BASEBALL | Army walks way to victory

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Photo by Charlie Croom.

After its best weekend of the year, the baseball team (20–13, 8–4 Ivy) had a midweek stumble, suffering a 10–2 defeat at the hands of Army on Wednesday.

The team traveled to West Point, N.Y., but was unable to find the form that carried it to five consecutive wins, four of which came against Ivy foe Dartmouth. The weekend sweep propelled the team into first place in the Red Rolfe division.

“Nothing was different today,” pitcher Vinny Lally ’11 said after Wednesday’s game. “A few guys struggled, which happens sometimes. It’s good that we got the struggles out of the way. Hopefully, they’re behind us.”

The Yale offense notched seven hits — the same number as Army. The difference came in the number of walks that each team allowed. Eli pitchers gave up 11 walks, while the Black Knights walked just two.

After Army struck with a run in the bottom on the first inning, freshman Cale Hanson ’14 led the charge to level the game at 1­–1 after getting hit by a pitch with two outs in the top of the third inning. He was able to advance to second on a passed ball and stole third on a wild pitch. Captain and third baseman Andy Megee ’11 then brought Hanson home on an RBI single.

But the momentum was short lived for the Bulldogs. The Army bats came alive in the bottom of the inning and the pitching difficulties added to the Bulldogs’ woes.

The Black Knights had only four hits in the third inning, but scored nine runs thanks, in part, to four walks.

“Pitching really struggled today,” Lally said. “We didn’t fill up the zone and that led to too many walks.”

Following the first two batters being walked, the Black Knights’ Clint Moore sent a ball over the fence and scored three runs off of pitcher Nolan Becker ’13. For Moore, that was his sixth home run on the season. He finished the inning with five RBIs on two hits.

Becker left the game following the Moore home run, but the pitching change made little difference. Alex Young ’11 and Greg Lyons ’12 gave up one and four runs, respectively.

In the top of the fourth, Yale strung together a few hits to inch the score closer, but were only able to cut the lead to 10–2. Gant Elmore ’11 drew a walk that brought Andrew Moore ’11 home. Elmore has continued to battle this season despite an injury he sustained in the comeback against UConn.

Both teams struggled to get a series of hits together and the game ended with Army winning by an eight-run margin, its second consecutive game with at least ten runs. Fortunately for the Elis, the contest was not a conference game and did not hurt their chances for an Ivy League title.

“[There’s] no such thing as a good loss, unfortunately,” Megee said. “It doesn’t really affect things one way or another. We’ll be extremely focused going into the weekend.”

The Elis will return to conference play with four contests against Harvard this weekend. The Crimson has struggled in Ivy play, but has challenged all of its Ancient Eight opponents this year.

“Harvard played some good teams and had a few injuries,” Lally concluded. “They took two from Brown, so we have to go in with the mindset we did with Dartmouth.”

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