The men of Eli baseball met their Crimson foes on Yale Field this weekend, and they won.
Yale (13-15, 8-4 Ivy) took three out of four games from Harvard (14-13-1, 8-4), outscoring the Cantabs in the three Bulldog victories 16-4. On Sunday the Elis split with the Crimson, with Yale taking game one 5-1 before dropping the nightcap 11-5. A day earlier the Elis swept Harvard, winning game one by a 4-1 score and game two 7-2.
Yale is now tied with Harvard for second place in the Red Rolfe Division. Both teams now trail the new owner of first place, Dartmouth (17-10, 9-3), which took three out of four from Brown (10-17, 7-5) in Providence this weekend to secure the top spot in the division.
“Any time you have a team come into your place 7-1, only one conference loss, and you take three out of four, you’ve got to be pleased,” Zac Bradley ’06 said. “We got a lot of timely hits, and our young guys just continue to impress.”
Yale got on the scoreboard early all weekend, scoring 15 of its 21 total runs over the four games in the first three innings. Sunday’s loss was no exception.
Harvard struck in the top of the first with four runs off of righty Mike Mongiardini ’07 who had hoped to continue with his dominant performances of late. But the Elis did not feel out of the game for a moment as they struck back for four runs on four hits in the bottom half of the first.
Harvard would score next in the top of the fifth to take a short-lived one-run lead. Yale would tie it up again in the bottom of the sixth on an RBI single from infielder Chris Esper ’06. But Harvard would put it away with four runs in the top of the seventh including a bases-clearing three-run triple by left fielder Marc Hordon. The Crimson would add one run in each of the eighth and ninth innings.
Yale was blanked the rest of the way.
But Rasmussen said the feeling on the team was that the Elis were in it the whole way, especially considering how dominant they had been all weekend.
“Everyone on the team is very upset we didn’t win the fourth game,” catcher Eric Rasmussen ’06 said. “Even that last game, Harvard scored four runs in the first, we came back and scored four runs in the bottom of the first. We were competitive the whole weekend.”
In the game earlier that day, Yale scored once in each of the first four innings. Matt Stone ’06 — who went 4-4 with two RBI — led the Elis.
Righty Josh Sowers ’05 was steady off the mound, allowing just one run and five hits in a complete game 5-1 victory.
Though the standings have realigned since, for a brief time at the end of the day on Saturday the Red Rolfe was tied up with Brown, Dartmouth, Harvard and Yale each sporting 7-3 records. Dartmouth and Brown had split a doubleheader while Yale swept Harvard in its doubleheader.
In game one on Saturday, Eli righty Alec Smith ’06 led the way, allowing just one run on four hits in a complete game 4-1 victory. The Bulldogs scored three times in the first three innings on two hits and some sloppy Crimson defense. Smith now has a team-leading five victories to just two losses.
In the nightcap Stone led the way with a three-run double in the four-run Eli third. Stone had seven RBI on the weekend. Yale scored three more times in the seventh to take a 7-0 advantage.
Yale righty Jon Hollis ’06 secured his third victory of the year in allowing two runs on four hits while striking out eight over seven and a third innings.
Rasmussen said the team has always known it is capable of the type of performance it put on this weekend.
“I think from the first days of practice in February, we knew we had a chance to be a very good team,” Rasmussen said. “We definitely think we can win the whole thing. We just have to execute like we did this weekend.”
The Elis now have their fate in their own hands with a pair of doubleheaders against division leader Dartmouth next weekend in Hanover, and another pair against Brown starting April 30.
“The great thing about this team is that our feeling is that fate is always in our own hands because if we come out to the park and play the game we are capable of we can beat any team out there,” pitcher and outfielder John Janco ’06 said.
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