It looked like it would be more of the same for the slumping baseball team midway through its doubleheader against Harvard on Saturday, but the Bulldogs responded emphatically to end the day on a high note.
After a 7–4 loss to Harvard (14–22, 7–7) increased Yale’s losing streak to six games, the Bulldogs (17–19–1, 4–10 Ivy) responded later in the afternoon with a 15–1 demolition of the Crimson in the nightcap.
“It was great to win,” pitcher Vinny Lally ’11 said of the second game against Harvard. “We’d been struggling, but we put everything together. It’s always nice to get back on the right track and start moving in the right direction again.”
Led by designated hitter Trey Rallis ’11 and shortstop Matt Schmidt ’12 — who each had two doubles — Yale combined for 16 hits, including five in the Elis’ seven-run first inning.
But given Lally’s performance, the Elis didn’t need all that much.
Lally threw a gem, carrying a no-hitter into the sixth inning, and ended up allowing three hits and one run in seven innings of work. Lally now leads the team with six wins this season.
“That second game was our most complete effort of the season,” head coach John Stuper said in a press release. “Vinny was outstanding on the mound, and we hit a lot of different pitchers.”
In the first game, Yale fell behind after captain and pitcher Joe Castaldi ’10 allowed six runs in three and two-thirds innings. A late, three-run comeback in the seventh inning fell short, as the Bulldogs lost 7–4.
Already holding a 3–1 lead after the third inning, the Crimson doubled their total with a three runs in the fourth.
Castaldi began the inning struggling with his control. He hit the second batter, Kyle Larrow, with a pitch and then allowed Larrow to reach second on a wild pitch. Larrow promptly scored on an RBI-single to left field. From there, an RBI double and another RBI single gave Harvard a 6–1 lead and prompted Stuper to replace Castaldi with Christoper O’Hare ’13.
O’Hare pitched the rest of the game for the Elis, allowing one run in three and a third innings.
Down 7–1 in the bottom of the seventh, the Bulldogs racked up five hits for three runs, but lost with the tying runner at home plate. Right fielder Andrew Kolmar ’11 struck out swinging with runners on first and second to end the game 7–4.
The Bulldogs carried the momentum of the last inning into the second game, as they leapt out to a 7–0 lead in the first inning.
It was not until the Elis had gone through their first six batters that Harvard pitcher Conner Hulse recorded his first out of the game. Down 4–0 at that time, Hulse was pulled after a two-out, two-run double from Schmidt scored Rallis and Kolmar to make it 6–0.
Yale tacked on two more runs in the third, one in the fourth and three in the fifth for a 13–0 lead.
Meanwhile, Lally was having the best performance of his season, no-hitting the Crimson through five innings. Lally said his concentration increased as the innings progressed.
“A no-hitter is one of those accomplishments that doesn’t happen often, so I wasn’t necessarily expecting to get it done,” he said. “But I was definitely concentrating a lot more on making my pitches to try and prevent the hit.”
In the fifth inning, shortstop Schmidt made a diving play up the middle to keep Lally’s streak alive.
“Defensively, we were very solid, and Matt Schmidt made as good a play as you’ll see at shortstop,” Stuper said in a press release.
Lally’s no-hitter, however, came to an end with one out in the sixth inning, when a ground ball got through the right side of the infield. Last year Lally had a perfect game through six and one-third innings against Princeton.
Lally went on to allow a run and two hits in the seventh, but it was too late for the visitors.
Yale scored its final two runs in the bottom of the seventh when pinch hitter Chris Piwinski ’13 singled in two teammates. Pitchers Robert Gruber ’10 and Eric Shultz ’12 threw the final two innings for the Bulldogs.
Rallis and Schmidt led the team in batting, finishing the gamethree-for-three andfour-for-five, respectively.
Yale will continue its four-game series against Harvard on Wednesday with a doubleheader scheduled to start at 2:30 p.m at Yale Field. The games were originally scheduled for Sunday, but were pushed back to Monday and then postponed again to Wednesday because of the threat of inclement weather.
The Bulldogs will take on Holy Cross at home on Tuesday before holding their final two games against Harvard.