With 14 games already under its belt, the baseball team will take the field for its first Ivy League games of the season on Saturday.
Yale (1–13, 0–0 Ivy) will travel down to Princeton (2–16, 0–0) for a doubleheader, then trek up to Ithaca, N.Y., on Sunday for a twin bill with Cornell (12–6, 0–0). Outfielder Eric Hsieh ’15 said that the beginning of league play is a clean slate for the Bulldogs.
“Everybody’s record is 0–0 right now,” Hsieh said.
The fresh start comes at a good time for the Bulldogs, as Yale has lost its past 10 games. The Elis have been competitive in most of those losses, with four of those defeats by one run. Princeton has also been struggling recently, losing 11 of its past 12 games. Similar to the Bulldogs, eight of those Tiger losses have been by a single run.
Defense has been an issue for both ball clubs, and the two teams are tops in the Ancient Eight in errors. Princeton has committed the most defensive miscues, leading the league with 33 errors, while Yale ranks right behind in second with 31. Infielder Green Campbell ’15 said that fielding will be key this weekend.
“We need to play error-free defense in order to win this weekend,” Campbell said. “And not make mistakes on the bases.”
Base running will be key in games between two teams that have not produced many runners on this season. The Tigers (.314) and Yale (.298) rank sixth and seventh respectively in the Ivy League in on-base percentage.
Getting men on base has been much less of an issue for Cornell, which ranks third in the Ivy League with a .345 on-base percentage. The Big Red have not had many problems offensively, scoring 86 runs in 18 games. Yale, on the other hand, has managed just 43 runs in its 14 games.
The Big Red have excelled on the mound as well, with a team earned run average of 3.32. The Cornell staff is led by sophomore lefthander Nick Busto, who owns a sparkling 1.44 ERA and two wins against no losses over four starts.
Yale’s staff has shown its own flashes of brilliance in recent games. Righthander Ben Joseph ’15 gave up just one hit and no runs in five and a third innings of relief in the first game of Sunday’s doubleheader, but Holy Cross (7–13, 0–0 Patriot) prevailed 7–4. In the next game, righthander Chris Lanham ’16 tossed eight innings of five-hit ball, striking out seven and surrendering just one earned run. Yale’s bats were shut down themselves, and the Crusaders won 2–0.
Lanham currently leads the Bulldogs with 20.1 innings pitched.