Elis split vs. Red, losing late again

After losing two heartbreakers to Princeton on Monday, the baseball team picked up its first Ivy League win of the season yesterday against Cornell.

The Elis (10-10, 1-3 Ivy) hammered the Big Red (5-8, 1-1) by a score of 11-2 in the first game of the doubleheader at Hoy Field in Ithaca, N.Y., but lost the second game, 4-3, in 10 innings.

In the first game of the afternoon, the Eli bats were on fire. Eight of Yale’s nine starters scored a run in the contest, and three players — Justin Ankney ’07, Marc Sawyer ’07 and Josh Zabar ’06 — had two or more RBIs in the game. Leadoff hitter Zac Bradley ’06 led the Bulldogs with three runs. Bradley also collected two of Yale’s 12 hits.

On the defensive side, Yale made only one error in the first game while Cornell made five. Josh Sowers ’05, who came within one out of pitching a perfect game in his last start, gave up just two runs in a seven-inning complete game win over the Big Red.

Battery-mate Eric Rasmussen ’06 said he believed Sowers stepped up his performance when it mattered most yesterday.

“‘Sow’ did a great job,” Rasmussen said. “He didn’t have his best stuff today, but he really came through when we needed him.”

As the day wore on, the Eli bats cooled down, but the pitching did not. Jon Hollis ’06 struck out 12 and allowed three runs, scattering seven hits over nine innings. But the Bulldogs ran into trouble in the 10th. After Adam Barrick ’06 relieved Hollis and walked a batter, Brett Rosenthal ’07 came in and got one out before the winning run scored on a fielding error.

“Hollis pitched a hell of a game,” Rasmussen said. “The offense just didn’t get it going. We keep thinking we can get by with just a couple of runs, but these teams chip away. We just have to keep going out there and battling.”

Despite the team’s offensive troubles in the second game against Cornell, over the first four games of Ivy play, the Elis have played excellent baseball — outscoring their opponents 26-20. But due to some last minute-heroics by Princeton and Cornell, the Bulldogs have only one win in their last four tries.

“We’re disappointed in the losses we ended up getting,” Rosenthal said. “But we know we’re a good team, and hopefully we can get better results next weekend.”

The Elis will have to outperform the University of Pennsylvania (8-13, 5-3) and Columbia (3-18, 1-7) in order to get those results. The Bulldogs host the Quakers in a noon doubleheader at Yale Field on Saturday, followed by a twin bill against the Lions on Sunday.

The Bulldog pitchers will have to contend with Quaker centerfielder Nate Moffie, who ranks second in the Ivies in hits (20) and third in RBIs (14). Against the Lions, the Eli batters will face a challenge if Greg Mullens starts on Sunday. The flame-throwing righty from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan ranks fifth in the Ivies in strikeouts (21).

“Both of these teams are tough, so we’ll have to play really well to beat them,” pitcher Matt Fealey ’06 said. “If we play the way we’re supposed to, we can compete with anyone.”

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