Albany proved the bigger dog this weekend at Yale Field, where the Great Danes defeated the Bulldogs in all four games of the two day-night double headers.
After a close first game Saturday afternoon, it looked as if the weekend would be very competitive. But by Sunday evening Yale (5-10) had come up completely empty.
“We just need to turn the page on the weekend — learn from it,” catcher Eric Rasmussen ’06 said. “We made mistakes, and we’ll try not to repeat them.”
In game one, the Elis led Albany 1-0 at the top of the seventh with two outs before the Great Danes broke out for three unearned runs on three hits and two Eli errors to take the game 3-1. Saturday’s nightcap was a slugfest compared to the pitcher’s duel earlier that day as the Great Danes manufactured 10 runs on 11 hits for a 10-5 victory.
The Eli bats struggled Sunday just as they had the afternoon before. Yale scored twice in the first inning of game one on Sunday and would hold the 2-0 advantage into the seventh inning, only to give up the lead, just like they did in the seventh inning of Saturday’s day game. Bulldog pitcher Josh Sowers ’05 had not allowed a run in six innings until giving up the game-tying runs in the seventh.
The battle went into extra-innings when in the top of the ninth Albany’s Derek DeGrazio hit an RBI double to seal a Great Dane victory by a 3-2 score.
The weary Bulldogs took a drubbing in the fourth and final game of the weekend, losing by an 8-0 score in a game in which the Elis managed just three hits to the Great Danes’ 13.
“We just didn’t hit the ball very well this weekend,” Rasmussen said.
Rasmussen said in the day game on Sunday, Yale had two chances to close out the victory. In the seventh inning the Bulldogs were still leading 2-1 with one out. The Elis had the infield in with a Great Dane at third. The ball was hit sharply to second but got hung up in the glove of Bulldog second baseman Justin Ankney ’07, who managed to throw the runner out at first, but not before the tying run came in the back door.
Rasmussen said in the first extra-inning the Elis had the go-head run at third with one out but the Bulldogs could not get it done at the plate, with a strike out and a fly out to end the inning.
“[The games were] well pitched on our part,” Yale right fielder Josh Zabar ’06 said. “They capitalized on our mistakes. We didn’t put it away in the late innings, we let it slip.”
But despite the overall result, there were some bright spots for the Bulldogs this weekend. Ankney had two home runs on Saturday, one in each game. In the first game of the weekend, Eli Alec Smith ’06 pitched 6.2 innings of shutout ball despite the losing effort. Outfielder Jake Doyle ’07 had five hits in the three games in which he came to the plate.
“We really just need to settle down,” infielder Zac Bradley ’06 said. “A lot of guys are pressing themselves.”
Most of the Elis seemed confident the team would rebound in its next game this Wednesday against the University of Connecticut at Yale Field.
“We just didn’t play the way we’re capable of [this weekend],” Rasmussen said. “We have a lot of potential — we just haven’t shown it yet.”