With 12 games remaining in the regular season for Ivy League play, the baseball team (16–12, 4–4 Ivy) trails Red Rolfe Division leader Dartmouth (18–6, 6–2) by two conference games. The teams will face each other in two doubleheaders this weekend and the four games could give the Elis a chance to move into the lead.
“This is our season pretty much,” captain and third baseman Andy Megee ‘11 said. “Its like a college football season. Every weekend matters so much.”
The Big Green are arguably the hottest team in the Ancient Eight right now with a six-game winning streak, including two wins last weekend over Princeton (12–15, 6–2), which is tied for top spot in the Lou Gehrig Division. Dartmouth has bounced back from dropping two consecutive games to Penn during the opening weekend.
Last year, Dartmouth took control of Yale in the series and did not allow the Elis to win a game. This year, the Big Green are led by Ennis Coble, who is hitting .420 on the season, and Chris O’Dowd, who leads the team with five home runs. Dartmouth pitchers Kyle Hunter and Kyle Hendricks lead the team with 2.12 ERAs each.
In the first game last season, the Big Green did not allow the Bulldogs to score a run and scored three of their own to secure a 3–0 victory. Junior Pat Ludwig d’12 did his best to keep Yale in the game on the mound. He struck 10 batters out in seven innings, but his effort alone could not win it for Yale who struggled at the plate.
“They don’t walk anybody,” Megee said. “Their walk rates are always the best in Division 1 baseball. They also hit well.”
The second game saw a strong performance from Andrew Kolmar ’11, who hit a home run and tripled for two RBIs. But the Bulldogs still fell short and lost 7–4.
The Big Green easily took the third game, winning 8–2. However, in the final game, Yale pushed Dartmouth to its limits but came one run short of victory. The Bulldogs had their first lead of the weekend in the fourth game, but a Dartmouth single in the 10th inning locked up the 3–2 victory.
“We have to hit well, pitch well and limit our mistakes,” Megee said. “If we sweep Dartmouth, we are absolutely in control of our own destiny.”
Kolmar sparked the comeback for the Bulldogs in their game against UConn on Tuesday. The Elis went on to win the thriller in 10–7 before play was stopped due to rain. Yale will hope to ride the momentum of defeating a strong Huskies team that the Bulldogs have not defeated since 2006.
The Bulldogs will continue to battle despite losing two players to injuries against UConn. Gant Elmore ’11 was hit in the face by a fastball and has many broken facial bones. Josh Scharff ’12 was hurt when he tried to slide home in the game against UConn.
“Gant’s plan is to play this weekend,” Megee said. “And [Scharff’s replacement, Hunter] has been playing well at short.”
Yale will need strong performances from Megee, who has a .316 hitting average, and freshman Jacob Hunter ’14, who has a .356 hitting average. Vinny Lally ’11 leads the pitching squad with a 2.45 ERA.
Play starts on Saturday at 12 p.m and the second game of the doubleheader is slated to begin at 3 p.m. The teams will take the field for another doubleheader at the same times on Sunday.