With timely hitting, consistent pitching and a little help from its opponents, the baseball team was able to notch its ninth win of the season.

The Bulldogs (9-6) sent nine pitchers to the mound yesterday afternoon at Yale field when they defeated Marist (4-11), 9-6. Captain Alec Smith ’06 took the hill to start the Elis’ first home game of the season, beginning the contest with a scoreless inning. Yale wasted an opportunity to score in the bottom of the first, when left fielder Josh Cox ’08 was doubled off at second on a weak liner to the second baseman. Fortunately, Yale was at no loss for scoring opportunities because of their commanding hitting display and frequent defensive lapses by the Red Foxes.

In the third inning, a botched ground ball by the Marist second baseman allowed designated hitter John Janco ’06 to score from second base, Yale’s first run of the day. The Bulldogs followed up with another run in the third, manufactured with a single, sacrifice and base hit. The Elis scored a combined seven runs in the next two innings on an impressive combination of contact hitting, power hitting and Marist miscues. Every starter had at least one hit in the game, including home runs in the fifth inning by Janco and first baseman Marc Sawyer ’07.

Through the first seven innings, pitching was also a highlight for the Bulldogs. Jon Hollis ’06 (3-0) picked up the win after pitching the third inning. Mike Elias ’06 had a particularly impressive outing, using a tailing two-seam fastball to induce two quick groundouts and a popup on an economical 10 pitches.

“On a windy day like that, it’s good to try to use movement and different locations to get some ground balls so the infielders can do their work,” Elias said. “Hopefully we can continue that into the season, because keeping the ball on the ground is important in league play.”

Brian Irving ’08 also tossed a dominant frame, allowing no hits and striking out two. Irving mixed in a slow, looping curveball that he used in hitters’ counts, complementing it with his fastball and a faster breaking ball he used as an outpitch.

Irving later spoke highly of the team’s bullpen arms.

“It’s not always easy to jump into the middle of a game and perform,” he said. “But we generally did a good job when we were in today.”

The Elis coasted with a 9-1 lead until the eighth inning, when Marist rallied for five runs off of Matt Fealey ’06. Yale head coach John Stuper made the call to the bullpen, bringing in right-hander Brett Rosenthal ’07 for a five-out save. Rosenthal induced a popup and a grounder to second baseman P.J. Gorynski ’08 to escape the inning. In the top of the ninth, Rosenthal gave up two softly hit singles and hit a batter, but retired the side on two strikeouts and a groundout without giving up a run.

Despite the encouraging displays of run scoring and pitching, Stuper said he saw a few ways the team could improve.

“I wasn’t particularly happy with the team’s approach today,” Stuper said. “I don’t care what their record is, [Marist is] a good club. We can’t just sit on a lead like that.”

Yale looks to improve on their solid performance thus far in two double-headers this weekend at the University of Albany.