BASEBALL | Elis sacrifice their way to victory

The baseball team got back to its winning ways after having dropped two consecutive games against Princeton over the weekend.

The Elis (13–10, 2–2 Ivy) defeated Sacred Heart (12–14) 3–2 on Wednesday as they edged out the Pioneers with an eighth-inning sacrifice fly by Trey Rallis ’11 broke the 2–2 tie.

It was the first Yale game this week, after the Tuesday contest against Northeastern was canceled.

“It was just one of those days where we didn’t hit great,” captain and third baseman Andy Megee ’11 admitted.

The teams were deadlocked and strong pitching performances did not allow either team to gain an advantage. Yale was the first to strike in the second inning, capitalizing on Sacred Heart’s mistakes.

The Pioneers hit the second batter, Ryan Brenner ’12, giving him a free pass to first base. After a wild pitch, Brenner advanced to second base and was in scoring position. A single to center field brought Brenner home and Yale took a 1–0 advantage.

But Sacred Heart was quick to respond, scoring in the bottom of the third. A team effort brought the Pioneers’ M.J. Schifano home.

A combination of poor hitting, smart pitching, and good defense explained why neither team was able to score in the fifth or sixth innings.

“The pitching was pretty solid,” pitcher Brook Hart ’11 said. “We walked a few more than we would’ve liked but we made pitches when we needed to and the fielders picked us up.”

The Pioneers struck again in the sixth inning to put the Bulldogs in a 2–1 hole going into the final three innings.

But Yale was not rattled, and the Bulldogs responded in the next inning with a run of their own, as Charlie Neil ’12 scored on a squeeze play by Gant Elmore ’11.

Megee, the captain, played a critical role in the Bulldogs’ final run. He started the inning with a double and followed it by stealing base after the next batter flied out to right field. Rallis brought Megee home for the deciding run.

Rallis and Megee are both having a strong final season in their Yale uniforms. Rallis is batting .333 and has 17 RBIs on the season while Megee leads the team with 30 hits and is tied for the most home runs with two.

Cale Hanson ’14 secured the victory for Yale in the ninth inning, allowing a single and a walk before closing out the game. Currently, Hanson has a 0.00 ERA on the season, through 6.1 innings.

“It wasn’t pretty but I survived,” Hanson said of containing the Pioneer offense.

The game was not atypical of the Bulldogs’ battles against Sacred Heart. Last year, the two teams split the series, with Yale winning the first game and losing the second one in a 5–4 loss.

So as to save their pitchers’ arms for the weekend, nine different pitchers combined for the effort against the Pioneers, with only Kevin Fortunato ’14 pitching more than one inning.

The Bulldogs will return to conference play this weekend with a doubleheader against Penn on Saturday and another doubleheader against Columbia on Sunday. Penn has gotten off to a hot start to the Ivy season with an undefeated record, including two wins over Dartmouth, the team that has won the Ancient Eight crown for the past two seasons.

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