Bulldogs, Big Green Split Again

Yale Remains 2.5 Games Behind Dartmouth In Rolfe Division

P.J. Gorynski

P.J. Gorynski

April 20, 2008

Box Score

HANOVER, N.H.--The Yale baseball team entered this weekend's crucial four-game series at Dartmouth trailing the first-place Big Green by 2.5 games in the Rolfe Division. With all four games complete, nothing has changed; the squads remain separated by the same 2.5-game margin. On Saturday, the Bulldogs cut the margin to 1.5 games by taking the first game of the doubleheader in extra innings, only to see the Big Green take the nightcap. The same thing happened again on Sunday. Yale (19-20-1, 9-6-1 Ivy) notched an 8-7, 11-inning victory in game one of the doubleheader at Red Rolfe Field, but Dartmouth (20-13, 12-4 Ivy) rebounded for a 7-2 triumph in game two.

"After 16 years at Yale, I've never been prouder of a team than this weekend," Mazzuto Family Head Coach John Stuper said. "We were missing our big guy in the middle of the lineup and our top two catchers, and some guys were playing banged up, but our effort was phenomenal. We left everything out on the field."

Star catcher Ryan Lavarnway missed the series after breaking his left wrist against Harvard last weekend. Backup Davis Stanley was lost for the season in the second Harvard game, which moved second baseman P.J. Gorynski, who prior to last Sunday hadn't caught since his freshman year, behind the plate for all four games this weekend.

"P.J. has been amazing," Stuper said. "He's been catching, blocking the plate and calling the game well. And he came up with some of the biggest hits of the year."

With two out in the top of the 11th inning in game one, Gorynski belted the game-winning home run, a solo shot to left field. It was his second blast of the game and sixth of the season. Gorynski's first homer came in the fifth inning and gave the Bulldogs a 3-1 lead.

Yale jumped out to a 5-1 lead with two runs in the third, two in the fifth and one in the sixth. Dartmouth, however, tied the game with a four-spot in the bottom of the sixth. Starter Chris Finneran tossed the first five innings before giving way to the Yale bullpen. John Henry Davis relieved him and hit the first two batters of the inning. After Davis walked Erik Bell, lefty Vinny Lally was called upon to turn around switch-hitter Jeff Onstott. Onstott delivered an RBI single to center field. After Nick Santomauro grounded into a fielder's choice, closer Steve Gilman came in and gave up an RBI single to James Wren to tie the game at 5-5.

The teams traded zeroes in the first two extra frames before Yale broke through for two runs in the top of the 10th. Stefan Schropp reached on a two-base error to start the inning, then scored on Jake Doyle's RBI single. Doyle moved to third on Andrew Kolmar's single and scored on a groundout by Trygg Larsson-Danforth. However, Dartmouth came right back and plated two runs in the bottom of the 10th. After Gilman struck out Santomauro looking to start the inning, three consecutive doubles by Michael Pagliarulo, Damon Wright and Wren tied the game at 7-7.

Gorynski's second homer gave the Bulldogs an 8-7 lead. Gilman, who picked up a save in Saturday's first game, threw 4.2 innings, his longest outing of the year. He didn't come out for the 11th, however. Matthew Smith got that assignment and retired the Big Green in order to nail down his first career save.

The first eight hitters in the Yale lineup all had at least one hit, as the Bulldogs belted 16 as a team. Gorynski and Schropp each went 3-for-6 with two runs scored. Gorynski, Doyle and Josh Cox all drove in two runs. Finneran gave up one run and six hits with three strikeouts and two walks in five innings. Gilman (4-0) blew a save for the first time this season, but earned his team-leading fourth win. He yielded two runs and eight hits while striking out three and walking two.

Dartmouth also had 16 hits in game one. Onstott was 4-for-6 with four singles, while Wright went 3-for-5. Robert Young went the first eight innings on the mound for the Big Green. He gave up five runs (four earned) and 12 hits while striking out five. Ryan Smith (0-2) took the loss after surrendering three runs (one earned) and four hits with a walk over the final three innings.

"That 11-inning game is one of the best I've ever been a part of," Stuper said. "I think Dartmouth is the toughest place in the league to play and we got major contributions from everybody--P.J. Gorynski, Steve Gilman, Jake Doyle...I could name our entire lineup."

Just as they did in game two on Saturday, the Big Green jumped on the Yale starter early in Sunday's nightcap. Dartmouth built a 6-0 lead after four innings. The Big Green scored three in the second, highlighted by a two-run single by Johnathon Santopadre and Bell's RBI single. Santomauro singled to center leading off the Dartmouth third, then moved to third when Pagliarulo doubled on an excuse-me check swing that landed just fair along the right field line just behind first base. Santomauro scored on Wright's groundout, then Wren added an RBI single that chased starter Alex Christ.

The Big Green added another run in the fourth, but Yale got one back in the top of the fifth. Chris Sweeney got the rally started when he lifted a one-out single to center. Andrew Moore followed with a single that was misplayed by left fielder Jason Blydell. Sweeney moved to third on the error, then scored when Gant Elmore grounded into a fielder's choice. The Bulldogs picked up another run in the sixth when Cox smacked a leadoff double, moved to third on a Gorynski single and scored on Schropp's RBI single. Dartmouth scored the game's final run in the bottom of the seventh.

Yale out-hit Dartmouth 11-10, but the Bulldogs grounded into four double plays, all of which ended an inning. Cox, Gorynski, Schropp and Moore all had two hits in game two. Christ (1-2) took the loss after yielding five runs and seven hits while striking out one and walking one in 2.1 innings. Joe Castaldi followed and surrendered one run and two hits with two strikeouts and two walks in 3.1 innings. Lally finished up for the Bulldogs, striking out four in 2.1 innings.

Wren went 3-for-4 at the plate for the Big Green. Bell and Pagliarulo each had two hits, while Wright scored two runs. Santopadre knocked in two runs from the nine hole. Chase Carpenter (5-2) went the distance on the mound for Dartmouth. He gave up two runs (one earned) and 11 hits while striking out one and walking one.

Yale has one non-conference game remaining at Hartford (14-18) at 3 p.m. on Wednesday afternoon, then concludes the regular season with four games against defending Ivy League champion Brown (14-22, 5-11 Ivy). The Bulldogs and Bears play a doubleheader in Providence on Saturday and a twinbill in New Haven next Sunday.

"I'm very proud of this team," Stuper said. "I'm confident that we'll play well next weekend and battle for the Rolfe Division title."

Yale needs to win at least two games against Brown and get some help from Harvard (8-26, 7-9 Ivy), which swept its four-game series with the Bears this weekend. Harvard plays Dartmouth and the Bulldogs need the Crimson to win at least twice to have a shot at the division title. If necessary, Yale will make up the conclusion of its 9-9 tie against Penn (15-18-1, 6-9-1 Ivy) after the Brown series.

Report filed by Joe Clifford, Yale Sports Publicity

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