BASEBALL | Bulldogs hope to stay hot vs. NYIT

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.

The baseball team is having one of its best starts in recent history and hopes to continue its hot streak Saturday in its first home games of the season.

The Bulldogs (9–5–1) take on New York Institute of Technology in a doubleheader at home before switching over to the Bears’ home field on Sunday afternoon for one contest.

Despite a 7–1 loss to UConn on Wednesday, the Bulldogs are confident after a successful spring break trip in Florida.

“There’s definitely a different feeling on the team this year,” pitcher Vinny Lally ’11 said. “There’s a winning attitude, and everyone has been stepping up to contribute.”

In Wednesday’s loss, the game was closer than the final score indicates — the scoreboard read 1–1 in the seventh inning, before the Huskies exploded for six runs in the eighth inning.

Besides Wednesday, the Elis have largely been on an offensive tear. Led by first baseman Trygg Larsson-Danforth ’10, who is batting .414 with four home runs and 22 RBI, Yale has scored seven runs or more in 12 of its 15 games this season.

The Bulldogs’ pitching has also improved. Christopher O’Hare ’13 is 1–0 with a 2.79 ERA, while rookie walk-on Brook Hart ’11 leads the team with a 2–0 record and 2.55 ERA. O’Hare, Hart and Pat Ludwig ’12 are scheduled to start the three games over the weekend.

“Our hitters are averaging eight or nine runs a game, and our pitchers are a lot better than last season,” Lally said. “With that combination of things, you’re going to win a lot of ballgames.”

NYIT is 3–6 and is currently on a three-game losing streak after losing all of its games against Siena College.

But the Bears are dangerous at the plate — four players are batting .400 or more — despite a lack of power. Only center fielder Jerry Smith has more than one home run this season.

Lally said the team is confident heading into the weekend and is looking forward to playing in front of its Yale fans.

“The first home game is always fun for us,” he said. “If we play our game, we should have good results.”

Saturday’s doubleheader is scheduled for 12 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. at Yale Field.

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