For the second time in three days, the Bulldogs took No. 5 Florida down to the wire in a 4-3 loss on Sunday afternoon. On Friday night, the Bulldogs had the tying run in scoring position when the final out was record and today Yale pushed Florida to another one-run game.
Florida improved to 13-5, while Yale fell to 3-7 overall.
"Looking back on this series, despite the three losses, I think it will serve us well moving forward," Yale head coach John Stuper said. "We battled the No. 5 team in the country to two one-run losses. Again, we are not into moral victories, but we could have won either of those games. That bodes well for the rest of the season."
The Gators jumped out to a 3-0 lead after the first innings with runs off Yale starter Alex Stiegler, who settled down to pitch into the seventh. For the day, Stiegler allowed four earned runs and struck out seven over 6 and 2/3 innings.
"Stiegs was outstanding," Stuper added. "He threw hard and was throwing his breaker for strikes. An absolute gritty effort from him."
Yale got on the board in the fourth with Gehri's first collegiate homer -- a solo shot to left after working the count full.
"Jake's first HR went over the left field grand stand and left the stadium," Stuper noted. "An absolute bomb. Then he hit another. He seems to get better with every at bat."
Gehri's second homer -- also to left field -- came after a one-out single from Griffin Dey. Gehri went 5 for 12 in the series with three runs scored, three RBI and a walk.
Whiteman went 1 for 3 on the day with a walk and a stolen base, and now has an 11-game hit streak dating back to the final game of last season. He is hitting .472 in 2019 with 10 runs scored, 11 stolen bases and a .532 on-base percentage.
Tyler Sapsford pitched a scoreless inning and a 1/3 after he came on in the seventh with two out to relieve Stiegler. Cal Christofori ended the seventh by throwing out the runner attempting to steal second with a strike to Dai Dai Otaka covering at second -- one of several nice plays the second baseman was a part of on the day.
"Dai Dai made two web gem plays from far behind second base that produced big outs," Stuper added.
After facing the No. 5 team in the nation (Florida), a team that had knocked off a top-25 opponent (New Orleans) and the top hitting team in the nation (New Mexico State), the Bulldogs travel to Orlando to face Central Florida in a two-game series beginning this Tuesday. The Knights are 10-4 overall with multiple victories over top-25 teams.
"It doesn't get any easier," Stuper said. "Central Florida has already beaten Florida this year. They are a very good team."
Report filed by Ernie Bertothy, Yale Sports Publicity