March 11, 2009
DAVIDSON, N.C. - Mazzuto Family Head Coach for Baseball John Stuper stated yesterday, after a 14-8 loss at Davidson, that the Yale baseball team was "very close to being very good", but the pitching had to improve. Coach Stuper got his wish this afternoon, as Elis' hurler Brandon Josselyn silenced the Wildcats' offense with a 7.2 inning, five-hit performance to guide the Bulldogs to a 4-2 victory at Wilson Field. The right-hander struck out seven batters in the victory and walked only one batter to improve to 1-1 on the season.
"At any level of baseball, from Little League to the Major Leagues, the game comes down to the one guy on the mound," said Stuper. "And Brandon was outstanding today. In a hitters' ballpark against a tough line-up, he turned in the best performance of his career."
Offensively, senior catcher Davis Stanley provided the big hit for Yale, a two-run home run to break a scoreless tie in the fifth frame. Five other Bulldogs contributed hits, including an RBI double from freshman right fielder Charlie Neil to extend Yale's lead in the eighth inning. The fourth Elis' run came in the form of a groundout earlier in the frame by junior first baseman Trygg Larsson-Danforth, who also stole two bases in the contest.
"This is what I expected from this team," said Stuper. "Great pitching, solid fielding and timely hitting. The hitting has been better than I expected, and I hope that continues, but pitching will be the key to our success."
The Elis and Wildcats traded zeroes for the first four frames, including a streak of 11 straight retired by Josselyn, before a one-out walk drawn by freshman designated hitter Ryan Brenner in the fifth inning set the table for Stanley. The senior belted his first home run of the season off of Wildcat starter Ryan Overcash to break the stalemate and give Yale a 2-0 advantage.
The bats went silent again until the top of the eighth inning, which sophomore Gant Elmore led off with a single. After Elmore advanced to second base on a wild pitch, a single by senior captain Stefan Schropp put runners on the corners with none out. Larsson-Danforth's fielder's choice, which erased Schropp at second, pushed Elmore home and gave the Bulldogs a 3-0 lead. After the junior first baseman swiped second base, Neil roped a double to left field to bring him home.
After Yale built its 4-0 lead, the Wildcat offense finally got to Josselyn. Second baseman Zach Kayne connected with a solo home run to cut the deficit to 4-1 with two down in the bottom of the eighth. Stuper looked to his bullpen from that point forward, and southpaw Vinny Lally came on and induced an inning-ending groundout to preserve to three-run edge.
Freshman Eric Shultz came on to close the door in the bottom of the ninth, allowing one hit and one earned before striking out shortstop Matt Webb to earn his second save of the season.
With the victory, the Bulldogs improved to 2-3 on the season. Davidson fell to 7-6 in defeat.
The Elis will take a day off to trek to Richmond, Va., where they will meet the Richmond Spiders for a three-game series beginning Friday at 2 p.m.
report filed by Drew M. Kingsley, Yale Sports Publicity