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Yale Salvages Split with Hartford

Chris Piwinski. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Chris Piwinski. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

Bulldogs' Bats Tally 21 Hits in Pair of Games Against In-State Rival Hawks


WEST HAVEN, Conn. — Sophomore shortstop Cale Hanson collected five hits in six at-bats in a pair of games against the University of Hartford, leading the Yale University baseball team in an offensive show of force that resulted in a total of 13 runs on 21 hits in a 7-5 loss and an 8-5 win Friday afternoon at historic Yale Field.

Trailing 5-3 in the opening game of the doubleheader, Yale rallied with a pair of runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to tie the game, but Hartford responded with a pair of runs that scored on an outfield error to secure the victory in seven innings.

Hartford (3-15) jumped out to the early lead, scoring a pair of runs in the first inning on a two-run single by Brady Sheetz with two outs.

Yale (5-12-1) rallied with three runs on three hits in the bottom of the second inning, scoring twice on a two-run single by junior third baseman Chris Piwinski and the third run on an RBI double from Hanson, to jump out to a 3-2 lead.

Hartford reclaimed the lead with three runs in the top of the fifth inning on a bases loaded double by Simon Kudernatsch that cleared the bases, giving the Hawks a 5-3 lead.

A little small ball in the bottom of the sixth led to both of Yale's runs in the game-tying rally. Piwinski led off with an infield single and went to third on a double by Hanson. Freshman left fielder David Toups drove in Piwinski with a sacrifice bunt, which pushed Hanson to third base. He then scored on a sacrifice bunt from senior catcher Ryan Brenner to tie the game at 5-5.

Yale's starting pitcher, senior Pat Ludwig (0-2), came within one out of finishing the seventh inning. He retired the first two batters he faced in the inning, but he followed that with a walk and a double that put two Hartford runners in scoring position. Brian Hunter appeared to end the inning with a fly ball to left field, but the ball eluded Toups' glove, allowing both runners to score, giving Hartford the victory and sending Yale to its fourth consecutive loss.

The Bulldogs outhit the Hawks 11-8 in the contest, but they left nine runners on base in the game, compared with only four runners left on base by the Hawks.

The hits kept coming for the Bulldogs in Game 2, and this time, they scored early and often and held on for the victory.

Yale scored three runs in the first inning, another in the second, and three more in the fourth to jump out to a 7-1 lead after four innings.

Fortunato put Yale on the board with a two-run triple with one out in the first inning. He then scored on a sacrifice bunt from senior right fielder Charlie Neil to put Yale on top 3-0.

In the top of the second inning, Hartford put a run on the scoreboard without the benefit of a hit when Brian Estevez walked with one out and moved to second on a two-out walk to Robert Meerman. Estevez then stole third base and scored on the play when the throw from Brenner ricocheted off of the hitter, Pat Knauth, and rolled to the Yale dugout, allowing Estevez to race home for the run.

The Bulldogs added a fourth run in the second inning when Piwinski drew a one-out walk, stole second and scored on Brenner's two-out double.


Freshman Green Campbell led off the fourth inning with a walk and later scored on Jacob Hunter's sacrifice fly. Fortunato followed with a two-run single with two outs in the inning to give Yale a 7-1 lead.

Hartford scored two runs in the fifth inning and single runs in the seventh and eight innings to cut Yale's lead to 7-5, but the Bulldogs tacked on an insurance run in the eighth inning when Piwinski reached on a one-out double and scored from second base on a wild pitch, giving Yale the 8-5 victory and snapping the four-game slide.

Yale's Game 2 starter, junior left hander Nolan Becker, allowed just three hits and two earned runs in five innings to earn his first victory of the season. He struck out five batters in the victory. Freshman Eric Hsieh gave up a pair of runs on just one hit in two innings of impressive relief. Senior Eric Shultz allowed just two hits in two scoreless innings of relief to earn his first save of the season.

Hanson had two doubles and three singles among his five hits to lead the Bulldogs in the two games. He also walked twice, scored three runs and drove in a run. Piwinski, Brenner and Fortunato all enjoyed three-hit days. Piwinski had a double, four runs scored, a pair of walks, and two RBIs in the two games. Brenner had two doubles, two runs scored, two RBIs and two walks, while Fortunato drove in a team-high four runs with a triple, two runs scored and three walks.

The two teams will close out the four-game series on Saturday, with a doubleheader at the University of Hartford's Fiondella Field beginning at 12 p.m.

Report filed by Jon Erickson Jr., Yale Sports Publicity