Bulldogs Split With Big Red

March 31, 2009

Game 1 Box Score
Game 2 Box Score

ITHACA, N.Y. - The Yale and Cornell baseball teams played two very similar games at David F. Hoy Field in Ithaca, N.Y. on Wednesday. Bulldogs' starter Brandon Josselyn overpowered Cornell in Game 1, and the Elis jumped out to an early lead that they would not relinquish en route to a 3-2 win. In Game 2, it was Big Red pitching that set the tone, while the home team struck first at the plate and held on for a 4-2 victory

With the split, Yale moves to 6-9 overall and 2-2 in the Ivy League. Cornell now sits at 4-12 overall and 2-2 in Ancient Eight action.

Freshman catcher Ryan Brenner went 3-for-3 in Game 2, while junior first baseman Trygg Larsson-Danforth and freshman left fielder Charlie Neil each went 2-for-6 in the doubleheader.

In game one, the Bulldogs started the scoring in the top of the second frame. Larsson-Danforth led off with a lined shot to dead center field that landed him on third base with a triple. Neil, the next batter, cashed in on the RBI opportunity with a single through the right side of the infield that plated Larsson-Danforth and ran the score to 1-0 in favor of the Elis.

Big Red didn't hit Josselyn hard in the bottom of the third inning, but still managed to plate a run to tie the score at 1-1. Scott Hardinger beat out an infield single to start the one-out rally, Nathan Ford followed with a groundball through the right side of the infield that put runners on the corners, and pitcher Mickey Brodsky helped his own cause with a looping single just out of the reach of sophomore second baseman Gant Elmore that brought Hardinger around to score Cornell's first run.

Yale jumped back on top with a pair of runs in the fourth inning. Sophomore third baseman Andy Megee started the rally with a one-out single, and Larsson-Danforth followed with a walk. After a wild pitch moved both Elis into scoring position, Neil smacked a deep fly ball to center field that allowed Megee to tag up and score. Junior designated hitter Chris Sweeney continued the rally with a single that brought Larsson-Danforth around to score for the second time in the game.

Cornell got a run back from Josselyn in the seventh inning, courtesy of a Ford RBI groundout, but the Yale right-hander struck out his counterpart Brodsky to end the game with the Bulldogs grabbing a 3-2 victory.

Josselyn scattered seven hits and allowed two earned runs in the complete game win. He struck out five batters and issued two walks to improve to 3-2. Brodsky surrendered five hits and allowed three earned runs for Cornell to fall to 1-1. He struck out two and issued two free passes.

"Brandon was outstanding once again," said John Stuper, the Mazzuto Family Head Coach for Baseball. "He had great velocity and excellent movement on his pitches. He continues to prove himself as our number one starter."

While Big Red stranded eight runners in the first game, the home team cashed in on a scoring chance in the first inning of the nightcap. Jadd Schmeltzer knocked a two-out, two-run double off of Yale starter Chris Finneran in opening frame to give Cornell an early 2-0 lead.

Big Red extended its lead to 3-0 in the bottom of the second inning, courtesy of an RBI single by Scott Hardinger. Freshman Pat Ludwig came on in relief of Finneran in the frame, striking out clean-up hitter Mickey Brodsky with the bases loaded to leave the Bulldogs in striking distance.

Cornell tacked on another run in the third inning to grab a 4-0 advantage, while the Bulldogs were held in check for six innings by Big Red starter Tony Bertucci. In the top of the seventh inning, however, Cornell went into its bullpen and the Yale line-up capitalized to cut the deficit in half. Sophomore right fielder Andrew Moore led off with a double, and Brenner followed with a two-bagger of his own to plate the Bulldogs' first run of the contest. Freshman shortstop Matt Schmidt then drew a walk, and Elmore grounded out to move Brenner and Schmidt into scoring position. Senior captain Stefan Schropp then smoked a ground out to third base than allowed Brenner to come home.

The pitching combination of Ludwig and junior Robert Gruber held Cornell in check, posting zeroes on the scoreboard in the final five frames, but Big Red closer David Rochefort slammed the door on Yale with two scoring innings to preserve the 4-2 victory.

Finneran allowed three hits and three earned runs over the first 1.2 innings to fall to 0-2. Ludwig surrendered four hits and one earned run, while striking out four in 4.1 innings, the longest outing of his collegiate career. Gruber allowed one hit and one walk in two scoreless innings of work.

Bertucci scattered six hits in six shutout innings to improve to 1-1. Rochefort's save was his second of the season.

The Bulldogs are back in action tomorrow, as the Quinnipiac Bobcats visit Yale Field for a non-conference tilt beginning at 3:30 p.m. The Ivy League schedule resumes this weekend as Columbia and Penn visit the Elm City for noon doubleheaders on Saturday and Sunday.

report filed by Drew M. Kingsley, Yale Sports Publicity

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