The most important weekend of the regular season is finally upon the baseball team.
The Bulldogs (17-18-1, 7-4-1 Ivy) travel to Hanover to play the Rolfe Division-leading Dartmouth Big Green (18-11, 10-2) for two doubleheaders Saturday and Sunday. With the Elis 2.5 games behind Dartmouth in the divisional standings, a bad weekend could very well eliminate Yale from Ivy League title contention.
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The Bulldogs head into the weekend fresh off a sweep of Fairfield on Wednesday and winners of seven of their last nine overall.
But the two losses over that stretch — to last-place Harvard last weekend — could prove costly for the Bulldogs in the Rolfe Division race.
Those two losses have made this weekend an all-important one. Not winning the series or simply splitting with the Big Green will put the Elis in a bind. A split would keep the Bulldogs 2.5 games back and force the team to not only handle business against a solid Brown (14-18, 5-7) team next weekend, but hope for an unlikely Big Green slip up against Harvard.
The key in the conference title race will likely start on the mound.
Brian Irving ’08, Brandon Josselyn ’09, Chris Finneran ’10 and Chris Walsh ’09 are the projected starting pitchers for the Bulldogs.
Irving leads the Ivy League in strikeouts with 52 in 41.1 innings pitched. He is also fourth in the conference in ERA with a 3.05 clip.
On the offensive side, Josh Cox ’08 and Ryan Lavarnway ’09 are enjoying All-Ivy caliber campaigns.
Cox leads the league in hits (55), is tied for second in doubles (11) and is tied for the lead in stolen bases (15).
Lavarnway leads the Ancient Eight in home runs (13), total bases (89) and RBI (42) despite not playing in either game Wednesday versus Fairfield.