What a difference a year makes. But this time, it wasn’t for the better.
Last year the baseball team started 9–4–1 over the break. This year, the Elis had a slow start at the RussMatt Invitational, going 3–5, and they were not able to get back on track. The team finished its spring break schedule 5–8.
“This was the opposite of last year’s trip in some ways,” captain Andy Megee ’11 said. “But we came back this year and realized we need to work on things.”
In the team’s opener on March 5, Yale narrowly lost to Lehigh 8–6 at the invitational after starting the game with six unanswered runs. The next day, the Bulldogs received a drubbing at the hands of Xavier, losing 17–6.
But despite that lopsided loss, the team was able to bounce back.
The following day, Yale won in a thriller against Miami (Ohio). With the game tied, 2–2, infielder Trey Ralis ’11, with two outs in the ninth inning, boosted his team to victory with a single that helped Megee get home.
In the team’s afternoon game, the Bulldogs got off to a quick start against Mt. St. Mary’s with three unanswered runs, but the Mounts tallied four scores to tie the game at 4–4. However, unlike their game against Lehigh, the squad was able to clinch a victory with a run in each of the last two innings. The Yale bullpen shut down the Mt. St. Mary’s offense and did not it to score again after its four runs in the seventh. Hart ’11, had a strong start at the tournament with a 1.62 ERA through 11.1 innings.
“I’ve felt pretty good so far, but know I still have a fair amount of things to work on before the Ivy Season begins,” pitcher Brook Hart said. “I think the team just needs to keep working hard. We know what we are doing well and what adjustments we need to make going forward.”
But the Elis’ momentum was short lived as they then ran into a strong Toledo team, losing 4–9. After dropping the lead in the second inning, the Bulldogs scored three runs in the fourth to take the lead again, 4–3. But Toledo went on a six-run streak over the next three innings for the win.
Rain gave Yale an extra day of rest as both of its games against Bowling Green on March 10 were canceled and not rescheduled.
After the break, the Bulldogs avenged their loss against Toledo on March 11 with a win, 3–2. Cale Hanson’s ’14 RBI double in the ninth inning with one out gave Yale the victory.
“Getting to represent my university on the field has been a dream of mine since I was a kid,” Hanson said. “Having the opportunity to play for Yale is even more amazing because I am surrounded by amazing teammates who support and push each other to perform.”
After that win, Yale went on a cold streak, dropping three consecutive games to Michigan State, Ohio State and Central Connecticut State. The team lost in a heartbreaker to the Blue Devils in 17 innings.
In their last four games of the break, the Bulldogs went 2–2 against Navy, losing the second and fourth games.
In the first game on Saturday, Hart had a strong showing, only allowing three hits as Yale won with a single run in the seventh. In the second game, Navy put the game out of reach for the Elis with eight runs in the seventh inning and eventually took the game 15–7.
On Sunday, the Bulldogs played their final two games against Navy and took another split. Yale won the first game 6–4, but lost the second 11–4.
“We threw pretty well,” Megee said about the trip. “Our starters are doing great, Brook Hart has been unreal, and the freshmen are playing great, especially Cale Hanson.”
The Bulldogs will have a chance for revenge as they take on Central Connecticut State this Tuesday, 5 p.m. at home.