Elis sweep Pioneers in doubleheader

With a flick of his bat in the day game, John Janco ’06 brought home the only run the Bulldogs would need.

Yale’s (19-12, 6-2 Ivy) baseball team rode impressive pitching performances from two unlikely starters to a two-game sweep of Sacred Heart (13-18) on Wednesday at Yale Field.

Mike Elias ’06 started the first game of the day for the Bulldogs. Used mainly in a spot starting role for the team, the senior lefthander pounded the strike zone with his tailing fastball, yielding numerous groundouts from the frustrated Pioneers hitters. Elias tossed five scoreless innings in his third start of the year, giving up only three hits on an economical 48 pitches.

Still, Elias did not cite his own work as the deciding factor against Sacred Heart.

“The biggest thing that helped today was the flawless defense from our infielders,” he said. “Their sharpness is a real positive sign going into the weekend, and hopefully it carries over.”

The Yale bats remained quiet for most of the first game, but Janco’s RBI single in the first inning provided the only run support necessary. Matt Fealey ’06 came on to pitch the sixth inning, tossing his normal dominant frame before giving way to the closer. Brett Rosenthal ’07 hurled a hitless seventh inning, picking up his ninth save of the season. Rosenthal’s performance set the all-time single season save record for Yale baseball.

The Bulldogs’ second game was also decided by pitching. Starter Stefan Schropp ’09 put on a clinic in his first multiple-inning start of the season, getting ahead of the Sacred Heart hitters in nearly every at-bat. Schropp notched eight strikeouts in five shutout innings, giving up only one hit without walking a batter. Schropp established his fastball early on, and then complemented it by throwing his breaking pitches for strikes low in the zone.

“Throwing strikes was the biggest part of my game,” Schropp said.

Though the pitching was a determining factor, the Bulldog bats were also potent for Game 2. Yale batted around the entire order in the first inning, scoring five runs and chasing the Pioneers’ starter after only a third of an inning. The Bulldogs later tacked on a run on a Jake Doyle ’07 sacrifice fly. Doyle also made a fantastic play in the 5th inning, when he made a laid-out diving grab on a sinking liner in left center field. Defense was also a strong point from Dan Soltman ’08, who was 3-for-4 on the day in addition to his steady putouts at shortstop.

Yale head coach John Stuper said he was pleased with the performance of his starting pitchers and with the recent work of the team as a whole.

“We had a long talk this week, and their approach has really improved,” he said. “This is how guys earn weekend starts and spots in the rotation.”

The Bulldogs will take on the Crimson this weekend in two doubleheaders at Yale Field on Saturday and Sunday.

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