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Hunter’s First Career Homer Lifts Yale to Win

Jacob Hunter. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Jacob Hunter. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

Sophomore Belts Two-Run HR to Start Four-run Rally; Hanson Extends Streak to 34 Games


WEST HAVEN, Conn. — The Yale University baseball team rallied from a 4-0 deficit to pull out a 7-4 victory over in-state rival Sacred Heart behind the bat of sophomore second baseman Jacob Hunter Tuesday afternoon at historic Yale Field.

Hunter's first career home run, a two-run shot over the left-center field wall, started a four-run rally in the third inning that tied the game at 4-4. Hunter drove in a third run with a sacrifice fly in the fourth inning that put Yale on top 6-4, and then he scored a run in the seventh to give Yale a 7-4 lead that it would not relinquish.

Yale improved to 9-26-1 with the win, while Sacred Heart falls to 11-24 with the loss.

By the time the game had ended, Hunter was 2-for-3 to finish the day with three RBIs and two runs scored.

Sophomore second baseman Cale Hanson went 2-for-4, reaching base three times in the game, with a double, an RBI and a run scored to extend his on-base streak to a stunning 34 consecutive games.

Hanson closed his freshman season by reaching base in the final seven games of the season, which means he has reached base in 41 of his last 43 games, and 72 of the 78 games in which he has played over the course of his entire Yale career.

Josh Scharff followed Hunter's home run with a two-run, game-tying triple with two outs in the third inning.

Yale outhit Sacred Heart 9-4. Freshman David Toups went 1-for-3 with a walk, an RBI and a run scored. Ryan Brenner, Charlie Neil and Chris Piwinski each added a hit and a run scored.

Freshman pitcher Eric Hsieh started the game for the Bulldogs and worked four innings, giving up four runs, three of them earned, on just three hits with two strikeouts.

Fellow freshman Ben Joseph (1-2) earned the first win of his Yale career, taking over for Hsieh and working the next three innings, allowing just one hit while holding the Pioneers scoreless. Joseph struck out six of the 10 batters that he faced.

Senior Greg Lyons allowed one base runner in a scoreless ninth inning to earn his first save of the season.

Sacred Heart jumped out to the early lead with a run in the first inning on an RBI double by Dan Perez, two more in the second on a run-scoring fielder's choice by Kenny Byram and an RBI sacrifice bunt by Keaton Flint, and another run in the top of the third inning on an RBI double by Billy McDonough to open up a 4-0 lead.

The Bulldogs quickly erased that deficit in the bottom of the third, scoring all four runs off of starter Dave Boisture. Hanson started the rally with a one-out double and he scored on Hunter's home run. With two outs, Toups walked and Neil reached on a single through the left side. Both Toups and Neil came home with the tying runs on Scharff's two-out triple.

The offensive outburst wasn't over for the Bulldogs, who scored two more runs in the bottom of the fourth inning off of Sacred Heart reliever James Ineson, who was credited with the loss to fall to 0-2. Piwinski led off with a single and went to third when Brenner reached on a throwing error by Byram at shortstop. Piwinski scored on an RBI single by Hanson that pushed Brenner to third. Brenner then scored on a sacrifice fly by Hunter.

Hunter scored Yale's final run of the game off of Pioneers reliever Jeff Stoddard in the seventh inning on an RBI single by Toups with one out.

The seven-run outburst is the most runs scored in a game by the Bulldogs since an 8-5 win over Hartford on March 23. It also allowed the Bulldogs to win their second straight game, which also has not happened since they split a pair of doubleheaders against Hartford taking the 8-5 win in the second game at Yale Field before winning the opening game of the doubleheader on March 24 at Hartford.

The offensive show came at a great time, giving Yale some momentum as it prepares to head to a key four-game showdown at Dartmouth on Saturday and Sunday in Hanover, N.H.

Report filed by Jon Erickson Jr., Yale Sports Publicity