The weekend downpour cut short the baseball team’s four-game series against Dartmouth, but the Bulldogs still managed to return from a trip to Hanover with two solid games under their belts.
Yale (11-22. 4-10 Ivy) split Saturday’s doubleheader with the Big Green (16-18, 5-9 Ivy) in two close games, winning 5-4 in the opening game before falling 7-6 in the nightcap. Sunday’s games were postponed because of rain.
“I thought we played well,” Yale head coach John Stuper said. “We scratched and fought all day, although we got snakebitten at the end. I was happy with how the guys played.”
In the top of the first inning of the first game, Yale scored two quick runs to put them up 2-0, where they would remain until the Big Green hit a solo home run to halve Yale’s lead in the bottom of the fifth inning.
In the top of the sixth, the Bulldogs rebounded quickly, scoring three runs to go ahead 5-1.
Starting pitcher Josh Sowers ’05, who performed well in a stint at third base Wednesday against Fairfield, was even more impressive on the mound, allowing only one run in his first six innings.
Fatigue got the best of him, however, and the Big Green rebounded in the bottom of the seventh and final inning, snagging three runs to narrow the game to 5-4 before bringing in switch-hitter Jason DaCosta.
Stuper opted to bring in lefty specialist Adam Barrick ’05 to force DaCosta to hit from the right, and his decision paid off. In a drawn-out at-bat that included several fouled-off balls, Barrick finally retired DaCosta to end the game and earn the save.
Shortstop Mike Hirschfield ’03 and designated hitter Kyle Misenti ’04 each contributed two RBIs to the Eli victory. Sowers struck out 10 in his win.
The next contest was just as close. Yale allowed Dartmouth two runs in the third inning before rallying with six runs in the top of the fifth.
Two-hit performances from first baseman Justin Walters ’03, center fielder Chris Elkins ’03, and catcher Chris Young ’04 gave Yale the 6-2 lead, but the Elis were unable to put additional runs on the board.
Dartmouth took advantage and held on, scoring two runs in the eighth inning and two more in the bottom of the ninth to tie the game.
After some close calls in the top of the 10th that did not go the Elis’ way, a solo home run by Derek Draper in Dartmouth’s half of the inning proved to be the deciding factor in what was a nearly three-hour contest.
In six innings, Mike Elias ’05 gave up only two runs while striking out 3 batters.
“Our pitching really came through on Saturday,” said left fielder Zac Bradley ’05. “Josh and Mike both had great starts, and Adam and Nick [Grass] both threw really well out of the bullpen.”
The next day’s games, postponed by rain, were rescheduled for Wednesday in Hanover. Stuper noted that because of the change in schedule, he will have to conserve the weekend starting pitchers’ arms for this weekend’s home-and-away matchup with Brown.
“I’m going to spread out our pitching a little bit,” he said. “[Craig] Breslow and [Matt McCarthy], who were scheduled to start, will probably go only about two or three innings.”
Yale returns home to Yale Field this Saturday with a doubleheader against Brown that is slated to begin at 11:00 a.m.