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Though the Yale baseball team has certainly showcased depth in its non-conference games, its sharpness of play leaves a bit to be desired.

In their usual Wednesday fashion, the Bulldogs (14-11, 3-1 Ivy) sent nine pitchers to the mound in an effort to get work for the young members of the bullpen. Concentration on both sides of the plate was a problem for the Bulldogs, who grounded into three double plays and made an error in the 9-6 loss to Quinnipiac (9-12-1).

Righty Stefan Schropp ’09 started the game and pitched a hitless inning with one strikeout. Schropp mainly worked his four-seam fastball with the occasional breaking ball to foul up the hitters’ timing. The freshman has had a rough start to the season, but appears to be improving in his first year of college ball.

“That was probably my strongest outing of the season,” Schropp said.

The game remained tied at 1-1 until the fourth inning, when Quinnipiac rallied for six runs on six hits off of Alex Christ ’08 and Steve Gilman ’08, also helped by a costly Bulldog error. The Yale offense treaded water for the next few innings while the Bobcats tacked on another two runs.

Despite the quiet bats, the main figures in the back end of the bullpen — Adam Barrick ’06, Matt Fealey ’06, and Brett Rosenthal ’07 — combined for another impressive outing, striking out five over two and two-thirds innings of shutout relief.

Yale showed the hint of a comeback in the last two innings, scoring two in the eighth inning on center field Jake Doyle’s ’07 first home run of the season. In the ninth inning, left fielder Josh Cox ’08 walked and stole second base, which was followed by three straight Bulldog hits. Yale was able to score three runs in the inning, but came up short in the rally attempt. First baseman Marc Sawyer ’07 extended his hitting streak to 14 games in the contest.

Despite a few notable individual accomplishments in the game, many players were not satisfied with the demeanor the team displayed in Thursday’s game.

“We were flat,” catcher Eric Rasmussen ’06 said. “We have to learn that we can’t wait around until the late innings to come back against every team we play. Good teams are going to put us away.”

Yale head coach John Stuper was also less than happy about the way the Bulldogs played, and sees many areas for improvement heading into this important Ivy League home weekend.

“We’ve been getting in the hole a lot lately,” Stuper said. “This weekend, we need to start striking first.”

This weekend, the Bulldogs must bring their best game to Yale Field, where they square off in two doubleheaders against Cornell and Princeton. Cornell (5-13, 1-3) has struggled thus far in league play, in part due to a lineup that lacks consistent power hitting.

Princeton (4-16-1, 0-4) is not nearly as ineffectual as its record would suggest, with a lineup that includes the Ivy League’s home run leader and a starting rotation that boasts a combined ERA of less than four. Yale will likely need a four-game sweep to keep pace with Harvard for control of the Red Rolfe division, leading up to the all-important four-game series with the Cantabs next weekend.

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