The baseball team (13–10, 2–2 Ivy) will hope to carry the momentum from its 3–2 victory over Sacred Heart (12–14) on Wednesday into this weekend’s Ancient Eight contests against Penn (13–10, 4–0) and Columbia (11–12, 2–2). The Quakers and the Lions finished at the top of the Lou Gehrig Division last year, and Penn is currently undefeated in conference play.
“We didn’t need motivation for this weekend,” captain and third baseman Andy Megee ’11 said after the win against Sacred Heart. “We owe these guys from last year.”
Last season, the Bulldogs began the Ivy season 0–4 as a result of dropping two games against Columbia and then two games against Penn. That poor start to conference play ultimately hurt the Elis going forward in the season.
“It honestly devastated us,” Megee admitted. “It ruined our season. In Ivy league baseball, due to the weather and other factors, you work for 11 months and for a one-month season. When we lost those games, everything we had done to that point became basically meaningless. It put us in an extremely difficult position.”
The contests against Columbia were close. The first game last season went to extra innings, but the Lions scored two runs in the pivotal eighth, winning 5–3. The Bulldogs did not fare better in the evening game as they dropped it 5–4.
Megee, then a junior, had a strong showing in the games against Columbia despite the losses. He notched six RBIs and went four-for-eight, including a home run. This year, he is one of the top hitters on the team with a .327 batting average, 32 hits and 18 RBIs on the season. Brook Hart ’11 has gotten off to a strong start with a 1.95 ERA through 32.1 innings pitched.
The Lions offense will be led by Nick Cox and Dario Pizzano who have .409 and .405 batting averages, respectively.
The Bulldogs will also have to overcome a Dartmouth team that boasts a powerful bullpen. Big Green pitchers Stefan Olson and Harrison Slutsky both have ERAs less than 1.75.
“Columbia’s been good since I’ve been here,” Megee said. “They play really solid fundamental baseball. They hit and pitch very well.”
Penn had an easier time with the Bulldogs than Columbia last year. The Quakers defeated the Bulldogs in the first game 5–2 and went on an offensive storm to capture the second game easily, 12–4.
The Quakers are led by Jeremy Maas, who has a .424 hitting average and 18 RBIs to date. Vince Voiro and Paul Cusick, who have combined to pitch 71.2 innings, both have ERAs under 3.
“Penn is a pretty standard Ivy League team,” Megee said. “They’ve done well so far so we need to halt their momentum.”
The Bulldogs’ doubleheader against Penn is set to begin Saturday at noon. The Elis will then return to action against Columbia on Sunday in another doubleheader that is also slated for a noon start.