Even with the Yale baseball team eliminated from postseason contention, the Bulldogs hope to continue their three-game winning streak and send the seniors off on a high note this weekend against Brown.
The Elis (13–21, 4–12 Ivy) have had a disappointing season thus far, currently sitting in last place in the Red Rolfe Division, tied with Brown (9–26, 4–12). With just four games remaining, Yale has seen better results of as of late, splitting its last series against Harvard before defeating Wesleyan on Tuesday afternoon.
“Our approach as a team lately has just been to play as hard as we can, no matter the outcome,” left fielder Harrison White ’17 said. “It paid off for us against Harvard this past weekend and it paid off [yesterday] against Wesleyan. We’re going to take that same approach this Friday and Saturday against Brown. The three wins in a row definitely give us a little bit of momentum heading into that series, which is always a good thing.”
The two teams have similar offensive profiles, as Yale has a team batting average of 0.264 compared to Brown’s 0.266. Though the Bulldogs reach base at a slightly higher clip, 0.355 to 0.345, the Bears hit for more power, as evidenced by their higher slugging percentage, 0.389 to 0.327.
The best hitters in the Ivy League will be featured in the lineups this weekend: first baseman Eric Hsieh ’15 and center fielder Robert Henry of the Bears both boast the highest batting averages in the conference at 0.371.
On the hill, the Elis and Bears have both struggled against tough opposition. The Yale pitching staff has combined for a 7.63 earned run average, with Brown faring only slightly better at 7.52.
More notably, Friday marks the final time the seven seniors on the team — catcher Robert Baldwin ’15, center fielder Green Campbell ’15, right-handed pitcher Ben Joseph ’15, outfielder Joe Lubanski ’15, left-handed pitcher Nate O’Leary ’15, right fielder David Toups ’15 and Hsieh — will step on Yale Field.
For most of the players on Yale’s roster, this weekend marks the end of their baseball careers.
“I’ve spent over 18 years of my life playing the game, and it would be great to end my career on a positive note,” Baldwin said.
Toups, the team’s captain, concurred, saying that he would love to end the season on a hot streak.
The class of 2015 has certainly made an impact in their final season. Hsieh, Campbell and Toups make up three of the four players who have appeared in every game for the Bulldogs this season. They also have the three highest batting averages on the team: 0.371, 0.321 and 0.295 respectively.
The senior class enters its final series with a record of 58–99–1. There have been numerous highlights throughout the past four years, including an 8–7 win against then-No. 3 Louisiana State University last season before finishing second in the Red Rolfe Division, just one game shy of the Championship Series following a loss in a one-game playoff with Dartmouth.
“Obviously it’s tough for us seniors knowing we’re putting on the Yale uniform for the last time this coming weekend,” Campbell said. “But we’re all thankful for the opportunity we’ve had to represent the school, and we’re going to do everything we can to win these next four games to give the program a rolling start into next season.”
The Elis play their final home doubleheader against Brown on Friday afternoon, beginning at 1 p.m.