Baseball holds off Huskies

The old saying goes “less is more,” but for the Yale pitching staff, it seems that more is more.

Six Eli hurlers combined for a six-hit shutout as the baseball team edged UConn, 1-0, yesterday at Yale Field. With the victory, the Bulldogs (9-7) extended their winning streak to seven games as they head into their first Ivy League games this weekend.

Wednesday’s win was particularly impressive given the success of the Huskies (14-6) so far this year. UConn came into the game ranked sixth in collegebaseballinsider.com’s Northeast Coaches’ Poll. But despite the Huskies’ record, Yale players did not feel like underdogs prior to yesterday’s contest.

“It definitely was not an upset,” rightfielder Jake Doyle ’07 said. “We knew they were a good team, but we expect to win every game. We didn’t get a lot of timely hitting, but we did hit the ball pretty well, and the pitching came up really big.”

Doyle scored the only run of the game in the fourth inning. After being hit by a pitch with one out, captain C. J. Orrico ’05 singled to right, advancing Doyle to second. Second baseman Josh Cox ’08 struck out swinging for the second out, but shortstop Chris Esper ’06 plated Doyle with a single to right. Doyle and Esper each had two hits in the contest.

The Elis’ bats were not as silent as the 1-0 final score may indicate. With eight hits in the game, the Bulldogs had several chances to score more runs. But a lack of clutch hitting hurt the Elis, who left seven runners on base over the course of the game. The Bulldogs squandered a great opportunity in the third inning, when they failed to score after loading the bases with one out.

“We’re not swinging the bats badly, but the timely hitting was not there,” Doyle said. “We’re just not hitting the ball with runners in scoring position.”

Fortunately for the Elis, the defense and pitching were stellar during Wednesday’s game. Yale did not commit a single error, and the Bulldogs were almost flawless on the mound. Chris Weitlispach ’08 started the game, fanning two in three innings of one-hit ball. He was followed by Jon Hollis ’06, Colin Ward-Henninger ’05, Adam Barrick ’06, Brian Irving ’08 and Brett Rosenthal ’07, all of whom pitched at least one inning and gave up no more than two hits each. Hollis (3-0) picked up the win in relief, and Rosenthal closed out the game to earn his first save.

“This was a game when our relievers threw more than our starters, so it was great to see that the relievers are so strong,” Rosenthal said. “Our relievers are so good, and that gives us a lot of confidence. Today’s performance was a great springboard for the games that really count — Ivy League play.”

The Elis’ first Ivy games are scheduled for this weekend. On Saturday, Yale will travel to New Jersey to play Princeton in a noon doubleheader before leaving for Ithaca, N.Y., to battle Cornell in another noon doubleheader on Sunday.

Although the two-time defending champion Tigers (4-11) are a perennial Ivy powerhouse and Cornell (4-7) has a strong team, the Bulldogs are optimistic.

“Princeton has always been a tough team, and Cornell has been playing well this season,” pitcher Mike Morgiandini ’06 said. “With the way our hitting and pitching is going and the great outings that some of our bullpen guys like Wietlispach, Irving and our fireman Rosenthal have been having, I don’t think it’s out of the question that we sweep the weekend.”

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