Dull bats plagued the baseball team this weekend, as the team managed just 16 hits in four Ivy League games at Yale Field. The team hit its lowest point when it suffered a no-hitter at the hands of Pennsylvania’s Andrew McCreery.
The Quakers (15-9, 3-5) blew out Yale (6-14, 2-6 Ivy) twice, 10-0 and 16-2, Sunday, while Yale dropped two 3-2 contests to Columbia (10-16, 5-1) the day before.
One problem in Sunday’s games was that three of the Bulldog’s starting aces — Ivy League Pitcher of the Week Craig Breslow ’02, Matthew McCarthy ’02 and Jon Steitz ’02 — were all involved in pitching duels Saturday.
“I had a bad feeling about things. We didn’t hit, didn’t field and didn’t pitch well,” said Steitz, who started the second game Saturday. “We didn’t hit [Saturday] and we didn’t do anything [Sunday].”
Sunday’s game-one starter Doug Feller ’02 gave up seven runs in just over an inning before Doug Shimokawa ’04 relieved him. Shimokawa only lasted one inning.
The two gave up all 10 of the Quakers’ runs, including a pair of two-run shots to Jeff Gregorio and Chris May. May’s homer came on the heels of a triple by pitcher McCreery, who batted third for the Quakers.
McCreery pitched seven no-hit innings, earning five strikeouts and giving up only two walks. He also had two runs, one hit and one RBI at the plate.
The Pennsylvania starter’s perfect pitching campaign iced the cake for a Quaker squad itching for a road win.
“The first game was a must game for us,” Penn head coach Bob Seddon said. “Normally to split a road trip is considered a success, so we wanted to start off with a win.”
After replacing Shimokawa in the third inning, Mike Boardman ’04 was able to do what no other Yale pitcher could Sunday — hold the Quaker offense scoreless. He allowed only one hit in the remainder of the game, walking none.
But errors were what plagued the Eli defense Sunday, with Mike Hirschfield ’03 and Kyle Cousin ’04 each commiting two.
And it only got worse for Eli starter McCarthy and the bullpen in the second game, compunding 18 hits with the defense’s five errors.
“We had some momentum heading into the second game, which really helped,” Seddon said.
An errant throw by Hirschfield on a May grounder in the third inning allowed the runner on third to score. The error was one of three in the game and five on the day for the shortstop.
Fortunately, the Eli bats were more of a presence and made the second game more interesting than the first. Hirschfield tapped the ball back to the mound, but the Penn pitcher slipped while trying to field the ball, allowing the Bulldog to reach first and load the bases.
Two batters later, Luis Costa ’01 hit a fly ball to center field, but the center fielder missed the catch and a runner scored. Elkins followed with a sacrifice grounder to second, sending Hirschfield home. At the end of three, Yale trailed 3-2.
But the Quakers went on a two-inning, 11-run tear, decimating the Elis for the second time of the day 16-2.
This was a far cry from the kind of hard-fought baseball the Bulldogs partook in the day before against Columbia.
Both games were heartbreakers, with the Bulldogs dropping each of the low-scoring contests at the last moment, despite solid pitching performances by juniors Breslow, Steitz and McCarthy — the heart of Yale’s starting corps.
Breslow went the distance, striking out five and surrendering nine hits in the eight-inning contest. But his efforts were all for not when the Lions scored the winning run in the top of the final inning.
The second game of the doubleheader was even more of a pitchers’ duel than the first. Steitz and Lions starter Matt Waldman each pitched scoreless baseball — except for the sixth inning in which each team put two runs on the board. Steitz tallied 13 strikeouts on the day.
“That was the best game I’ve pitched in my career here,” Steitz said. “If we hit the ball at all [Saturday] we had two wins.”
McCarthy relieved Steitz in the 11th and struck out three to preserve the tie through 13 frames. But nothing materialized on offense for the Elis, and the Lions managed a double followed by a single in the 14th to score the winning run.
But at least one thing is going Yale’s way. The Red Rolfe Division is still wide open, and none of the weekend’s losses were to teams in the division.
“Yale’s division is still up in the air,” Seddon said. “The league is so even, a streak can win this league.”
The Elis’ hope to bounce back from the weekend and strengthen their relief pitching Wednesday when they host Iona.
“Iona’s a chance for bullpen guys to start doing some things, and put up some zeros,” Steitz said. “Mike Boardman did that [Sunday] but no one else did.”