BASEBALL | UConn shuts down Elis

The Bulldogs are off to a 9–4–1 start a year after going 4–6 over spring break. The Elis swept a doubleheader from Hartford on Saturday.
The Bulldogs are off to a 9–4–1 start a year after going 4–6 over spring break. The Elis swept a doubleheader from Hartford on Saturday. Photo by R.J. Rico.

Over the preceding three games, the baseball team had averaged 13 hits a game. But on Wednesday the Bulldogs were only able to get three.

Yale (9–5–1) struggled against UConn pitcher Bob Van Woert, who threw seven innings of one-run ball en route to giving the Huskies a 7–1 victory over the Elis.

Most of the game had been a pitcher’s battle — Yale tied it 1–1 in the top of the seventh inning — but a two-run seventh and four-run eighth for UConn (12–5) spoiled any chances of a comeback for the Bulldogs.

The Elis chose to field a “staff game,” with eight different pitchers seeing action. No one besides starter Christopher O’Hare ’13 went more than one inning. O’Hare threw two innings.

“We [used a lot of pitchers] because we didn’t want to lose anyone for the weekend series,” third baseman Andy Megee ’11 said.

Van Woert finished the game having allowed two hits and two walks to go along with four strikeouts in what was his first victory of the season.

“Their pitchers shut us down today, and I tip my cap to them,” head coach John Stuper said in a press release.

Megee added: “[Van Woert] had four pitches and mixed them up really effectively.”

The Huskies took the early 1–0 lead in the top of the third inning after Nick Ahmed doubled in Billy Ferriter, who had just singled.

From there, the game was quiet until the Bulldogs staged a two-out rally in the seventh. After centerfielder Zach Tobolowsky ’12 was hit by a pitch, he stole second to put himself in scoring position. Rightfielder Andrew Kolmar ’11 then brought him in on a single to left field — his second hit of the night — to tie the game. Kolmar was caught stealing second, bringing the inning to an end.

A string of bunts by the Huskies in the next half-inning proved to be the undoing for the Elis. UConn second baseman Tim Martin reached first after his pop-up bunt was dropped by pitcher Pat Ludwig ’12. When the next batter bunted, Ludwig fielded the ball but threw it away, trying to get Martin out at second. A third consecutive bunt — this one fielded successfully by Yale — gave the Huskies runners on second and third with one out.

They didn’t need a hit to score either of them, however, as a wild pitch from Ludwig brought in one run, and a sacrifice fly brought in the other.

UConn promptly put the 3–1 game out of reach in the eighth inning with a single, a double, a triple and two walks, all coming off of righthander Matthew Smith ’10. By the end of the inning the Huskies had added four more to their tally to make it 7–1.

In the ninth inning Megee had a leadoff double and reached third base on a fielder’s choice, but a strikeout and fly-out ended the game for the Bulldogs, who broke their three-game winning streak.

Yale starts its first homestand of the season this Saturday with a doubleheader against New York Institute of Technology.

“We’re looking forward to finally getting to play at home,” Megee said. “We’ve had a lot of success on the road and are hoping that people will come out and support us.”

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