The Yale baseball team overcame two Connecticut teams Saturday to take the City Series Title.
The Bulldogs began the one-day tournament with a 7-1 win over the University of New Haven and closed out the series by defeating Southern Connecticut State University, 6-5.
“I thought we pitched very well,” head coach John Stuper said. “We returned all of our starting pitchers, and those four combined pitched 16 innings and gave up one unearned run — In baseball, if you play good defense and you pitch well, you’re going to be in almost every game you play.”
In the first game, against the Chargers, Yale trailed 1-0 before breaking out for four runs in the bottom of the sixth. Outfielder Jake Doyle ’07 blasted a two-run homer in the bottom of the eighth to seal the win.
In the second game, the Bulldogs jumped out to a 6-0 lead and narrowly held off the Owls for the victory. Every Yale starter had at least one hit, including Doyle, who hit his second home-run of the day.
Picking up saves in both games, tournament MVP John Hollis ’06 had two impressive performances, most notably against the Owls. After SCSU rallied to pull within a run, Hollis retired the side in order to preserve the win in the ninth. Earlier Saturday, the hard-throwing right-hander pitched three shutout innings against the Chargers.
“Hollis played great,” infielder Chris Esper ’07, who had two hits this weekend, said. “He dominated. He definitely came out strong in both games. He pitched in a very tough situation in the second game and came out big for us.”
Although the Elis defeated New Haven with ease and were able to edge SCSU, Stuper said he would have liked the team to have shown more aggression on the field.
“We won the first game 7-1 fairly handily, although I’d like us to jump out ahead,” Stuper said. “In the second game, we were winning 6-0 after six innings and he didn’t capitalize on a few opportunities that could have made it 10-0. We need to learn to just put teams away and develop that kind of a killer instinct.”
Despite the two wins, some team members also said that they were expecting to put out a stronger showing.
Steve Gilman ’08 was a bit disappointed with the overall quality of playing on the part of the Bulldogs.
“We had high expectations going into it,” Gilman said. “We wanted to win this thing, and although we did, we felt like we could have done better.”
Gilman helped the team ward off SCSU by pitching a double-play ball that ended the sixth inning. In the eighth inning, Gilman struck out a batter with one out and a man on third.
“We have seven new freshmen and five are pitchers,” Stuper said. “Steve Gilman threw really well.”
Gilman and the rest of the pitching staff were one of the strong points for the Bulldogs over the weekend. Alec Smith ’06 started the SCSU game and pitched five straight shut-out innings. Josh Sowers ’05 struck out nine players in six innings against New Haven before giving way to Hollis in the seventh.
“I think we started out kind of dormant in the first game but our bats came alive and it showed by the beginning of the second game,” Esper said. “We hit almost like we hit last year.”