1.) Execute the small ball
After a few problems in the early going, Yale has been improving on its ability to execute sacrifice bunts and the hit-and-run play. The team must continue to excel at these tasks at key points in the game to score consistent runs and avoid rally-killing double plays.
2.) Shut down Wendkos and Salini
The Tigers’ two sluggers have hit a combined 10 homers and 17 doubles, making the pair perhaps the most potent one-two punch in the Ivy League. But aside from this duo and leadoff hitter Aaron Prince, no other regular is hitting over .265 or has more than two homers. Yale pitchers must keep the ball down and work the corners to prevent these scary sluggers from driving the ball.
3.) Get the crowd into it
Despite facing a daunting schedule over the next two weeks, the Elis have the luxury of playing in the spacious confines of Yale field. For these difficult games, the team needs the crowd to be one hundred percent involved.
4.) Flash some leather
After having the league’s best defense last year, Yale’s play in the field has slipped a bit this season. The Elis have 43 errors so far this season in only 25 games. Understandably, some positional shifts and other circumstances have contributed to the decline, but the Bulldogs will need an especially solid infield defense and constant ability to turn the twin killing.
5.) Get to the bullpen
With Princeton’s high-powered starting rotation, working the starters and getting to the bullpen early will be key in controlling the tempo of the games. Somewhat weakened by the loss of Brian Kappel, last year’s All-Ivy reliever, the Tigers’ bullpen is a potential weak point in an otherwise well-rounded team.
6.) Get to the bullpen
Yale is 11-0 when leading after seven innings, in part due to the team’s abundance of relief aces. If each starting pitcher can turn in a solid six innings and leave with the lead intact, the relief corps of Adam Barrick ’06, Matt Fealey ’06 and Brett Rosenthal ’07 are solid bets to shut the game down.