With the Ivy League season rapidly drawing to a close, the baseball team wanted to leave everything on the field this weekend. Unfortunately, Mother Nature just wouldn’t let them get it done.
The Bulldogs (24-15, 9-5 Ivy) split Saturday’s doubleheader with the Dartmouth Big Green (15-15, 10-4), but heavy rain forced a postponement of Sunday’s games. The Elis lost the first contest, 6-4, but pulled out the nightcap in a 12-inning 2-1 win. With this split, Yale likely needs to win out to have a chance at an Ivy League championship.
Third baseman Pedro Obregon ’07, who has been sidelined by a broken hand, said the team remains optimistic as they head into their last weekend of Ivy play.
“We have a chance to win this year, and that’s what we’ve been working toward all season,” he said. “I hope I can still help the team without being on the field.”
In the first game, the Bulldogs sent Alec Smith ’06 to the hill. Smith cruised through the first four innings as Josh Cox’s ’08 RBI single staked him to a one-run lead. The Big Green rallied for two runs off Smith in the fifth, and later chased him in the sixth inning with two singles and a walk.
The Bulldogs later put together a rally in the top of the seventh, scoring three runs aided by a Dartmouth fielding error, but the Big Green were able to hold on for the win.
The second game of the series could provide a lot of momentum for the remaining two games with the Big Green and this coming weekend against Brown. The Elis faced the imposing presence of Josh Faiola, Dartmouth’s ace starter. Faiola was a buzzsaw on the mound, cutting down the Bulldog lineup en route to a 12-inning complete game. Luckily for the Bulldogs, starter Mike Mongiardini ’07 tossed a gem of his own, giving up only one run in seven innings of work.
After Mongiardini exited, the two teams were deadlocked at one run apiece. Faiola had been cruising since giving up a sacrifice fly to first baseman Marc Sawyer ’07 in the third inning, and the Bulldogs needed to keep the game close until they could score runs.
As it has all season, the Eli squad looked to its bullpen to keep them in the game. This time, it was in the form of righthanded submariner Matt Fealey ’06. Though he has been dominant for most of the season, Fealey has usually been used for only one or two innings at a time.
Knowing the importance of this game, Fealey reached back and hurled five scoreless innings, giving up only one hit and striking out five. His performance set the stage for Jake Doyle’s ’07 RBI single in the top of the 12th, and Fealey came out in the bottom of the inning to shut the door.
“It was great that we were able to take the game that Faiola pitched,” Fealey said. “Five innings is definitely more than I’m used to, but our defense was unbelievable and made some huge plays behind me.”
Closer Brett Rosenthal ’07 also echoed these sentiments. Rosenthal was unable to pitch Saturday after sustaining a concussion, but he said he will be ready later this week.
“Late in the season, you always hate to drop a game, but we showed a lot of resiliency in winning the marathon second game,” he said. “That’s the kind of refusal to lose we’ll need to have in every game for the rest of the season.”