BASEBALL | Strong relief effort not enough for Yale

Although it was short-lived, outfielder Joe Lubanski’s ’15 one-out RBI double in the fourth inning broke the 1–1 tie.
Although it was short-lived, outfielder Joe Lubanski’s ’15 one-out RBI double in the fourth inning broke the 1–1 tie. Photo by Graham Harboe.

The baseball team’s offensive struggles continued against Fairfield on Wednesday, as a two-run long ball proved to be the difference in a 3–2 loss.

After a weekend against Columbia and Penn in which the Bulldogs (6–19, 3–5 Ivy) combined to score six runs in four games, the Elis could only scrape together two runs off five hits against the Stags.

In the first inning, leadoff hitter Nate Adams ’16 was hit by a pitch, singled over to second base by left fielder Eric Hsieh ’15 and brought home by a double off the bat of designated hitter Josh Scharff ’13 to open the scoring.

“I got down in the count, but the pitcher made a mistake and I was able to capitalize,” Scharff said.

Starting pitcher Ben Joseph ’15 was unable to make it out of the second inning, yielding six walks but picking up five strikeouts. He allowed only one run, however, on a two-out, bases-loaded balk in the first.

The Bulldogs’ offense managed to put runners on base in both the second and third innings, only to have those opportunities squandered by double plays.

“It happens in baseball sometimes,” captain Chris Piwinski ’13 said. “Our approach is to hit the ball down and hard. If those hits are a couple feet to the left or right, it’s a base hit.”

A one-out RBI double by outfielder Joe Lubanski ’15 in the fourth broke the 1–1 tie, but it was short-lived, as Fairfield’s Rob LoPinto celebrated his birthday in style with a two-run homer off a high fastball to deliver the lead for the Stags in the bottom half.

After yet another double play brought the fifth inning to a close, the Elis went hitless for the duration, managing just two baserunners in the final four frames.

“Today was a classic case of taking ourselves out of the game [by] pressing and swinging at pitches we don’t normally swing at,” Scharff said.

Through 25 games, the Bulldogs have only 25 extra-base hits, which has proven to be a thorn in their side, especially last night, when they stranded six runners on top of the three aforementioned double plays.

Despite the loss, the team found positives to take away from this game, especially in the bullpen.

“Everyone was happy with the relief effort,” shortstop/pitcher Cale Hanson ’14 said. “Robert Baldwin ’15 threw well and Chris Lanham ’16 pitched lights out; it was just one bad pitch and we lost the game.”

Piwinski agreed, saying, “If our pitchers throw strikes and challenge guys, we’ll have a great chance to win.”

On top of that, the Bulldog defense played an error-less game after four straight games with errors.

“It was good to see us play a good game on defense,” Hanson said.

Yale takes on Harvard this weekend in a four game series in Cambridge.

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