BASEBALL: Bulldogs look to fuel winning momentum in Battle of the Coasts
After an eventful opening weekend, the Yale baseball team will head back on the road and travel across the country this Friday to play its second series of the season against Washington. Coming off a victory against Auburn, the Bulldogs will look to build a winning streak.
Courtesy of Yale Athletics
This weekend, the Bulldogs will trade the slush and sub-zero temperatures of New Haven for the warmer weather of the West Coast as they travel to Seattle and face off against the Washington Huskies.
The four-game series between the Yale baseball team (1–2, 0–0 Ivy) and Washington (5–3, 0–0 Pac-12) will begin this Friday, March 4 at 9:05 p.m. in Husky Ballpark. The Bulldogs will then have a doubleheader on Saturday and wrap up the series on Sunday. This will be Yale’s second non-conference series of the season and will mark the first time the two teams have ever played each other.
“Now that the first win is out of the way, it’s time to settle down more,” right-handed pitcher Mark Capell ’25 said to the News. “[It’s time to] let the first time adrenaline subside, and go out and have fun. I’m excited for the team to bring this energy into [this] weekend at the University of Washington and the rest of the season as a whole.”
Both squads had eventful matchups last week. Having each won their most recent game, both teams will be heading into this weekend’s series with momentum and a desire to start a winning streak. The Huskies traveled down to battle in southern California and started their week by defeating University of California, Riverside in a 13–4 dominant win on Tuesday, Feb. 22. Days later, they split a four-game series against University of California, San Diego, but wrapped things up on a high note with a 7–0 shutout win on Sunday.
The Bulldogs had a dramatic opening series against Auburn last week, which they narrowly dropped 2–1. The Elis improved throughout the weekend and were also able to end the series against the Tigers strong with a gritty 5–4 win in extra innings.
The Huskies have an explosive lineup with good depth and consistent bats. The Washington starting nine have been hitting 0.281 in this small sample and have a team slugging percentage that is over 0.400. They also have a 0.714 on-base plus slugging, or OPS, in eight games. The Huskies are also doing well on the mound. The pitching staff currently has a 4.04 ERA and a respectable WHIP of 1.29.
The Bulldog pitching staff will have to pay close attention to the top of the Husky line-up, which is led by redshirt sophomore Will Simpson. The infielder and three-hole from Washington is hitting 0.419 with an OPS of 1.288 and is the team’s home run leader with three moonshots under his belt. Lead-off McKay Barney, seven-hole Johnny Tincherand, four-hole AJ Guerrero and other starters have also been hitting over 0.300, while the clean-up crew has been key in providing support with 14 runs batted in.
Though the Bulldog offense was stifled in the opening game of the Auburn series, the squad will look to return to its Sunday form in the series against Washington. Yale is currently batting 0.210 and has a 0.616 OPS. The squad will also look to continue building upon its strong defensive ability and excellent base running.
“We are all just looking forward to getting back out on the field and playing against a really good team,” infielder Carson Swank ’23 said. “[We want] to show what we can do.”
In their last full 2019 season, the Bulldogs had a 13–18 away record.