BASEBALL | Elis salvage split with Crimson

The baseball team ended its 12-game losing streak with two wins against harvard over the weekend.
The baseball team ended its 12-game losing streak with two wins against harvard over the weekend. Photo by Graham Harboe.

The Yale-Harvard rivalry lived up to its billing this weekend with four games decided by a total of five runs as Yale earned a split of its series with Harvard.

In the first game of the series Yale (8–26–1, 2–10 Ivy) finally broke its 12-game losing streak with a 3–2 eight-inning walk-off victory, but Harvard (8–25, 4–8 Ivy) forced a split of the Saturday doubleheader by holding off the Elis 7–6 in nine innings.

“The split was good for us,” outfielder Charlie Neil ’12 said. “It was fun weekend. [It was] a combo of close games and our biggest rival.”

Pitcher Chris O’Hare ’13 held the Crimson to one earned run in seven innings of work to force extra innings. He did allow Harvard to take a one-run lead in the top of the seventh, but Neil tied the game with a bases-loaded sacrifice fly. After Eric Schultz ’13 pitched a scoreless eighth, outfielder Joe Lubanski ’15 led off the bottom of the inning with a triple and scored the winning run on second baseman Jacob Hunter’s ’14 sacrifice fly.

The momentum did not carry into the second game for the Blue and White, as the Crimson blotted out Yale’s short-lived winning streak by scoring seven runs in the first five innings. The Bulldogs stormed back with a four-run sixth inning to pull within one but would get no closer.

Yale took a 3–0 lead in the first game of Sunday’s twin billing but was unable to hold on as the Cantabs stole the game in eight innings 4–3.

Cantab starter Matt Timoney lasted just two-thirds of an inning before the Elis knocked him out of the game. Reliever Baron Davis shut down Yale’s bats for 4.2 innings, allowing Harvard to tie the game with three runs off Pat Ludwig ’12 in the sixth.

Harvard took the lead in extra innings when Hunter’s two-out error allowed second baseman Jeff Reynolds to score with the decisive run.

Ludwig took his fourth loss of the season despite striking out eight over as many innings and allowing just two earned runs.

“Pat [Ludwig] is going to get drafted at the end of the year,” first baseman Kevin Fortunato ’14 said. “[Our starting pitchers] are the best in the league … We have four number ones on our team.”

Hunter made up for his miscue in the second game with a double to lead off the bottom of the eighth that sparked Yale’s two-run rally. Fortunato plated Hunter with a double of his own.

“It was pretty funny actually,” Fortunato said. “I went up to Jake [Hunter] and said to him ‘How do you want to do this?’ and he said, ‘Back-to-back doubles.’ It’s funny that it actually happened that way.”

Fortunato came around to score himself on a sacrifice bunt by Neil. The RBI was Neil’s seventh on the weekend. He drove in at least one run in all four games against the Cantabs.

As he has been all season, shortstop Cale Hanson ’14 continued to stay hot this weekend. He hit .438 (7–16) for the series as he extended his Ivy League-leading on-base streak to 33 consecutive games.

The Bulldogs are now five games out of first place in the Red Rolfe division of the Ivy League. Dartmouth (12–15, 7–5 Ivy) took three of four against Brown (7–24, 4–8 Ivy).

Yale will be at home tomorrow against Sacred Heart (11–23, 7–5 Northeast Conference) for a nine-inning game.

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