close, but Elis' junior hurler Joe Castaldi kept the top of the Wildcats' order quiet as the first inning closed out with Yale holding a 2-0 advantage.

The Bulldogs added to their lead in the top of the second frame as junior designated hitter Trygg Larsson-Danforth led off the inning with a single up the middle. Larsson-Danforth moved to second and then to third on a pair of wild pitches, and sophomore right fielder Andrew Moore drew a walk and swiped second base to put two runners in scoring position for Stanley. Stanley delivered with a two-run single that ran the score to 4-0.

The Wildcats got on the board in their half of the third inning, courtesy of a two-run single by center fielder Brett Shore. Third baseman Chris Fitzpatrick started the inning with a single, and a potential double play ball got by Tobolowsky to put runners on second and third with none out in the frame. After Shore's base hit, Castaldi induced two pop-ups and a strikeout to limit the damage and keep the Elis ahead by a score of 4-2.

Singles by sophomore third baseman Andy Megee and Larsson-Danforth and a walk by Moore loaded the bases with none out, but the Bulldogs caught a tough break to stifle the potential for a big inning. After a long at-bat, freshman left fielder Charlie Neil smoked a line drive at Wildcats' first baseman Danny Weiss. Weiss mishandled the ball on the fly, but the drop allowed him to tag first and then nab Megee, who was frozen between third base and home on the hard liner. Stanley then came to bat and drove in his third run of the contest with a base hit, but Moore was gunned out at the plate by Davidson left fielder Drew Gadaire to end the inning.

Davidson's Chris Fitzpatrick was hit by a Castaldi offering to lead off the bottom of the fifth and was driven in on a double by the next batter, second baseman Zach Kayne. After an out and a hit batter put runners on first and second with one down, Weiss cashed in with a double down the line that knocked in Kayne. Castaldi then hit Chase Fitzpatrick with a pitch to load the bases, which sent Stuper into his bullpen. Freshman Pat Ludwig made his second appearance of the season, and was greeted by designated hitter Pat Brady, who hammered his third home run of the season to give the Wildcats an 8-5 lead. Gadaire followed that with a solo shot that ran the score to 9-5. Ludwig settled down and retired the next two batters, but the Bulldogs found themselves playing from behind for the first time in the contest.

In the sixth inning, after a series of close calls all went the Wildcats' way, Stuper was ejected after a heated exchange with both the home plate and field umpires. A Weiss base hit in the frame ran the score to 10-5 before Yale responded in the top half of the seventh inning. Neil started the rally with a base hit and Stanley was then hit by a pitch to put runners on first and second base with none out. Tobolowsky, the reigning Ivy League Rookie of the Week, belted his fourth round tripper of the season to put the Bulldogs within striking distance, down two runs at 10-8. The Wildcats then called upon right-hander Mike Frongello, who recorded an out before a Schropp double and Sweeney single put runners on the corners. Sweeney stole second on a pick-off attempt by Frongello, but the Elis failed to plate either of the runners in scoring position.

The Wildcats widened the gap in their half of the seventh as Gadaire and Kayne each roped two-run homers to run the score to its eventual final of 14-8 in favor of the home team.

Ian Horkley (2-0) tossed three innings in relief for Davidson, scattering five hits and allowing three earned runs en route to picking up the win. Castaldi surrendered six hits and five earned runs over the first 4.1 innings to fall to 0-1.

"Our scores and our record are very deceiving right now," said Stuper. "I'm excited to coach this team the rest of the way; we will continue to improve with every game."

The Elis, now 1-3, will spend another day in the Tar Heel State to wrap up the two-game series with the Wildcats. First pitch from Wilson Field is scheduled for 4 p.m. on Wednesday.

report filed by Drew M. Kingsley, Yale Sports Publicity

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