The baseball team had a tough weekend, but it ended on a positive note.
In their fourth and final game of the weekend, the Bulldogs (6-14, 1-3 Ivy) notched their first Ivy win Sunday, defeating Penn 10-3 after losing to them 8-4 earlier that day.
Yale dropped two games to Columbia Saturday, falling 7-1 in the first game of a doubleheader and then losing 13-12 in a back-and-forth showing.
“It was good to get the final win at Penn,” said head coach John Stuper. “[Penn and Columbia] are two tough places to play.”
The win over the Quakers (6-18, 2-6 Ivy) was Yale’s first Ivy League victory this season. After taking an early 1-0 lead, the Bulldogs found their stroke in the top of the third inning, with catcher Darren Beasley ’03 and second baseman Steve Duke ’03 each hitting RBI singles. First baseman Justin Walters ’03 drove in two runs with a single of his own to extend the Eli lead to 5-0.
Beasley was effective with men on base this weekend, hitting for nine RBIs, including six in the second Columbia game.
With the score 6-0 in Yale’s favor after another another Beasley RBI, Penn responded with a run of its own. But third baseman Chris Esper ’05 quieted the Quakers when he hit a single to left field that scored two more runs for the Bulldogs.
Mike Gulker ’05 and Mike Hirschfield ’03 added RBIs to give Yale its eight runs, while the Quakers could only muster three against strong pitching by a pair of freshmen, starter Josh Sowers ’05 and closer Adam Barrick ’05.
“We got great pitching from Josh Sowers, who as a freshman came in and stepped it up,” said captain Craig Breslow ’02.
Sowers struck out five and allowed one earned run in the game.
Earlier that day, it looked as if the Elis were going to have similar success. In the top of the first inning, Yale took a quick 4-0 lead with an RBI double by Beasley and single by right fielder Dave Fortenbaugh ’03, along with a walk on Kyle Misenti ’04 followed by a Hirschfield sacrifice fly.
Those were the only runs the Elis put on the board, however, as the Quakers put together strings of hits and piled up eight runs by the fifth inning. Lefty pitcher Matt McCarthy ’02 was replaced by Bailey Jackson ’05, who pitched two perfect innings and gave Yale a shot to regain the lead.
But the Bulldogs left runners stranded in the final inning.
Saturday, the Elis dropped both games of the doubleheader against Columbia.
“We didn’t play the best defense we’ve played, and we didn’t pitch as well as we have in the past,” Stuper said.
Breslow, who pitched against the Lions in the first game, echoed his coach’s thoughts.
“I didn’t have good game and McCarthy didn’t pitch great either,” he said. “It’s tough when your seniors, who are your leaders, don’t do very well.”
The weekend’s heartbreaker came in the second Columbia game. After falling behind the Lions 1-0 in the bottom of the first, the Elis rebounded in the top of the third.
With two outs, Yale put together a string of four hits — including a three-run double by Beasley — that produced five runs.
After Columbia narrowed the game to 5-3, Beasley struck yet again, slamming a 2-run homer that was his first of the season and the team’s fifth.
In the bottom of the sixth, the Lions had a streak of their own, scoring four runs to tie the game at 7-7. The Bulldogs recorded two errors on defense to aid Columbia’s tear.
The trouble continued for the Bulldogs in the next two innings as Columbia scored four more runs.
When Yale went up to bat at the top of the ninth they were trailing 11-7. But the Elis stormed back, scoring five runs with the help of a base-clearing triple by Bradley.
“I fouled off a few tough pitches; then the pitcher made a mistake on the inside half,” Bradley said. “But the hit meant nothing because we lost the game.”
With a run in the bottom of the ninth, Columbia forced the game into extra innings, winning in the 10th.
“They battled back like crazy, and that was a tough loss,” Stuper said.
The Elis’ bats came alive this weekend. In addition to Beasley’s output, Duke improved his average to .351, and Bradley and Orrico went 7-15 and 5-9 respectively.
“Darren did well and caught well, and Duke has really come into his own as a hitter,” Stuper said. “Another guy who emerged for us this weekend was Zac Bradley — he’s our best base stealer — and CJ seemed to be on base every time I looked up.”
Yale plays at Iona Wednesday.