While their classmates scattered across the globe over the two week break from classes, baseball team members trudged through a brutal 14-game stretch to open up their season.
The Elis struggled to a 1–13 record to start their 2013 campaign, though four of those losses were decided by just one run. First baseman and outfielder Josh Scharff ’13 said that Yale was on the verge of winning many of those contests.
“On our end, we just need to focus on the little things,” Scharff said.
The Elis (1–13, 0–0 Ivy) began their season with eight games in Florida, starting with a three-game series against Army (6–11, 0–0 Patriot). The Black Knights won both halves of a double-header on March 9, then completed the sweep with a 4–1 victory over the Bulldogs at the spring training complex of the New York Yankees.
Yale notched its first victory when it bested Bucknell (4–16, 0-0 Patriot) 5–2 in Auburndale, Fla. Left fielder Nate Adams ’16 led the way on offense with two hits and two runs batted in. Pitcher Ben Joseph ’15 struck out eight Bison batters while allowing just one earned run in six innings. Chris Moates ’16 held Bucknell scoreless for the final three frames to earn the save.
After four more games, the Elis traveled north to face the No. 11 Virginia Cavaliers (22–2, 7–2 ACC) for a two-game set. Scharff and second baseman David Toups ’15 homered in the first game, a 14–3 loss, and the Elis were shut out 10–0 the next day. Outfielder Eric Hsieh ’15 said that the games could have been much closer.
“Talent-wise they weren’t that much better than us,” Hsieh said. “We just couldn’t put everything together.”
Hsieh has been one of the surprising storylines for the Bulldogs this year. A left-handed pitcher, the sophomore began playing the outfield this year and is now second on the team with 13 hits — good for a .317 batting average.
“Eric Hsieh has come off the mound and into the leadoff spot, and he’s just been killing the ball,” Scharff said.
The left fielder credited his success to a simplified approach at the plate. Rather than trying to overanalyze the at bat like he did in high school, Hsieh said that he is just trying to react to the pitch when he is in the box.
The Elis finally returned home to host Holy Cross (6–13, 0–0 Patriot) for four games this weekend. The first two were originally scheduled at Holy Cross, but poor field conditions forced the games to be played in New Haven.
Yale lost both games on Saturday by one run after allowing two unearned runs in each contest. Defensive mistakes have plagued the Bulldogs this season — they have committed 32 errors while their opponents have made just 10 defensive miscues.
The Elis will wrap up the non-conference portion of their schedule when they play Michigan (10–11, 0–0 Big Ten) at Citi Field — home of the New York Mets — in New York on Tuesday.
“Any time you get to play at a place like that it’s a special experience that can’t be overlooked,” Scharff said. “You definitely bring an extra fire.”
The Ivy League slate starts for the Bulldogs with a doubleheader at Princeton (2–16, 0–0 Ivy) next Saturday.