Over the holiday weekend, the baseball team took to the field in two doubleheaders against Princeton and Cornell. But the Bulldogs were not able to celebrate the holidays with a win.
Yale (6–22–1) is now 0–8 in conference play. In Game 1 of the doubleheader against Princeton, Yale was tied going into the bottom of the sixth when Chris Piwinski ’13 was thrown out at the plate trying to give the Bulldogs the lead. In the following inning, Princeton took the lead and never looked back after starting pitcher Chris O’Hares ’13 hit a Cornell player with the bases loaded.
“Talk about a momentum changer,” catcher and firstbaseman Robert Baldwin ’15 said. “The umpire calls him out at home, and they go on to win the game in the next inning. It was rough.”
Game two featured fantastic pitching by Connecticut native David Hickey ’13 and Nolan Becker ’13. Hickey gave up two runs in the second inning, and Becker followed him up with five shutout innings. The strong pitching efforts was not enough to defeat the Tigers, as Princeton pitchers held the Bulldogs to just one run on a sacrifice fly by captain Ryan Brenner ’12 in the fifth.
Whereas previously, the Elis have struggled getting base hits, Yale outhit Princeton 18–13 for the doubleheader on Saturday.
On Sunday, Game 1 against Cornell proved hardest to swallow for the Bulldogs and their fans.
With only one out needed to secure the Elis’ first conference win, head coach John Stuper decided to pull starter Pat Ludwig ’12 in favor of starting first basemen and closer Kevin Fortunato ’14.
“It’s always nice to finish the game,” Ludwig said, “but I trust Fortunato more than anyone.”
Unforunately it wasn’t Fortunato’s day. Cornell’s cleanup hitter Chris Cruz stepped up to the plate and blasted a game winning homerun over the fence in right field.
Trying to put Game 1 behind them, the Elis took to the field and battled hard in the second game to tally six runs on 12 hits. Taking the lead into the sixth, the Bulldogs surrendered a game-tying homerun and could never quite get back over the hump.
Once again, stellar pitching characterized the game. Starter Rob Cerfolio ’14 and reliever Eric Shultz ’12 combined for nine innings, seven strikeouts and only two earned runs.
But not all was lost on the weekend. Many players look to be finally breaking out of hitting slumps as Fortunato, Brenner and Piwinski went 5-for-14, 7-for-12 and 5-for-13 respectively.
Also, shortstop Cale Hanson ’14 continued his on base streak through all four games. The streak now stands at 27 games, as Hanson went 4-for-15 with two walks on the weekend.
The Bulldogs are back at Yale Field on Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. for a doubleheader against Fairfield.