After the baseball team notched its first Ivy League win of the season at Princeton over the weekend, strong pitching and improved defense helped the Bulldogs extend that momentum into a three-game winning streak.
Yale won 4–2 over Cornell (15–7, 3–1 Ivy) in Ithaca on Monday morning and then returned home to defeat the Sacred Heart Pioneers (8–13, 5–3 Northeast) by a score of 5–3 the following day. Playing for the sixth time in five days Wednesday, the Elis (5–15, 2–2 Ivy) jumped out to a nine-run lead by the second inning and blew out the University of Connecticut (16–11, 3–3 Big East) with a 15–5 victory. Centerfielder Green Campbell ’15 said that Yale’s pitching rotation has helped drive the Elis’ recent success.
“When our starter goes out and gets two or three shutout innings to open a game, it really keeps our energy high, and I think this has allowed us to spark crucial big innings early in the game,” Campbell said.
Playing on Monday morning after the second game of Sunday’s doubleheader was postponed because of rain, pitcher Michael Coleman ’14 scattered six hits over 7.2 innings and surrendered just two runs to pick up the first win of his career and even Yale’s record in the Ancient Eight at 2–2.
Coleman, who pitched in only six games last season due to injury, said that earning the win was an important step in his long road to recovery.
“Being unable to play last season due to injury was extremely frustrating and inspired me to work extra hard this off-season so that I would be able to come back at full strength,” the right-hander said. “It was nice to see the hard work finally pay off, and it felt great to help the team get an important win in the Ivy League.”
The Elis handed Coleman a lead before he ever toed the rubber when second baseman David Toups ’15 scored on a passed ball by Big Red catcher Matt Hall. Then in the top of the third, a sacrifice fly from third baseman Brent Lawson ’16 and an RBI single by Campbell gave the Bulldogs a 3–0 cushion in the top of the third.
Coleman was not the only pitcher to earn his first career win this week. Left-handed pitcher Chris Lanham ’16 notched his first win with a five-inning outing against Sacred Heart. Although Lanham gave up a two-run single to Pioneer catcher Derick Horn in the top of the second, the Elis retook the lead for good with a four-run outburst in the bottom of the frame. Lanham said that playing with the lead allowed him to pitch to contact more.
“With the lead, it is important to throw a lot of strikes and let the defense make the plays behind you,” Lanham said. “They did a great job that game.”
After securing their first winning streak of the season, the Bulldogs did not rest on their laurels against the Huskies. Fueled by four RBIs from shortstop Tom O’Neill ’16, Yale put across four runs in the first inning and tagged on five more in the second.
Campbell had three hits and three RBIs, and first baseman Jacob Hunter ’14 had four hits against the Huskies to lead six Elis who recorded at least two hits.
“All of the hitters were dialed in today, it was like we were taking [batting practice] on our home turf,” Campbell said. “We just had the ashé going from one hitter to the next.”
Southpaw David Hickey ’14 struck out three across two scoreless innings to earn the win.
Yale stays at home this weekend to host Columbia (9–15, 2–2 Ivy) on Saturday and Penn (16–9, 3–1 Ivy) on Sunday.