The baseball team is no longer in contention in the Ivy League, but that does not mean the Bulldogs do not have a lot to play for this weekend.
Second place in the Red Rolfe division of the Ivy League is on the line this Saturday and Sunday as Yale (9–25, 6–10 Ivy) and Brown (5–28, 3–13) play a home-and-home series. The Elis host the Bears in a doubleheader today, then travel to Providence, R.I. for a twin bill on Saturday to finish out the season. Harvard holds a one-game lead over Yale for second place in the Red Rolfe division, but the Bulldogs still have plenty of opportunity to sneak back into second.
“This weekend means a lot,” captain Chris Piwinski ’13 said. “We have a chance to end the season on a strong note and go into the summer feeling pretty good. Also, we could put ourselves in second place on our side and show the potential this team has to be really good in the following years.”
The Elis will look to end the season on a winning note against a Brown team that has the worst record in the Ancient Eight. The Bears rank last among the Ivies with just 99 runs scored this season. On the mound, Brown’s earned run average of 5.83 is second to last in the conference, more than a run and a half higher than Yale’s pitching staff’s 4.16 ERA.
Piwinski said the Elis still have to watch out for their own play, rather than focusing on their opponents.
“We are focusing more on what we need to do well rather than the strengths of Brown,” Piwinski said. “We know if we throw strikes and have tough at-bats we will be successful. Definitely need to take advantage when we get runners in scoring position.”
At the plate, the Elis will be led by infielder Jacob Hunter ’14. Hunter made the Ivy League honor roll last week after hitting .625 (10–16) in five games with three stolen bases and three runs scored. He also hit two doubles and drove in a run.
Hunter has been the Bulldogs’ most consistent hitter this season, leading the team with 37 hits. His .349 batting average is fourth in the Ivy League.
“We are a good hitting team and a game like Hunter’s goes to show the talent that we have with the bats,” pitcher David Hickey ’14 said of Hunter’s performance last weekend. “Hitting is vital to the team and I’m proud of the way my teammates, especially the younger guys, have stepped up to the plate.”
The Elis are only hitting .239 on the season, but several players have been trying to turn these struggles around at the plate recently. Second baseman David Toups ’15 collected four hits last weekend and shortstop Tom O’Neill ’16 notched three hits in the Dartmouth series to snap a nine-game hitless streak. Third baseman Brent Lawson ’15 had five hits on the weekend and drove in four runs.
For Piwinski and outfielders Josh Scharff ’13 and Cam Squires ’13, the series against Dartmouth will be their final time to suit up for the Bulldogs.
“It’s definitely a little sad, but I am heading into it just like I would any other weekend,” Piwinski said. “No reasons to change the routine in any way. There’s no doubt that the last few days I’ve looked back over my career and just remembered all the different memories and guys I have played with. I’m not trying to think too much about it yet, though, because there are four more games to focus on.”