The Yale baseball team was unable to build on its two game lead of Dartmouth in the Ivy League standings after splitting both of its doubleheaders against Harvard in Cambridge over the weekend.
The Elis (22–15, 10–6 Ivy) came out on top of the struggling Crimson (9–31, 5–11) in the first game on both Friday and Sunday, but were unable to sustain the momentum in either second game of the doubleheaders. Because Dartmouth swept Brown on Sunday, the Bulldogs remained just two games ahead of the Big Green in the Red Rolfe standings. Dartmouth has the chance to gain on the Elis when it plays Brown in another doubleheader today.
“It was disappointing,” captain and third baseman Andy Megee ’11 said. “We still control our own destiny going into the last weekend but this isn’t what we wanted at all.”
Because of rain, the teams faced off on Friday and Sunday instead of Saturday and Sunday. Because of the change, Yale had to make the trip to Camrbidge twice.
“Well, it was a long weekend with traveling back and forth a few times,” pitcher Kevin Fortunato ’14 said. “In the end, we just ran out of gas.”
In the first game, the Bulldogs were quick to jump on the Crimson who had previously struggled to win games in the conference. The Elis scored three runs in the first inning and that was all it took for the team to secure the win, 3–0.
Senior hurler Vinny Lally ’11 pitched the entire seven-inning game and struck out nine Harvard batters and faced only 23 hitters.
The second contest of the day saw another game changing pitching performance, but this time it was Harvard’s ace, Max Perlman who struck out ten Yale hitters. The Crimson’s lone run in the fifth was all it took for them to secure the 1–0 win.
Yale’s Brook Hart ’11 had a strong game, allowing just six hits in eight innings worked, but he came up second best to the Crimson’s pitcher who had twice the number of strikeouts, 10, and allowed two fewer hits with four.
“Perlman is a solid pitcher with good command so he was making it tough for us,” Hart said. “It’s always disappointing when you lose but sometimes you just gotta tip your cap to the other guy on how well he played.”
The theme of the second day was strong hitting. In the first game, the Bulldogs scored a run in the second to take the lead. However, the Elis erupted in the fourth and fifth, scoring seven runs. The team conceded only one more run en route to its 8–1 victory.
Senior hitter Trey Rallis ’11 was clutch for the Elis. He went three-for-four and notched three runs for the Bulldogs and an RBI. Freshman Jacob Hunter ’14 has continued to be strong at the shortstop position and added two runs for Yale.
Yale had another big pitching performance from Chris O’Hare ’12, while Harvard had trouble at the pitching position. The Crimson rotated through four different pitchers in the game. Harvard starter Brent Suter allowed four runs in four innings before he was dispatched from duty.
In the nightcap, the Elis came up short and were unable to continue the momentum from the previous game.
“Baseball’s a game where any team can win on any day,” Lally said. “Their pitcher threw a great game Friday when they won and they swung the bats better in the fourth game. When they play a fundamentally sound game, they’re a better team than their record shows.”
While the two teams were separated by only one hit, the Crimson capitalized on their opportunities and scored ten runs from ten hits, taking the game 10–3.
Similar to Harvard in the first game, the Elis had five different pitchers on the mound. Fortunato, who finished the game on the mound, had a strong performance highlighted by five strikeouts in just over two innings pitched.
Rallis continued his hitting barrage and went four-for-four and was responsible for all three runs batted in for Yale. Cale Hanson ’14 made his impact felt with two hits and two runs.
“They battled really well today and took advantage of mistakes in the strike zone,” Pat Ludwig ’12 said after the game.
Ludwig, who was last week’s Ivy League Pitcher of the week for his strong performance against Dartmouth, struggled and allowed six runs in five innings pitched. Both Ludwig and Megee complimented the Harvard offense that was “smart at the plate.”
Yale will start reading week with a game on Tuesday against Holy Cross before returning to conference action this weekend against Brown to end its regular season.