In its four-game Red Rolfe Division road trip to Cambridge, the baseball team (8-15, 3-7 Ivy) could not muster the energy for a whole weekend of wins, and instead returned home with only one victory under its belt against the Crimson (10-18, 5-5).
Yale sped off to a successful start in game one Friday, with Craig Breslow ’02 pitching a one-hitter in the 10-0 victory. But the charge quickly stalled, and the Elis lost the three remaining games by a combined margin of 29-3.
Breslow, who entered the weekend with an 0-2 record and a 3.03 ERA, stymied Harvard’s bats all game long. He notched 13 strikeouts, and when Cantab Nick Carter finally reached base on a single in the seventh inning, the Bulldogs already possessed a commanding lead.
“My first goal is to go out there and give us the win,” Breslow said. “The other things — the shutout and taking a no-hitter that far into the game — are just icing on the cake.”
Breslow cited a memorable mid-week performance by fellow hurlers Doug Feller ’02 and Mike Boardman ’04 in the Elis’ 7-0 win over Iona Wednesday as the source of his squad’s momentum out of the gates Friday.
“After [Wednesday’s win], we were able to step back and realize that other teams in this league had beaten each other up too,” he said. “We decided to take a ‘one game at a time’ approach.”
Fellow starter Jon Steitz ’02 (2-3) praised Breslow’s performance.
“Craig started off the series with a masterful one-hitter,” Steitz said. “He absolutely dominated Harvard and we hit their ace very well.”
Breslow had the luxury of lively Bulldog bats — a commodity his fellow pitchers found to be in short supply for most of the weekend.
Yale took a 1-0 lead in the first inning, then never looked back. A clutch double by Luis Costa ’01 triggered a four-run sixth inning that ensured the Bulldog victory.
Captain R.D. DeSantis ’01 appeared fully recovered from a bothersome hamstring, driving in one run on two hits in three at-bats. Chris Elkins ’03 also turned in impressive numbers at the plate, going 3-3 with three RBIs.
In the second game of Friday’s doubleheader, Yale’s bats failed to come to the aid of pitcher Steitz, who was less effective than usual. Crimson pitcher Kenon Ronz, on the other hand, went the distance, giving up only three Yale hits. Harvard triumphed 10-1.
“I think it definitely was an off day for me,” Steitz said. “My velocity was down and my breaking balls were rather flat. [Harvard hitters] made adjustments, I didn’t.”
On Saturday, the Bulldogs came unraveled in much the same way they did last weekend against Pennsylvania, the day after dropping two heartbreakers to Columbia.
“We didn’t get the things we needed [Saturday],” Breslow said. “Then it snowballed.”
In the first game, Matt McCarthy ’02 dueled with Crimson hurler Justin Nyweide, striking out seven in five shutout innings. But Harvard blew the game open in the bottom of the sixth when Scot Hopps hit a double to trigger a seven-run shelling of McCarthy. Doug Shimokawa ’04 came on in relief and allowed another run. The final score in the Eli loss was 7-0.
And the outcome was no better in the final game of the series. The Crimson bats dismantled the Elis on the way to a 13-3 Yale loss.
Despite scoring three runs, including homers by Elkins and Darren Beasley ’03, the Bulldogs never looked comfortable at the plate.
Yale sent five pitchers to the mound in the game, none of whom managed to stop Harvard’s offense — one which saw Cantab Faiz Shakir tally five RBIs. Doug Feller ’02 was hit with the loss.
“It was obviously a frustrating, disappointing weekend,” Breslow said. “We have to look ourselves in the mirror. It comes down to pride. I’d hope that everyone [on the team] would have the pride in themselves to do what they need to do to get better.”
Steitz was disappointed about the weekend’s results.
“The weekend should have been a great one for baseball,” Steitz said. “After [Friday’s first game], things didn’t go very well. We didn’t hit the ball for another 24 innings or so and got totally dominated.”
The Bulldogs hope to bounce back Wednesday at Wagner. Then they face more Red Rolfe Division competition this weekend with a four-game homestand against Dartmouth (11-12, 7-5).