The baseball team must be wishing every day were Tuesday.
The Elis (15-10, 5-3 Ivy) hammered New York Tech (9-13) 11-5 at Yale Field yesterday, exactly one week after scoring 11 runs in a victory over Cornell. The Bulldogs pounded out 13 hits at the plate while committing only one error in the field. By contrast, the Bears were bad news in the field, notching five errors and making a number of other misplays throughout the game.
“Yale is a quality team,” NYIT starter Julian Richards said. “They hit the ball hard, they got some timely hitting, and we were just unable to put them away.”
Tuesday was a perfect day for baseball. Though the bright sun proved problematic for wayward infielders trying to chase down high pops, the brightness was a welcome respite from the typical gloom of April in New Haven. But it was the Bulldogs offense that shined the most.
First baseman Marc Sawyer ’07 and designated hitter Justin Ankney ’07 led the Elis with three hits apiece in the contest. Sawyer’s line included two doubles and two RBIs, while Ankney’s included three runs and a triple.
But outfielder Zac Bradley ’05 said the Bulldogs were not on top of their game yesterday.
“We could have played better,” Bradley said. “You could say it wasn’t a workmanlike win. It’s nice to get the W, but we certainly didn’t play our best.”
Neither team hit a home run during the game, but Eli catcher P. J. Gorynski ’08 and shortstop Chris Esper ’06 both came within a few feet of a round-tripper, ending up with a triple and a double, respectively. In the bottom of the sixth inning, third baseman Austin Mills ’07 hit what must have been one of the longest singles ever recorded at Yale Field — a towering shot off the left field wall — but he was held at first because the runners ahead of him were holding up in case the ball was caught.
The Bulldogs used nine pitchers in the contest — Steve Gilman ’08, Alex Christ ’08, Brian Irving ’08, Mike Elias ’06, Chris Wietlispach ’08, Matt Fealey ’06, Colin Ward-Henninger ’05, Adam Barrick ’06 and Brett Rosenthal ’07. Wietlispach picked up the win, improving to 1-1 on the year. Christ, Elias, and Ward-Henninger all pitched perfect innings. Each pitcher threw exactly one inning, as the coaches wanted to give their bullpen some work while keeping everybody fresh for this weekend’s upcoming series at Harvard.
The Elis, who are now riding a five-game winning streak, are only two games behind the Cantabs in the Red Rolfe division standings. Yale and Harvard square off in a four-game series at O’Donnell Field in Cambridge, Mass., starting with a doubleheader this Saturday.
The Bulldogs will throw a formidable rotation at the Cantabs, boasting the top four strikeout pitchers in the Ivies. Josh Sowers ’05, who was recently named Ivy League Pitcher of the Week, is tied with fellow Eli starter Jon Hollis ’06 for the league lead in whiffs (42). Mike Morgiandini ’06 ranks third (36), and Alec Smith ’05 is fourth (35). Sowers also leads the Ancient Eight in ERA (1.13) and innings pitched (39.2).
The Bulldogs are ready to take on their arch rivals as they gear up for an Ivy League pennant race.
“We’re very confident right now,” Sawyer said. “We played well last weekend and we think we have the tools to beat Harvard. We just need to go out there, do our job, play our game, and we’ll be fine.”