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Hits Elude Yale in Split with Hartford

Charlie Neil. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Charlie Neil. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

Freshman Pitcher No-Hits Bulldogs in Game 2 to Help Hawks Salvage Split


WEST HARTFORD, Conn. — A day after collecting a total of 21 hits in two games against the University of Hartford, the bats went cold for the Yale University baseball team in the final two games of a four-game home-and-home set with the Hawks at Fiondella Field Saturday afternoon.

Freshman pitcher Sean Newcomb faced 25 batters, four over the minimum in the seven-inning game, striking out 10 Yale batters in the 2-0 Hartford victory en route to his first career no-hitter and the first no-hitter in Hartford's history as a Division I program.

Newcomb's gem helped the Hawks (4-16) salvage a split of the doubleheader and the four-game series. The two teams split the opening doubleheader on Friday at Yale Field.

Yale (6-13-1) needed extra innings to take the opening game on Saturday. The Bulldogs trailed 1-0 after Brian Hunter belted a lead-off home run in the bottom of the fourth inning to give Hartford the early lead.

The Bulldogs tied the game in the top of the fifth inning on an RBI groundout from sophomore Cale Hanson scored senior Charlie Neil with the tying run. Neil reached base on a leadoff walk and advanced to third base on a one-out single by Chris Piwinski, which put runners on the corners.

The Bulldogs pushed the game into extra innings behind the pitching of reliever Eric Shultz (2-0). Schultz entered the game in the bottom of the seventh in relief of Bulldogs starter Christopher O'Hare and retired all six batters he faced in order on two strikeouts, three groundouts and just one fly ball.

That gave Yale the opportunity to win the game in extra innings, and the Bulldogs found just enough offense in the top of the eighth inning. Yale scored three runs without a hit, thanks to three Hartford errors. Hanson led off the inning with a walk and went to second base on a throwing error by starting pitcher Alex Gouin (0-3) on a pickoff attempt. Freshman David Toups then reached base on a fielder's choice that put runners on the corners. Hanson and Toups scored on the next play when senior captain Ryan Brenner hit a ground ball to the shortstop, who threw the ball away, which also allowed Brenner to go all the way around to third base. He was able to score on another error by the shortstop on a ground ball by Jacob Hunter, giving Yale the 4-1 victory.

The Bulldogs had only four hits in the opening game, with Neil, Piwinski, Josh Scharff and Joe Lubanski each collecting a single. O'Hare worked six innings, allowing just three hits, including Hunter's home run, while striking out six Hartford batters.

In Game 2, Hartford scored a run in the first inning and another in the fifth inning, and that was all they needed thanks to the stellar performance of Newcomb. He allowed four Yale runners to reach base. Hanson and Brenner each had a walk, while Toups and Kevin Fortunato were both hit by a pitch.

Yale pitcher Rob Cerfolio (0-2) was almost as brilliant, giving up just four hits in the seven-inning complete game with six strikeouts.

Yale returns to action on Wednesday when it visits another in-state rival with a nine-inning contest at Quinnipiac in Hamden at 3 p.m.

Report filed by Jon Erickson Jr., Yale Sports Publicity